January is often time for reflection and refocus. But if you’ve been through a few January’s in your life time you’ve probably begun to understand that making significant changes and achieving big goals is not as easy as it sounds when we initially make those ambitious New Year Resolutions. Whether it’s some of the typical: losing weight, giving up smoking, cutting the booze or anything really. People are still wired to fall back into old habits – and often it’s sooner rather than later. January is always busy in the gym, but February not so much! That’s because there is a lot of BS around goal setting. Partly due to the misleading and harmful positive psychology movement that surrounds us.
What we tend to do is to fantasize and dream about what it would be like to achieve a goal. We do this and it makes us feel good about it. We feel like we can do it! and we like ourselves for wanting to do it! We believe in ourselves! We are radiating positivity and everything is possible Happy Days. But…If this approach worked then everybody would be achieving everything they ever wanted. When we do this we create an illusion that achieving this goal will be easy. More importantly we almost kid ourselves into thinking that it’s going to feel good, it’s going to make us feel good the whole time and that as long as we focus on what we desire, we will get it. In doing this, we neglect to create a strategy for the hard times. The times when our willpower is tested, our emotions are unstable or our stress levels are through the roof. Think about the great Sir Edmund Hillary who was the first to climb Mount Everest. That was a monumental goal, and those the sorts of goals we love to help people with at FlowSport! But he didn’t achieve this goal by just looking at the top and hoping to get there. He got there by focusing intently on each step, or crevice, or ice cliff in front of him. The overall goal, the dream goal – of getting to the top – was no doubt on his mind but it didn’t distract him from the task at hand. I am sure when there were obstacles or tough periods, he didn’t keep looking at the top and longing to get there, he focused on the DIRECTION he needed to go and he made the goal the immediate path in front of him.
If we measure our success at the end, and only on that lofty, huge, dream goal – our Everest, we are not going to gain much confidence until we achieve it, and if it is easy to achieve then it’s probably not a great goal! After all, we want to challenge ourselves because that is how we grow and get better. So how do we measure our success? We need to set ourselves small steps/targets that focus on the DIRECTION not on the DESTINATION. We have lot’s of ways to determine the right direction for you to head in and you’ll see in our online course we have a whole week’s worth of material to help you identify daily actions in the direction of you goals. Also of HUGE importance. We need to talk about when we’re not going to be feeling good, Those times when we’re going to struggle. All the stresses and anxieties that might come up. All the excuses and procrastinations that might arise. Good goal setters acknowledge all of these things, they write down the obstacles that they are going to need to overcome. Both external and internal. So, we could go on and on about goal setting theory all day. But if you have any questions, the best thing to do is email us back and we’d be happy to help.
Below are some steps to help your goal setting process for 2017!!!
The 6 goal setting steps that will ensure that you head in the right direction
1. Write down your ultimate goal for this year
2. Write down the reason this is important to you, why you value this…(if you don’t – then go back to step one)
3. Write down the reasons why this is going to be difficult, what are the big obstacles for you? Remember, you’re the expert on yourself here! You can divide this list into INTERNAL and EXTERNAL. Internal is all the emotional stuff, the stress, anxiety etc. External is all the stuff outside of your own head – obstacles created by the world around you.
4. Write down the difficult thoughts (e.g. self-doubts, procrastination, negative thinking) and the difficult emotions (e.g loneliness, sadness, stress, anxiety, fear etc) that you will have to experience if you pursue this goal. It is a myth that you will feel good all the time!
5. Write down a plan to take daily, weekly and monthly steps towards your target. Remember this is where you plan the focus on the next moment rather than continuing to think about the big dream.
6. Reflect and reassess regularly. Be Flexible and willing to change tack, if that’s needed. Most important when reflecting: take note of your successes. Nothing will build confidence more than you achieving the small steps towards your big goals and being aware of success and confidence you’re heading in the right direction makes a big difference.
Enjoy smashing your goals and have a kickass 2017!