Goal Setting: The Right (and Wrong) Way
Happy New Year! What topic is on the lips of many solopreneurs at this time of year? Goal setting! Goal setting is a familiar exercise to most of the women I interact with. Being that today is the first day of the year, many of you are sitting down to create some. As part of my normal end-of-the-year rituals, I spent time the last week in December to revisit old goals and to create new goals that inspire me to move beyond the challenges and obstacles that will no doubt arise.
In working with hundreds of women in goal setting, I noticed the most fascinating human behavior that goes as follows:
You reserve time to work on your goals.
You begin dreaming of the money you want to earn, the vacations you want to take, the quality time you want to spend with family and friends.
As you move from your heart space into your head space to write down your goals, your head becomes flooded of all the ways you will not be able to turn your dreams into reality. The obvious challenges, obstacles, lack of know-how and self-doubt begin creeping in and, before you know it, you are shrinking the size of your dreams out of reaction to your fears and limiting beliefs.
Sound familiar? Yes, I thought so. The good news is that when you become aware that this may happen and learn new coping strategies, you will deal with those concerns when they arise.
As you begin creating your goals, you may think, “I know how to set goals” and I realize that you do. What you may want to do going forward is create some small shifts in your process that will lead to big results of achieving and perhaps, even exceeding your goals. Based upon my own learning and experience, this beginning is often the first place people get stuck or stopped. It is time to turn your desires into specific goals and develop an action plan that will bring those goals into reality.
Oftentimes the journey from your mind to that piece of paper where you will actually write down and commit to a goal is a journey of a thousand miles. There are detours and obstacles that can prevent you from taking the leap of faith to write them down. This happens because the moment you set out to create your goals, your mind and imagination kick in. Patterns and circumstances from the past come to the surface, along with fears and limiting beliefs. This typically surfaces as:
Is that what I truly want?
What if I try and I don’t achieve it?
I’ve tried in the past and I failed
Who am I to try to achieve this goal?
The Big how?
Getting stuck in, “How am I ever going to make that happen?”
You think of a goal, try to write it down and immediately fears, considerations and roadblocks begin to haunt you.
The good news is that now that you are aware of what is likely to show up, you can choose to shift your thinking when those thoughts arise and re-frame these thought patterns to use them to your benefit. With this new awareness, the path becomes clear for you to define and declare your goals and dreams.
What if you could design your life just the way you want it? What would that look like? Take some time and consider each of the core life areas below and what you want to create and experience:
Mental: Do you read books, do crossword puzzles, learn new things, study to improve your knowledge and develop yourself personally and keep your mind strong?
Spiritual: Do you make time to study and grow spiritually?
Physical: Do you have a healthy lifestyle--regular exercise, eat healthy--to live as long as you can?
Family: Do you spend time nurturing your family relationships?
Financial: How well are you doing to meet your monthly, yearly budget? Are you saving? Investing?
Personal: This includes who you spend your time with as well as the things you spend your personal time doing.
Career: Are you where you would like to be in your business?
List one to three goals in each spoke. The categories are the spokes from Zig Ziglar's Wheel of Life. When you take this holistic approach to goal setting by considering all areas of your life, you tip the scales in your favor and set yourself up for success.
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