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Goals. Who needs them?

I do. Big time.

Life seems to flow much easier when I have goals to chase. Usually ones that scare me a little and excite me a lot, but they can also be something I want to achieve today - like writing this blog.

But how do we set the right goal and then go about achieving it?

Here’s what I’ve learned professionally, personally, and with the charities I’ve supported.

1. Take the time to decide what it is you want to achieve. And I mean it. Rush this step or cut corners here and you are setting yourself up for failure. Develop a goal that, no matter how big or small, appeals to your values and excites you down to your core.

person walking up concrete stairs

2. Let the goal rest for a day or two. Sleep on it, see how you feel about it then. If it still excites you, then you’re on to a winner. If you’ve gone off the idea, then it clearly wasn’t the right goal for you.

3. Set yourself a timeframe by which you to achieve your goal. A goal without a deadline is only a wish.

4. Break your goal down into bite-size chunks. If your goal is a big one, then it is going to be too difficult to tackle all in one go. Develop a plan working backwards from your deadline of what you need to have started and completed by when. It might look something like this:

  • Sign up to The Returners’ Tribe End of today

  • Book in 1-2-1 coaching End of today

  • Understand values and priorities End of week

  • Start working on CV End of next week

5. Tell a few people to hold yourself accountable. Not too many - studies show that the more people we tell, the less likely we are to achieve our big goals (it dilutes accountability). Keep it to 3-5 people who are going to support and encourage you in the right way.

6. Put the big goal in a draw and leave it there. Instead, focus on your plan - your list of easily achievable tasks. Tick them off as you go, and be proud of the progress you are making. Occasionally remind yourself of your big goal and why you are doing it, but then put it back in the drawer and refocus.

Simon Gregory on bicycle in rain

7. Ride the road in front of you. What I mean by that is there will be the unavoidable roadblocks, diversions, uphills and downhills. Don’t waste time and energy by worrying about what’s around the next corner, or about the roadblock you’ve just navigated around. Deal with what’s immediately in front of you and nothing else.

8. Celebrate the successes, no matter how small. Too many people forget or ignore this step and then wonder why they find it difficult to stay motivated. Maybe even pre-plan what reward you will get for each goal or task completed. Either way, remember - the bigger the task, the bigger the reward.

Once you’ve completed your big goal, shout about it. Enjoy the success! Then take a breath and move on to the next slightly scary, very exciting goal.

If you’re struggling to fix on a goal or develop a plan, drop us a line. We are here to help!

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