Goal-setting 101

Are you feeling scattered, unfocused, and overwhelmed? When your energy and attention are going in multiple directions, disorder and chaos are the normal result.

If you have more than you can handle on your plate, you might benefit from goal-setting and prioritization. But take note: this type of strategic thinking can be ineffective for several reasons:

  1. We are overly ambitious and try to change everything at once, resulting in not changing anything. (TIMING)
  2. We create loopholes in our goals and like a savvy six year old, our subconscious mind takes advantage of them to avoid action. (AVOIDANCE)
  3. We avoid the real problems in our lives in preference to idealistic but irrelevant or impossible change, so we have no real motivation. (PASSION)

Focus, focus, focus.

You’ll be much more likely to join the 8% of people who actually accomplish their goals if you understand that all of the areas of your life can’t change at once. If you have a laundry list of things you want to change, or if your topic areas are really big ones (like a new career, new relationship, or moving), focus on only two or three areas of life or consider spreading your list out through the year so you aren’t trying to take on all your topics at once.

Also, define in measurable terms the change you will see happen, and by when. For instance, instead of saying you want to lose weight this year, say you want to go to the gym three times a week for an hour long workout for the next six months. Your “measurable terms” should be something that any impartial observer can say you either did or didn’t do. If they aren’t clear, you can’t be held accountable by anyone (including yourself).

And finally, make sure that the problems you choose to set goals around are relevant, impactful, and actually able to be resolved. There is nothing that will stop you faster than thinking SO big-picture that you cannot be successful in one year’s time. Come out of the clouds and put your feet on the ground. Close the doors to running away. Do the math. And then, identify the problems in your life the resolution of which would have the biggest impact on you. It may be making more money to stand in sufficiency. It may be transforming a difficult marriage. It may be sending your final child off to college and exploring who YOU are again in all that extra free time. Listen to your inner wisdom to identify which direction is most important. Mindfulness practice will help.

Underneath a time crunch is the mindset of inadequacy. 

If you struggle with focus and overwhelm, you likely think that you don’t have enough time to do what you want to do. There is real power in rewriting this mindset so you do have enough time. When you find that place within your own awareness, the struggle is over and the lessons learned, you will naturally make the sorts of decisions that help it to be externally true.

Ultimately, understanding your own mind is your mission and your life is the stage. Regardless of what you chose to focus on as your first step, when you shift your mindset you’ll find that like everything in this great universe itself, it is connected to everything else.  

To your success,