I’m a big goal-setter. I can go back for years of journals and look at goals I’ve set. I’ve even got them written on a whiteboard in the garage! You could say I’m a goal-setting tragic.
I make no excuses, they work for me – always have and I suppose, they always will. I love the process of sitting down (usually at the beginning of the year) and working out where I want to be by the end of the year.
Sometimes the goals are fulfilled, sometimes they are not. In fact, sometimes opportunities I hadn’t even dreamed of, have opened because of an unfulfilled goal. Either way, goals give me motivation to keep moving forward. But that’s just me.
This year, however, I’ve started a little differently with myself and with my clients. Before even looking at goals, we’re going back to basics, looking at the things that are holding us back.
Before you start any goal setting, there are two must-do steps to move you forward. Sit down in a quiet spot with a piece of paper and pen. I want you to do a mind map on each side of the page. Don’t know how to do it? Draw the outline of cloud in the middle of page, turn over and do the same on the other side.
Step 1: Write START or BEGIN in the middle of one cloud. This is for all the things you know you need to start doing. It could be look for a new job, put insurances in place or start calling one client a day to build up your referral base. Those things that are important but for some reason you are not getting around to doing them.
Step 2: Write STOP or END in the middle of one of the cloud. Think of the things that are creating frustration in your life and be specific, for example don’t write ‘procrastinating’, write ‘sell unwanted items in garage sale’, ‘pay off credit card’ or ‘close old bank accounts’
Cover all areas of your life and remember to focus just on the things that are creating the most frustration in your life.
They say uncompleted tasks leech energy and I believe that is true. When things aren’t finished, they take up valuable space in your head while you constantly think ‘I should, I need to, I must….’
Just take one thing at a time from your list and finish it. Do not work on any other item. Stay focused until it’s completed.
You will be amazed at how much better you will feel. I have 8 things on my two pieces of paper, have completed two already and got another underway. Getting rid of jobs that have been hanging around for so long has been energising.
Interestingly enough, one client commented that after going through this process, it very clearly highlighted what’s holding them back. Another client mentioned it gave her clarity around what she was able to complete and what, in fact, she had no influence over at all. It enabled her to stop worrying about a whole lot of things which she had no control over.
And for those of you who aren’t goal-setters, this just might be what you’re looking for.
Image credit: EladeManu
Glenise is the Chief Confidence Chick at Self Confident Women, a personal development company helping women around the world create a better life. She is also the Director of SR Group Pty Ltd, a training and development consultancy assisting corporate companies with coaching, training and technical writing.
4 replies on “2 must-do steps for goal setting to propel you forward in 2014”
Glenise, I like how you split the goals into Start and Stop. I am a goal setter and that’s what keeps me going when I have a break or feel lost about what’s next. I always do it at the beginning of the year, buy a card with a cover that means something to me, something I want to achieve in a new year. I write all my goals and keep it on my bed side table. This way I can revisit my goals anytime and the front of the card is always reminding me of the big idea, big goal I have. I will definitely introduce the “Stop” list as I have too many ‘Start’ things going on :)
Thanks for your comments Kasia. Love your idea about the card!
Glenise, I really like the idea of Stop and Start instead of a generic list. Do you have any guidance on how many items to realistically place on each list and how/if to prioritize. I feel like I could probably fill reams of paper with Stop and Start lists but I know that it is not productive and may cause more frustration.
I would just start with the big ticket items – the ones that are causing you the most amount of pain. For me it’s usually around 2-4 to Start focussing on and a lot more to Stop! Let me know what the number is for you. Thanks for your comment.
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