Welcome to January! The dumpster fire that was 2020 is giving way to a new decade, a new administration, a new vaccine, and a new hope (though not of the Star Wars variety).
Whether you've spent the last few days culling down your social media friend lists, clearing out your inbox, or clearing off your countertops, I suspect you're also mentally preparing for the year ahead.
At the start of every year, that hope and mental preparation typically equates to goal-setting. I know: how predictable that a coach is posting about goals in January. I'm disappointed in myself, too... but before I get to goals I want to say one thing
(hoists herself onto a soap box)
Resolutions and all the inspirational quotes and social media churn surrounding them may make you think that you have to change or overhaul your life because it's a new year. That's absolutely not true.
(hops down from a soap box)
Is the start of the year a good time to take a moment to reflect on where you are and where you want to be? Sure. Can you also do that reflection on a random Tuesday in May? Yes. Are goals and change and transformation easy one-and-done activities? Nope. Coaches and therapists and friends and partners and the Internet and books and your pets can all help and support you on your journey.
But if you're feeling like making a tweak to your life, if you're looking to set some goals or-- as I like to call them-- I Want statements to help you dominate in this new year, here are four tips to help drive your success and make those goals stick:
Tip 1: Capture Your I Want Statement
Tip 2: One Bite At A Time
Achieving your goal isn't going to happen overnight. You have to break it down into small, bite-sized chunks and commit to focused work to drive that goal to success. Your I Want may have a bunch of little I Wants as you start to clarify your journey towards success. Take into account obstacles that you imagine may get in your way, and strategize now to prevent them from derailing you.
Tip 3: Know What Success Looks Like
How will you know you've reached your goal if you don't spend a moment imagining success? How will you measure your progress toward that goal? To get science-y, don't forget to give yourself both quantitative (numeric, or countable) and qualitative (feeling, action, behavior) ways to track your progress.
Tip 4: Deadlines & Accountabili-buddies
Napolean Hill (the Think & Grow Rich guy) said "A goal is a dream with a deadline." Without giving yourself a date or time by which you want to achieve your I Want and see results, you're going to get stuck in "whelmed" reverie. You're doing for the sake of doing. You're stuck in neutral. You won't realize results for yourself.
Let me know how I can help you as you're planning and crushing your goals. Not sure you're on the right track? Let's connect and work through it together.
This one's gonna be quick.
When we sit down together to identify your "I Want" statement (that's the big goal that brought you to coaching), I'm going to ask you a series of follow-on questions. They usually go something like this:
I ask you these questions because I want to make sure it's clear to both of us what we're working towards. I want to make sure you hear yourself establishing milestones, intended behaviors or thought processes, and that you begin to envision yourself in success. This is a crucial component of self-accountability.
Then, I'm going to ask you a follow-up question that my clients always, always get annoyed at me for bringing up: How are we going to measure your progress? (I'm going to pause here to say that if the opening chords of Seasons of Love just started worming their way into your ear... well... you're welcome.)
It's not a trick question. You've told me only moments ago how success appears against your senses. This "ugh" question forces you to quantify the qualitative: Where are you (today), where do you want to go (your goal), where are you challenged (the Funknown) and where are you making progress (measures). Measures-- or metrics, if you're Six Sigma kinda person-- drive your goals and catapult your achievements. They are unique to you and reflect what's important to you.
If we don't know what we're measuring your progress towards your success, then how will we know when to celebrate?