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Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Hollywood superstar Denzel Washington recently gave a commencement speech where he famously said 

‘…You have these dreams. Dreams without goals remain dreams and fuel disappointment’

We all love to dream, think about the house we want to buy, that cool car we want to own or that high-paying job we are working towards. Unfortunately, a lot of people are never able to live their dreams and are stuck in an unhappy place.

While some people like to call themselves lazy or even unlucky, the biggest difference between a dreamer and a doer is setting goals.

The idea of setting goals is nothing new. Over 2,000 years ago Aristotle explained this as final causality.

According to him, the only reason why people do something because they have a basic purpose and a need to achieve it.  

This simple factor drives the world and takes us forward.

In the 1960s, Edwin Locke researched this idea and conducted tests that culminated in the ‘Goal-Setting Theory’.

His research work has been celebrated for years, especially in the business world, with corporations following many of his conclusions.

Interestingly though, most of his research has even better applications in our private lives. To get more out of your life and turn your dreams into reality, you will need to:



1. Make specific goals:

Having a big house or making that career move are great goals to have. However, uncertain or ambiguous goals might not take you anywhere. The idea is to be very specific about the goals you have and build upon them.

For example, to say that you want to lose 20 lbs. by the end of the year is not a specific goal. Humans are emotional and such vague aspirations do not motivate us.

A better way is to set a goal of e.g. losing 2 lbs every month or cutting out on sugar and carbs. Such specific goals help us to act immediately and work on our dreams.

  • Turning dreams into reality takes effort:

If you want to change your life, make your marriage work, earn more or buy that house, you will have to work hard for it. There are no short-cuts, no lottery tickets to be won and no one is going to help you.

The good thing about setting small, quantitative goals is that it automatically pushes people to work that harder.

For example, if you are looking to buy your dream car, your goal should be earning an extra income. This way you will push yourself to work overtime and get closer to your objective.

  • Goals make us more persistent:

Read How to Get and Stay Motivated

Setbacks are a part of life and usually throws a lot of people off. You might have had a bad day at work or a fight with your spouse.

A bad day at work can be emotionally challenging and a bad marriage can be life-altering.

However, research has shown that the aim of achieving well-articulated goals make us more persistent against setbacks and generally makes us more resilient in life.

  • Goals can change our behavior:

Research has shown that having well-defined goals can gradually alter our behaviour and make us improve ourselves. E.g. if you are trying to lose weight you might have a goal of reducing your calorie or sugar intake. With such small, specific goals, you might not only shed away the pounds but alter your eating habits for the long-term.

How to Develop effective goals

Make sure the goals you set for yourself really make you work towards your dreams. For effective goal-setting make sure:

Your goals are clear – Goals should be SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Make sure your goals are simple, clear and have a certain milestone or deadline. Without setting deadlines your goals will take you nowhere.

Also, complex goals are not easy to implement, thus be practical and realistic about them. You should also be able to keep track of your progress and measure your success.

Challenge yourself – While your goals need to be realistic, that does mean they should be easy. Only by challenging ourselves can we break free from our comfort zones and do something beyond the ordinary.

Commit to it – You need to commit to your goals and set up some kind of a feedback system so you can understand how close you are to your goal. E.g. if you are aiming to lose some pounds, record your weight every week and keep on measuring it. A feedback system helps us to stay committed to what you are doing.

Most people never achieve their dreams because they are never fully committed to it. A lack of quick results demotivates most people. Hence, stay focused and committed!

Have an Action Pan – You need to have a complete action plan to turn your dream into a reality. Your action plan should consist of key milestones you want to achieve and when e.g. you dream of becoming a TV producer, you need to start with small internships, take relevant college courses and work your way up. There should be a complete strategy for whatever you want to achieve in life.

In all this, we should never forget the importance of our present. Currently, you might be a young professional or even a fresh graduate. However, 5 years ago, you dreamed of being where you are right now.

On an unconscious level, you did have a plan and goals in mind and you worked hard for it. We usually don’t enjoy the situations we are in and are always looking for a ‘better’ future. While this is human nature, we need to appreciate our present and where we are in life to fully realize our potential and prepare for tomorrow.

Hence, if you need to change something in your life, make a plan and start following it. If you believe saying sorry to someone right now can save your relationship, do it now! If you believe applying for a new job might help you increase your income, don’t think and do it now!

Having someone to help you set powerful goals and stay focused on them can be the difference between success and failure for many.  Professional life-coaches are trained to help their clients gain clarity on their values and set goals that are in line with their authentic selves.  They help you stay motivated and hold you accountable.   Bring on the new year ready for success and try life-coaching risk free with up to 3 coaching sessions on us at Life Coach Library.com!

Isn’t it Time to Get Off the Hamster Wheel?

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Have you ever felt like you’re this guy? Running really fast and hard in the game of life but feeling like you’re simply not getting anywhere? Being busy is not the same thing as being productive. I personally have known that feeling and know how bad it sucks. It’s what it feels like when one lives in a continual state of reaction instead of creation. Yes, there are times in life when everything that can go wrong does and all at the same time and is way beyond our control. However, the truth of the matter is that we humans have so much more control over our thoughts, actions, and ultimately outcomes than most people have the stomach to own up to. The good news is, it is much easier to get off the hamster wheel and take control of your life than you may think.

The first step is to consciously decide to act. The second step is to SET GOALS. Even if the first goal you have is to sit down and examine which parts of your life you want to improve so that you can set goals. Do it.

Even the best of us sometimes wake up one day and wonder “How did I get here?”, “This is not where I want to be!” Somewhere along the way, we had dreams and visions, yet we lost focus and got detoured. If that sounds like you, it’s ok, make today the day you turn it around. Let today be the day you set specific, realistic, and achievable goals to have a better tomorrow. Make today the day you write the story of how the next chapter of life will go!

WHY does setting goals matter so much?

We all know it’s easier to act when we have a defined vision. However, besides gaining vision, focus, and clarity, there are many important reasons why you must set goals to be successful.

1. Setting goals helps you become who you need to be to reach them. When you have a clear goal, your motivation boosts and it triggers you to act in line with reaching it. Motivation and goals are akin to the chicken and the egg: it’s hard to decide which comes first but it’s nearly impossible to have one without the other. You will define what is most important to you and then naturally give your attention to what you want. Your thoughts and behaviors shift towards it and you will effortlessly gain momentum. Imagine playing darts with no target. Not only do you have nothing to aim for but why would you even pick up to dart?

2. Goals help end procrastination: It’s much easier to put off what seems irrelevant, intangible, or unattainable. At the root of procrastination is perfectionism, fear, or poorly defined goals (Lieberman, 2019) Using a modal such as SMART Goals will make your goals meaningful, measurable, and achievable! Sometimes to overcome procrastination, you’ll have to set smaller goals. It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at the whole distance to the finish line so let it be ok to focus on the first few steps. Have goals for the short term (daily or even hourly if necessary), mid-term (weekly or monthly accomplishments) and long-term (your ultimate success) so that you are actively pursuing your goals in a manageable way. You have the means to measure progress and know you are moving in the right direction.

3. (Smart) Goals help build confidence: When you have enough confidence, you’ll try anything. When you try new things, you build more confidence. This is where having carefully planned goals and a strategy is crucial. If you have a realistic goal and strategy, even if things don’t go as planned, science proves you’ll begin to feel good about yourself (Will Meek, Ph.D.). However, if you just have a lofty dream without a plan, you are likely to run into unforeseen challenges that could potentially deflate your enthusiasm and shatter your confidence. Don’t let the latter be you. It’s a great idea to have a buddy to help you strategize and hold you accountable in cases such as these. The most successful people in the world work with coaches. A life-coach is trained to work with you on this.

4. Goals define your road-map to happiness: Setting and achieving goals are what provide direction and destination in life; give it meaning, purpose, and fire-up your passion; they satisfy an innate need to live-up to our potential and provide a sense of contribution. Instead of simply reacting to life, letting it just happen and responding to it, going through the motions and merely surviving, why not design a life you love, waking up with a sense of purpose, acting deliberately, and thriving?

It all begins with setting goals.

Find out if Life Coaching is right for you! Take the quiz in under a minute. https://www.opinionstage.com/szortyka1/is-coaching-right-for-you

How to Form Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

One of the keys to reaching a new goal is to have habits in place that support that goal. If your current habits are counter-productive, you’ll need to change them or face the reality of not reaching your goals.

How do success habits help you reach your goals?

Suppose you have the goal of running a marathon: if you don’t already have the habit of running regularly, your chances of you reaching is very low. Running regularly gets you closer to attaining your goal in several ways, including getting you in great physical shape and strengthening your endurance.

Developing supportive habits can be easier than you think and far more powerful than you can imagine!

Identify the Habits You Need

Before you create new, positive habits, you’ll want to figure out which habits will help you attain your goals. For every goal, there are habits that can pretty much guarantee your success. Reflect on your goals and what actions you can take to help bring them about.

Here are some habits that people who always reach their goals have:

1. Look for daily habits. Habits you practice each day are much easier to put into place and keep than those that are less frequent.

2. Keep it simple. The more complex the task, the less likely you are to stick with it. If you really do need to implement a complex habit, start with a simpler version and then add more complexity later. Set some SMART goals to develop new habits in your routine.

3. Be specific. It’s not enough to just specify what you’re going to do; include the how, when, and where as well. Time is always critical when creating a new habit. Be sure to specify a precise period of time in which you wish to implement the new actions.

  • So “I’m going to exercise 1 hour per day” is inadequate. “I’m going to swim from 6-7 am, Monday through Friday at the YMCA” is more like it. This has enough detail to be quite clear about what you want to accomplish and includes the how, when and where.

Prepare for Interference

There are usually obstacles to creating new habits and behavioral patterns. Try to figure out these possibilities ahead of time so you can eliminate them as soon as possible.

How to achieve personal success

For example, if you’ve decided that you’re going to eat a healthy breakfast every day, get rid of all the breakfast junk food in your pantry and freezer. That junk food is an obstacle to successfully implementing your habit. The obstacle might be time interference. Maybe your partner, child or family members do not usually leave you alone for 20-40 minutes every night so you can meditate, write, read, or whatever it is you want to do towards your goal. Simply let them know ahead of time that you need be undisturbed during this time.

Look for More Supporting Habits

When you determine supporting habits that will help you reach your goal, consider going even deeper into the details to find habits that will help you accomplish your other new habits.

For example, if one of your new habits is to make it to the gym every morning by 6:30 am, you can develop several supporting habits to help you establish this habit, such as:

  • Get out of bed by 5:45 am.
  • In order to get up at 5:45 am each day, you might need an additional habit of always being in bed by 10:30 pm.
  • Another supporting habit might be to pack your gym bag the night before.

These supporting habits are extremely importance to your success. Spend some time thinking about additional habits you can develop to support your efforts.

Just as counter-productive habits can keep you from success, supportive habits can aid to your victory. So, consider the habits that will best support your goals, put them into action on a daily basis, and enjoy your new success!

If you’ve tried to reach your goals on your own in the past and fallen short, or if you’re ready to start and want to save time in reaching success, try working with a life coach. A coach will help you stay motivated, hold you accountable, and strategize ways to overcome interference so you can stay on track. Life Coach Library makes finding a coach simple. Simply register and we will match you with up to three certified coaches. It’s free and each coach will offer you a complimentary coaching consultation so that you may conveniently find the right match.

Clifford Aning

empowercoaching.us

clifford@empowercoaching.us

Making Goal Oriented Choices

Career & Business, Life Coach Library

Each day is a reminder that I am one step closer to my goals. Keeping that in mind helps me to stay on track with the choices I make.

It is easy to avoid over indulgence when I know I have financial goals. I remind myself that taking care of the important things now is paramount. I choose to celebrate after completing my outlined objectives.

The relationships I form today determine the kind of future support structure I have at my disposal. I am careful with my choice of friends. I want to surround myself with friends who have goals and aspired to achieve them.

When I find myself at a crossroad, I avoid making a choice based on my emotion of the moment. I realize how easy it is to be reactive when choosing by feelings. Instead, my choices are well contemplated.

Setting goals sometimes means sacrificing my comfort for the end result. I am content with tough decisions that yield an ideal outcome.

At this point in my life, I am happy to be a sound decision maker. My commitment to thinking things through with a focus on my goals is unwavering.

I have found that taking time to self-reflect helps me to make goal oriented choices.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What person(s) can I seek help from when I have a tough choice to make?
  2. How do I know when a goal I set is likely unattainable in the desired timeframe?
  3. How long would I be able to sacrifice my comfort in pursuit of goals?

Life Coaching Works!

Clifford Aning
empowercoaching.us
clifford@empowercoaching.us

Overcoming Stumbling Blocks to Goal Achievement: It’s an Inside Job

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

It’s the New Year, a time for new beginnings, a fresh start. Inspiring, right?

Then why do I feel defeated already?

Looking back on the past year, I wanted change, I wanted results, I had the best intentions, but everything remained pretty much the same. I’m still in the same dead end job, I’ve actually gained rather than lost weight, I abandoned my exercise routine a month after it started and I’m still a stranger to my friends and family because I do nothing but work. Why would I think anything would be different this year?

Maybe, intellectually, you understand the importance of how to approach the goal setting process but that nasty little voice in your head tells you that you are a loser, a failure, and you can’t achieve anything. While you could be struggling with the obvious, goals lack specificity (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, “SMART” goal method), no real commitment, inactivity, or too many goals, I suspect it could be you are dealing with an underlying belief. Like many, it is not something you can see for yourself. Being the responsible person you are, you probably tried to figure it out but became stuck, frustrated and defeated. Let’s take a look at this challenging issue and how you can get past it.

To bring about something new on the outside, like a new outcome, often requires something new on the inside, a change in attitude, paradigm or underlying belief. An underlying belief is like the pesky weed which, until pulled out from its root, continues to air its ugly head. Our weed is our limiting belief: we believe we are someone we are not, not good enough, not smart enough, too young/too old or some such disempowering label of not being enough. Until that limiting belief is discovered and removed, we may be held back from achieving our goals. For example, we may neglect to go after a job we really want because we
think we’re not smart enough to handle it so we stay stuck in a dead-end job. No matter how many may tell you how smart you are, if you have the underlying belief that you are not smart enough, it doesn’t matter what people say. You won’t believe them and it will hold you back. This limiting belief may have started years ago when you had a defining encounter, maybe failed a class, were denied application to a college, or given multiple disengaging messages from your parents. You continue to add to your disempowering story and reinforce your limiting belief whenever you encounter things you don’t understand. It completely paralyzes you from moving forward.

Another significant stumbling block for many is fear, fear of failure or even, fear of success. Some people are afraid they will fail, but even worse, that they may actually succeed and, as a result, they never take the first step toward achieving their goals. They lack belief in themselves and in their potential. If they fail, they anticipate people labeling them a failure, a loser. If they succeed, they think people may be envious and treat them differently, perhaps negatively. (Vermeeren, D 2018) They may even believe they’re unworthy of attaining the goal and, as such, sabotage themselves. I like the acronym, F E A R, Fictitious Events Appearing Real. We worry about things that may never happen and, in the process, make ourselves miserable, stuck and defeated. Believing in yourself is a choice and an attitude you develop over time. We need to take charge of our own self-concept and beliefs. Unfortunately, this is where many get stuck. Doing the internal work to ensure success is critical. It may actually take the support of a professional to help you move forward. A professional life coach is highly trained in helping clients see what they cannot see for themselves. They help clients discover and remove the limiting beliefs that hold them back from achieving their goals. They also act as a catalyst for change helping clients achieve their goals faster than they can do on their own. If you just can’t figure out where to start, consider working with a professional coach who is well trained in helping clients identify their stumbling blocks to success. A coach helps you see things you cannot see for yourself, uncovers and removes limiting beliefs that may be holding you back, and helps you become your personal and professional best. The coach-client relationship is highly confidential, tremendously supportive, totally focused on the client’s needs and all done in a convenient setting, usually by phone.

Do not give up on your goals, dreams and aspirations. When stuck, don’t beat yourself up and give yourself all kinds of disempowering messages. Silence those nasty voices in your head that have you defeated before you even start. Commit to making 2019 YOUR BEST YEAR YET!! A Professional Life Coach can make the difference for you. To experience how inspiring, supportive and helpful a life coach can be for you, consider booking a complimentary and confidential Discovery Session:
https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16511562

When working with a Life Coach, you will be absolutely amazed at what you will be able to accomplish when all roadblocks to success are removed, you are empowered and energized, successfully achieving all your goals, living the life of your dreams and, in the process, becoming your personal and professional best.

Happy New Year!
Robbie K Carlson
Life & Leadership Coach
Reference:
Vermeeren, D. (2018) “Why People Fail To Achieve Their Goals”

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