Now that we've talked about identifying your goals, let's talk more about how to get there. First, though, here's a re-cap of the process: So, last week, we figured out how to identify our goals. The system we discussed was the SMART system; there are others as well. However, If you look at the process involved in setting and achieving goals, it breaks down into a series of "whats" and "hows" and looks something like this:
WHAT: What do you want to do?
Identifying and Setting Goals
HOW, Pt. 1: Generating ideas for how you can do it
- “I want to…”
HOW, Pt. 2: Committing to certain steps and building in accountability
- “I could try…”
WHAT: Doing it!!
- “I will…” and “I’ll keep on track by…”
HOW, Pt. 3: How well did it go?
- “I am doing…”
- “I did… and it worked/didn’t work… Next time, I could…”
How to Create Strategies
If your answer is yes, there are some important questions to ask yourself, which will help you develop strategies. Some of these questions include:
- What will I get out of achieving this goal?
- How will going through this process help me? What will I gain from doing this?
- What will I lose if I don't achieve this goal?
- How does this goal fit with my dreams, my values, and/or my long-term plans
The botton line is that it's hard to develop strategies for something that isn't worth it to you. This takes time and energy. Strategies are the things that will help you reach your goal and keep you motivated. There is power in words, and power in seeing these answers made visible. So, write down your reasons and your motivations! Writing makes these aspects physical and real.
One other thing is important - recognizing what you can and can't control. This is important because if you develop strategies that depend on somebody else doing something or on something happening, you may not be able to achieve your goal. So make sure that when you're developing strategies, that the items included are things you can control.
Here’s an example: Goal = Posting a Blog Post Every Two Weeks.
- Look at different types of blogging and decide what would work best for me and my schedul
- Look at my schedule and put in time for writing. Mondays look good!
- Make a list of topics I want to write about
- Look at two blog planning tools, and pick one to work with
- Put together a brief survey and ask people what they want to read
- Set up a schedule that includes deciding on a topic, researching the topic, writing and editing rough drafts, and posting a final version
- Research writing effective blog posts
- Who could I meet or talk with that might help me achieve this goal?
- What can I give back? Giving back creates opportunities in itself – you never know what you might find, or who you might meet!
- Think backwards – “What if I already reached my goal? What did I do that got me here?”
- Be ridiculous! Even if what you are thinking isn’t realistic, write it down anyway. It might lead to think about things differently, and see an opportunity or idea that you might have missed otherwise.
Identifying and Gathering Resources
- Finding resources are important as well – What do you need to reach your goal? How can you gather those resources? Where can you acquire resources?
- Don’t reinvent the wheel – find what’s already out there! Libraries, bookstores, web sites can be treasure troves of information. However: Don’t plagiarize! If you’re going to use someone else’s stuff, give them credit. If you need permission to use their materials, get it. It’s not OK to steal, and using someone else’s stuff is stealing.
- Take time – time is a resource, and too often we don’t set aside time to work on what’s important to us.
*Schedule larger amounts of time for more in-depth work, and stick to your schedule. Make an
appointment with yourself!
*Turn off your phone, shut your door, tell those around you that you need time to work. Set up your
environment for success!
*Take yourself seriously – your goals matter, your time matters, and you matter.
* Setting up and keeping time available for this process is a boundary issue!
Strategies for Rewarding Progress
A very important piece of strategizing that is often left out involves planning rewards for progress. It's drawn from a very basic psychological principle: If you want a behavior to continue or increase, reinforce it. Creating rewards or opportunities for rewards is important in achieving goals, because it's a motivator for success. So, consider:
- Can you allow yourself to bask in the feeling of accomplishment? This is important - too often, we minimize or even disqualify the positives. Allowing ourselves to savor the positives keeps us motivated!
- Can you set up a system where you gift yourself with something as a "congratulations"? It doesn't have to be anything tangible - maybe even a Facebook post recognizing your achievement. For example, "I finished Chapter Two! Progress made!"
Beware the Rabbit Hole!
As always, the information on this blog is not intended to be therapy or therapeutic advice. If you are struggling and want or need support, there are resources available and people who want to help. If you’re in crisis or in an emergency situation, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for help. There are people who care, and you don’t have to be alone.
If you’re interested in working with Dr. Burlingame-Lee, for either coaching or counseling, please feel free to get in touch! My phone number is 970-776-6043 and my email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am available for individual and group counseling, and for individual and group coaching. I offer seminars and workshops on a variety of topics covered here on this blog.
I’d love to hear from you!
All information and content on this blog is © 2014 by Dr. Laura Burlingame-Lee, Ph.D. dba "The Power of Each Other." For inquiries regarding reproduction or use for any purpose please contact me at (970) 776-6043.