Before You Set a Goal

There is an important caveat to goal setting that I feel as though many people miss in the process. That is to say…

Don’t let the outside influences of ‘societal norms’ seriously affect your decisions for change. 

Just because you think, that others have a certain perception about you, doesn’t mean you have to change something or even that their perception is true.

Too often people get caught up in what ‘others’ think they should be doing, or what ‘others’ tell them they should be doing. It’s time we set the record straight.

Have something you want to change? Have a goal you want to achieve?

Write it Down – Have an honest conversation with yourself – Then on a scale of 1-10, list next to it the likelihood that you will complete it. 

Unless your personal attachment to the issue is a 9 or 10 on the scale, try something else first. I can tell you that giving someone a goal — if you’re a manager, or a coach, or have an influential position in some way shape or form — does NOT work 90%+ of the time.

If you want to accomplish something, you need to start by feeling confident that you will accomplish it. Others will always be judging you, try to tune it out or ignore it through this process. This is why I suggest the honest conversation and the scale approach. In order to be successful, you need to eventually find the intrinsic motivation to become so, living up to someone else’s expectations is a surefire way to sabotage your efforts.

You have to resist the temptation to give in to others expectations, and start living towards your own. Everyone may think you should be thinner or live a healthier lifestyle but if you’ve ever tried to facilitate a change or accomplish a goal that someone else ‘gave you’  then you probably know that it can really be a set-back.

There is no emotional attachment to change if it is not your own idea, and consequently a lack of urgency in fulfilling it. Don’t get me wrong, social support is a huge factor in success but only if you have a personal emotional attachment to the outcome in the first place.

There will always be something you can and are willing to change but trying to facilitate a change that you have no strong attachment to achieving, sets you up for the yo-yo cycle. Consequently, that goal — though it means well — serves more as a distraction for the things that you are actually passionate about accomplishing and can realistically complete.

On this flip-side, and in conclusion, we may wish certain things upon someone else, but you will never be able to force anyone to abide by your expectations, you must guide them in that direction. Very often trying to force someone into compliance creates a ‘rebellion’ type attitude.

Want a loved one to change? Want an employee to change? Then help them discover the change for themselves.

You should be aiming to guide and help a person develop as an entirety. This means encouraging them to take responsibility over their own behaviours in order to discover things for themselves. It also means instilling a belief that they they are in the drivers seat, when it comes to controlling their own lives.

Admittedly, I don’t always do this well but it’s something I’m constantly working towards…

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