You have probably heard it your whole professional career, “people who set goals accomplish great things, and those who don’t are lost.” In yet, most people fail to set goals… or at least fail to set meaningful goals. And, if they set goals, they tend to fail to achieve the goals they set for themselves. I want to communicate a simple system that I use to help my clients set goals for themselves.
Step 1 – Vision
The first goal that I help my clients set is their personal vision of where they want to be in 10-years. It is very hard for anyone to think this far into their future. However, it is quite necessary. The key to setting a good vision goal is to dismiss the obstacles you feel you have currently in establishing this vision. Do not think about money or family problems or anything that you think currently stands in the way of your vision. It is also important to actually visualize your vision. You need to create a clear image of all of your senses in your vision. You need to know what it looks like, smells like, sounds like, feels like in every way. You have to clearly connect your emotion and feeling to your vision to make it real. Try to explain every aspect of your life in your vision so that it is crystal clear to you.
Step 2 – Gap Analysis
The next step is to evaluate what you need to accomplish in order to achieve your vision in the next 10 years. Let’s say that, in order to achieve your vision, you need $1 Million. Then you need to think about how you will earn $1 Million in the next 10-years to fulfill your vision. If your vision requires that you patch things up with your wife, then you need to think about what things you need to do in order to accomplish this objective. If you have been thorough in Step-1, you will most likely generate a list of about 20-items you need to accomplish within the next 10-years, which means that you will have 20-gap analysis… one for each goal.
Step 3 – Being vs Doing
It is common for most people to jump right into doing as part of their goal setting objectives. This can be a mistake. When I coach my clients, I try to get them to think about WHO they want to be; instead of WHAT they want to do. Here’s why. If you think that you will be happy if you get $1 Million; and then suddenly have this money and start spending it on all sorts of stuff; I can guarantee you that you will not be fulfilled. Unless you have an idea of WHO you want to be when you have this kind of money, you will be no more happy or fulfilled than you are today. A good question to think about to set up your thinking for Being vs Doing, is, “What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?” or “How do I want to live my life?”.
If for some reason you failed to define WHO you want to be in your goal setting, repeat Step 1 with BEING in mind.
Step 4 – Breaking Up Your Vision
After you have established the gaps you have in WHO your are; and WHAT you will accomplish, break your vision up into 1-Year chunks, then 1-Month chunks, and then 1-Week chunks. Most of us think we can change everything about ourselves in one day. By breaking up our vision, we acknowledge that genuine change and transformation takes time. By breaking up your vision, you are formally setting up a plan to gradually achieve your vision. If you feel like you can wake up one morning and be there, you will quickly be disappointed and give up. That is probably why most New Year’s resolutions fail. People try to make sudden, unrealistic changes and fall flat on their face when they fail. By establishing weekly goals for a long term plan, you can actively monitor your forward progress and feel encouraged that you are on track to achieve your grand vision for your life.
This “breaking up” or segmenting process is the key to getting you to think about how small accomplishments build into large achievements. Without this, you will fail to become motivated about the small things.
Step 5 – Change Your Energy
The hardest part about achieving your goals, is changing the way you have approached life. Let’s face it, simply setting a goal on a piece of paper or a computer journal will not change the way that you act. Most people will establish a vision they are currently not on pace to achieve. Let’s say that you want to lose 50-lbs. If you want to lose 50-lbs, something in your past behavior caused you to gain 50-lbs unnecessarily. So, something in how you view your health, food, exercise, etc., will need to change in order for you to succeed in your weight-loss goal.
As a Core Energy Coach, I identify this thing as ENERGY. You can call it whatever you’d like… attitude, perspective, thought process, emotions, character, personality, etc… The best way for me to talk about the ENERGY for which I am referring is to give you an example. Let’s say that you want to lose weight. There are several ways you can view your weight situation: 1) there is nothing I can do about my weight, I was just born with bad genes; 2) I am angry at the world for calling me fat; 3) if I lose weight people will love me; 4) I want to lose weight because my spouse deserves a sexy mate; and 5) if I lose weight, I will feel more fit and will be able to do more activities with my family. Each one of these different perspectives will create an entirely different outcome in a coaching client who wants to lose weight. So, if I have a client with an attitude at Level 1, as a coach, I understand I need to focus on shifting this energy before we can talk about setting goals.
In Core Energy Coaching it is important to understand why someone is thinking about themselves the way they are and help them shift their thinking to the next level of energy… until they are in a place they can actually accomplish their goals. Otherwise, goal setting and visioning is a complete waste of time.
Step 6 – Accountability
Now that the goals are in place, my clients have an understanding of their ENERGY and how it is impacting reaching their grand goals, I hold my clients accountable for achieving their mini-goals on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. There is no punishment for not achieving objectives, but rather a deliberate and honest view of WHO they are as they strive to move forward. This periodic view makes all of the difference in those who will achieve what they truly want in life and those who fall short.
As a business coach, I coach my clients around starting and growing a business. The first step I take is getting my clients to cast a vision of how their business success fits into their personal life. Then, we establish goals for their business; and break those goals into manageable chunks. Once we have established these chunks, I then coach their energy and help them understand how they need to shift their thinking to accomplish their goals. Once my clients have established the right frame of mind (Energy), they tend to move quickly and effortlessly through their goals and objectives to achieve their life vision of WHO they want to be and WHAT they want to accomplish. If you are interested in learning more about life or business coaching, fill out the contact form below. I’d love to talk.
Note from the Author
My name is Jeff Schuster. I am a certified Life and Business Coach serving small business owners, corporate executives and others who want to transition from “expert” to “entrepreneur”. I have been a small business owner for most of my 30-years in the workplace. I grew an energy efficiency and renewable energy engineering and construction company from nothing to over $10-million/year and sold it in 2013. I now help other business owners make amazing progress toward their own dreams of business ownership independence and success.