January can feel a bit like the Monday of the year, and it’s so easy to want to hibernate at home and put off setting your goals until the weather gets a bit warmer. Every now and then, we all need a bit of guidance to help set us up to follow the right path, so here at Finding Your Voice, we decided to hold an event which would do just that.
On Thursday 11th January, we met at Pride Park with 14 women to share a Coaching Over Coffee session. With the new year just beginning, we chose to hold the event around goal setting to help everybody feel more motivated about setting and sticking to goals this year.
The event, which ran for 2 hours, focused around powerful and thought provoking questions to help everyone review the last year,gain some clarity and formulate a plan of action for 2018. We began with a review of 2017, asking everybody to draw a timeline to plot their achievements over the last year. We asked:
What went really well?
What didn’t go so well or was particularly challenging?
What did you learn, what can you take forward and build on?
Is there anything else you need to consider before you close the door on 2017?
This helped to give us a perspective on where we are currently and where we would like to go from this point.
Interestingly- though not surprisingly- most people found it a lot easier to remember their challenges and mistakes than their achievements. This is because our mind is programmed to look for risk to help keep us safe, therefore often focuses on the negatives, however this isn’t very helpful! At Finding Your Voice, we help you to re-train the brain to focus on the positive, stay on track for 2018 and reach those aspirations.
We then asked everyone to think about 2018. We asked:
what do you want to achieve,
what will your life look like in 12 months’ time?
How will you achieve this?
What do you need to do to support your goals?
Who could help or support you to move forward?
This allows us to begin to create a vision of what 2018 will look like and what we would like to achieve. Many women also found this exercise difficult! Self-limiting beliefs and doubts, such as ‘I’m not sure what I want’’, ‘‘what if I change my mind? and
’I don’t have the confidence to make changes’ are often common. The thing is, if you want to do something, then it doesn’t matter if you change your mind in the future, it’s all valuable experience and we are all on a journey – you decide where and how you travel. As Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
We ended the session with everyone reviewing their answers and setting some goals with dates in the diary to review and track progress.
Once our goals are defined it’s often a good time to illustrate them visually. Creating a vision board for 2018 is a good way to stay on track and manifest your future, make sure you hang it where it is clearly visible. Making a vision board is great fun and can be made using photographs, pictures from magazines, affirmations or inspirational quotes that resonate with you. We ended by talking about the benefits of sharing your goals and plans with friends, colleagues, partners, a mentor or coach, someone to hold you accountable and check in with you on your journey. It helps to work towards success together.
Our Goal Setting morning was a great success and we will be holding regular Coaching Over Coffee events to provide an opportunity to take time out to work towards those goals. We will hold you accountable but more importantly we will help you to identify what’s holding you back when you aren’t where you intended to be. We provide lots of support but with lots of healthy challenge too. Our next sessions will be held in April, July and October. If you would like to join an inspirational group of women to work towards you goals give us a call. Remember you become like the people you spend most time with so if you want to move forward do it with others who are moving forward too.
Setting goals is really important for self-development, as well as raising our motivation levels and giving us a sense of purpose. The Christmas period gives us all some much-needed time off to relax, spend time with family and indulge in one too many mince pies! But as the new year draws closer, we may be starting to plan towards 2018, and how we want our life to progress. The new year is the perfect time for goal setting, as it is a time to review our past achievements from the previous year and anticipate the future. It’s definitely a time where we are feeling the most motivated, and we should use this to our advantage.
But setting goals can be a challenge. Studies show that a massive 92 percent of us who set New Year’s goals never actually achieve them! But why does this happen? Often, we can’t follow through with our goals because they haven’t been set following the SMART guidelines. This means that if the goal is too vague, doesn’t have a time limit, is unachievable or the results can’t be measured, chances are you’re not going to stick to it! So, how do we set a SMART goal?
When creating your new year’s goals, make sure you ask yourself questions such as who, where, why, what, how and when, so that you know exactly what you’re working towards. A good example is that if you want to lose weight (a common new year’s resolution!) you should set yourself a date and target, such as ‘I would like to lose 1 stone by the end of May’. Being specific also helps with motivation levels, as there is a clear objective to work towards.
Having measurable goals means that you are able to identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. The best way to do this is to break your goal down, therefore not overwhelming yourself with a huge task, and allowing yourself to anticipate the things you will achieve along the way. This means that you will have plenty of excuses to reward yourself as time progresses!
Before setting your goal, it’s important to weigh the effort, time and costs your goal will take against life’s other obligations. In other words, your goal needs to be realistic! For example, setting a goal of being a millionaire by the end of the year (as great as it would be) may be setting yourself up for disappointment.
In this stage, you need to make sure that your goal is specific to you and your ambitions. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of society and other people’s goals, but make sure you are doing it for you and no one else, otherwise you’ll struggle to stay on track. You might be wondering how you know if your ambitions are truly your own. A way of finding out is to take a minute to imagine your ideal future. Picture what it will be- who’s in your life, where do you work, what does your house look like? Then think about your goal and consider if it matches up to your dream!
Time is an important factor when it comes to goal setting! Setting a specific schedule for when each stage of your goal should be achieved allows your motivation levels to stay high, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your goal. Writing each stage down in a calendar will also help with motivation levels, as you are more likely to be checking your deadlines therefore thinking more frequently about your goals.
To read more about how to set goals (and actually stick to them!) head over to this post here.
If you would like to sign up for our coaching over coffee morning on the 11th January, which will be all about setting those new year goals, click this link!