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Reviewing your goals

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

You may have read a previous blog article about how to set goals and actually achieve them. This article is about reviewing your goals.

So you've set some goals. Great! How do you actually make sure you follow through with them? What happens if you don't achieve them?

Well, this is where it gets interesting, and again - why it's useful to be working with a coach. A coach can hold you accountable for your actions in a way that's difficult for us to do by ourselves.

Nevertheless, you can do a few things to make sure you are more likely to be successful in your achievements.

The fundamental aspect of setting goals is that they must be aligned with your values. If they're not, then you're unlikely to achieve them. Simple.

It's important to think about your values and beliefs when you're setting goals. There are many lists of values available online, but as examples, here are some common values that people feel are important to them:

  • Achievement

  • Challenge

  • Honesty

  • Growth

  • Relationships

  • Security

  • Connection

  • Adventure

  • Community

  • Fame

  • Knowledge

  • Loyalty

  • Self-respect

  • Success

  • Patience

  • Family

  • Money

  • Time

  • Spirituality

  • Recognition

  • Nature

...and the list goes on. A useful exercise to do is to make a list of your top ten values and then put them in order of importance. Then, reflect on which one value you would have if you could only have that one for the rest of your life. This is the value that needs to be like a thread running through your goals.

Some people find it hard to express their true values. You may never have had time or the opportunity to reflect on these. It might feel uncomfortable. To help you, you can think about the following questions as prompts, and then reflect on the underpinning value in each situation:

  • Think about a time in your life when you have felt most fulfilled. What does fulfillment look like for you?

  • What do you value in other people?

  • What drives the decisions you make every day?

Some examples of how your values affect your success in achieving goals include the following:

You set yourself the goal of getting 100 more followers on your Instagram account by the end of February (because you feel that this is what you must do to become successful in your business etc). If you do not value fame and success, then this goal is going to be an uphill struggle.

You have type 2 diabetes and you set yourself the goal of losing five kilos by Spring (because you know that losing weight will help you control your blood sugars better). If you do not value health in the first place, then this goal, again is going to be difficult to achieve.

Reframing your goals to be congruent with your values.

We can reframe these goals to make it more likely that we will achieve them.

For example, you might not value fame and success, but you do value community and relationships. By reframing your goal of getting 100 more followers to be one that will therefore allow to you to build relationships and a community around your business, you are more likely to take the necessary actions to achieve this goal.

In a similar way, you may not value health, but family might be one of your top ten values. By reframing your goal of losing weight so that you can control your blood sugars better in order that you can live longer to see your grandchildren, you are more likely to take action to achieve this goal.

When you set your goals, it's important to review them regularly by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How have you got on with your actions so far?

  • What has gone well for you since you set this goal?

  • What hasn't gone well for you since you set this goal?

  • What is still missing?

  • What could you do differently?

  • What have you learned about yourself?

By checking in with yourself regularly, you can further specify your goals and make them even more realistic and achievable.

What happens if I don't achieve my goal?

Well, don't feel deflated. It doesn't actually matter. It simply means that your goal was too big, unrealistic or not in alignment with your values.

For example, if you set yourself the goal of completely cutting out all biscuits for three months, and then you ate a biscuit, chances are your goal was completely unrealistic for you.

Ask yourself how realistic this goal is for you on a scale of 1 to 10. Say you're at a '6'. What would help you get closer to a '7'? Allowing yourself one biscuit a week? How does that feel? Manageable and still working towards your overall goal? Then you have a much better goal that you are more likely to achieve - and you're really going to enjoy and appreciate that biscuit!

In other words, don't beat yourself up. We humans are complex creatures and it's easy for us to set very high expectations of ourselves because of social and personal pressures. Reflect on your goals and keep nailing them down until you have a specific, measurable and realistic goal.

Be SMART with yourself. You deserve it.

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