Yes, it seems we do commit ourselves to HUMUNGOUS GOALS that essentially give us the willies every time we think of them – and leave us wondering why we didn’t achieve them last year, or why we keep procrastinating about them this year.
But perhaps it’s not the goal that’s the problem. Perhaps it’s out headspace around the goal.
Actually, when you think of it, you could say that about most things.
It’s not the dating scene; it’s my headspace.
It’s not my wily, demanding boss; it’s my headspace.
It’s not the lunatic driver in rush hour; it’s my headspace.
You see what I mean.
And so in the context of big goals, how we wrap our head around them and our approach to the action plan side of things is what really starts to make a difference. That’s what can have us feeling like we’re making progress.
The inimitable (and somewhat lewd-mouthed) Ash Ambirge nails it here when she talks about how hard it can be to get started on a project or goal, how we can be rather low on COMMITMENT.
She points out that we can get tangled up right from the start by thinking this goal or project is going to take over our life, that we’re going to have to devote every waking moment to it – instead of deciding HOW WE WANT it to fit into our life.
This is the difference between getting on the bus, happy about where it’s going but sitting in a passenger seat as it careens full throttle through the rest of your life, OR getting on the bus with your hands on the steering wheel and deciding just how you’re going to get there.
And then there’s the bit about making it actually achievable. Imagine that! So, dear goal-setting-reader, when you set out your goal, be realistic about what’s actually DO-ABLE and plan from there.
The litmus test I share with clients often is this: Once you have your plan mapped out, check on a scale of one to ten how doable it feels, where 1 = Impossible and never going to happen and 10 = Totally possible and going to happen. If you score it 7 or less, go back to the plan and see what you can tweak to get it higher. I reckon if it’s not a 9 or a 10 it’s not a plan worth having.
This is not the lottery, people, it’s your life. Set it up to work. Don’t make it a roulette situation where you may or may not make it happen. It might take 3 months longer than planned. Hell, it might take 3 years longer. But at least you know you are destined to make it work. To hit pay dirt and see your goal, project or dream become a reality. Whoop whoop!
Let the timing ultimately take care of itself
I think we can tie ourselves up in knots when we don’t get something achieved ‘on time’. For most of us life is so full, there are so many demands on us, plus unexpected distractions that to think any kind of plan is going to perfectly to schedule is just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. My motto is: having a plan is great, and you can always change it.
I’ve learned from having to temporarily shelve numerous work projects over recent years that time is often the one thing I can’t control and is often the least important factor too (apart from our own demanding expectations and perfectionist tendencies). So don’t worry about that, control what you can control – and that is a plan that you can actually make happen.
Make a system for it
Another great blog on making great goals happen is from James Clear who points out how utterly overwhelming a goal can be. In fact he focuses on creating a simple system for yourself that enables you to experience progress towards your goal straight away. It’s the ‘chunking down’ approach to making things happen, but he also points out that we can’t predict the future and we might just get happier if we stop focusing on the big goal all the time; a man after my own heart. Check that out here.
So, go make your big goals happen. They’re yours for the doing. Oh, and it goes without saying, but enjoy the ride, ok?