Every year I love using the quiet time after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and before the New Year to figure out my next big goal. While you are contemplating your past year’s accomplishments and your hopes and dreams for the coming year, consider the life coaching tips below. Hopefully they help you move closer to living your ideal life while you achieve your goals.
5 Steps to Achieve Any Big Goal:
1. Clarify the outcome or end result you want.
In this case, the more specific and vibrant your desire, the better. Can you visualize this outcome? Describe it in full detail, including any colors, sounds, textures, or feelings. Consider your goals carefully. Does this goal take precedence over other priorities in your life? How much would it be worth to you to achieve it? Do you have the time, energy and resources to invest in this goal at this point in your life? It is best to focus on one big goal at a time rather than spread yourself and your time and money resources too thin. Some big goals our clients work on are to become financially free, start a business, write a book, get healthy, move into their dream home, find their ideal career, or get promoted to a senior executive level.
2. Is this goal aligned with one of your top 10 core values?
If you’ve ever reached a goal and it felt hollow, this may be an indication the goal wasn’t aligned with one of your core values. It may have been merely a shiny object that caught your attention. Or maybe it was a goal you thought you wanted to achieve, but it just did not change your life. This never occurs with value-based goals because even if you don’t achieve the ultimate result you desire, you’ll find that the journey itself was enjoyable and fulfilling. That may be the best result of all!
3. Think through your strategy.
Once you’ve clarified your big goal and made sure it is aligned to your core values, the next step is to work out a strategy to achieve it. What actions will lead you to the result you desire? What is your plan? You can dramatically speed up the time it takes to achieve a specific result by looking at how other people successfully achieved a similar goal. What was their strategy? What did they create that led to success that you can mimic? Can you learn from any of their mistakes?
You may discover that there are a number of different successful strategies. So, select the one that best suits you and your temperament. For example, when I decided to shed some excess weight, I knew that I needed a strategy that didn’t require calorie counting and that never left me feeling hungry. Without those two criteria, I knew that I’d not achieve my goal in the long run. Let’s say that you want to achieve financial freedom as a long-term big goal and know that extreme frugality won’t work as a strategy for you given your propensity to shop. Instead, you’ll need to consider other strategies like real estate investments or business development. My philosophy in coaching is that it is easier to go with the flow rather than against it. Work with your natural tendencies and find strategies that align with those tendencies. It will make that big goal much more achievable.
4. Set up a rock-solid structure for support.
In moments of inspiration you may feel that there is nothing that can stop you from achieving your desires. It is in these moments that you would be wise to fortify your structure for support. Take the time up front to set up systems that will support you in reaching your big goals. The longer the goal takes to achieve, the more likely you’ll need multiple and robust support systems. The more systems of support in place, the easier it will be to reach your goals. This is especially true in the beginning as you learn new habits and create new routines that will lead to your ultimate success.
Systems for support take all sorts of shapes and sizes. You might have a friend work on the goal with you. Or maybe you join a course or take a class. You could always hire a one-on-one coach. Set aside the first hour of the day for your most important goal or project. Create automated systems that will ensure you reach your objective, such as automatic investing into your low-cost, indexed fund that will create financial freedom over time. Set up automated reminders to ensure you do your exercise routine or hire experts to come and work with you on the goal or project.
One of my clients was too busy to exercise. So, she had her personal trainer come to the office and do a workout with her in the conference room during her lunch break three times a week. Another client realized she didn’t have time to cook healthy meals. So, she hired a local woman to cook and drop off frozen organic, healthy meals for her. She thought the luxury of having a personal chef would cost a lot of money. So, she was surprised to discover she spent less on food because she saved so much on eating out and buying groceries that would rot in her fridge. Don’t automatically assume you can’t afford a support system. While you may not be able to afford a personal trainer or life coach every week for the entire year, you will find that it is the first few months that are most critical to creating momentum and instilling the key habits.
5. Create daily habits that will lead to the result you desire.
At first, a new behavior may feel awkward, difficult, or even uncomfortable. However, over time, the habit becomes ingrained and part of our unconscious behavior. By replacing bad habits with good habits, you’ll be automating your success in life. Are your spending, eating and exercising habits in alignment with your goals? It is important to review all your daily actions to see if you are unconsciously sabotaging your results. This is why it is so critical to have an extra, external support system in place in the beginning while you are embedding new behavioral patterns. When willpower and motivation run out, you’ll be relying on the strength of your support system to carry you to the success you desire.
Most people fail to reach their New Year’s Resolutions after a few weeks for two reasons.
1) They didn’t set the right goals in the first place.
2) They didn’t have a sufficiently robust system of support.
Thankfully, these are relatively simple things to fix! [See this post on New Year’s Evolutions and try evolving instead of resolving.]
To make it easy for you to get off to a great start and create positive momentum in the new year, I’d like to invite you to join my New Year’s Evolutions course. It’s based on the principle that small actions compound over time to create big outcomes. Enjoy!