The Goal Post

Why You Should Set Goals, How to Set Goals, and Why You CAN (and Should) Move the Goalposts

Why Set Goals?

Goals quite simply help you to move forward, they give you something to strive for. Imagine a football game with no goals! The players would simply be running around with no direction and no focus. Having a goal will also help with your motivation especially at those times when things are harder than usual.

In order to have the life you want, the life you dream of, whatever shape that takes for you personally, you have to work towards it. You can’t work towards something if you don’t know what it is. So, name it.

Setting goals is also a really good way of becoming aware of your own limiting beliefs and challenging them. For example, if hear a little voice in your head that says, but that’s too hard, that’s too much, that’s too unrealistic. Give yourself permission to tell that little voice to shut up because that is an example of a self limiting belief.

Think BIG. The bigger the better. Yeah I want to meditate, but you know why? Because I want to reach nirvana that why! That’s my goal.

When you set your goal and don’t just believe but KNOW you are going to achieve it. When you have complete faith in yourself AND in the ultimate power of the universe (whatever name you give that) to drive you along your path to that destination, to that goal. That’s when the magic happens and things will flow, coincidences happen, people show up for you to enable you to reach that goal.

Holistic Goals

Sometimes people limit their goal setting to just some areas of their lives but setting goals in every aspect of life can be enormously rewarding. Maybe you have a business plan with clear business goals, or you work with a personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals. Maybe you have a bucket list of personal goals. I see plenty of memes and social media posts with the hashtag #relationshipgoals but how many of us who are in relationships actually set those? How much more fulfilling could your relationship be if you did?

How about spiritual goals? Many people struggle with feeling disconnected and nourishing your spiritual side in whatever way is right for you can bring massive benefits to all other areas of your life. By setting spiritual goals you allow yourself, you give yourself permission, to work towards finding meaning and purpose in your life.

How to Set Goals

A common, but in my opinion not always useful, way for people to set goals is to use SMART objectives. These are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant (or some people say Realistic)
  • Timely

Or if this particular acronym doesn’t work for you (it is not my favourite) you could try setting PACT goals:

  • Purposeful
  • Actionable
  • Consistent
  • Trackable

However, you are completely free to make up your own goal-setting acronym or choose not to use one at all. I like SHUI (made it up myself obviously):

  • Specific – the more specific you are will your goal setting the more you can visualise it. Say your goal is to buy a Lamborghini, picture yourself holding the keys, feel the seat underneath you, the wheel in your hands. See your reflection in the rear view mirror. It’s already yours. If it’s to write a best selling novel, picture it piled high in your local bookshop, see people reading it as they lay on the beach or get the train to work, heft the weight of it in your hands. Use every one of your senses to imbed it into your life. Don’t just visualise it sense it with every aspect of your being.
  • Holistic – enrich your whole life with the power of goal setting and manifestation. We need balance in our lives. Yes have business goals, have an ideal number of customers you are going to help, an income that would allow you to do all that you want to do. But don’t forget the rest of our human needs. What stuff would be fun to do? What would bring simple joy into your life? Swim with wild dolphins, bake the perfect loaf, overcome a fear of public speaking to deliver the best wedding speech that the world has ever seen for your daughter or sons wedding? Maybe you want to run a marathon or become a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do. Consider all the aspects of your self when you are thinking up your goals.
  • Professional Goals
  • Intellectual Goals
  • Physical Goals
  • Personal Goals
  • Spiritual Goals
  • Relationship Goals
  • Unlimited – write a list of goals with NO limitations. None. Set your goals like nothing is impossible. Don’t allow yourself to think you are being greedy for wanting what you want. Or thinking that there’s no point in having something as a goal because it will never happen. Banish those thoughts. Think of this life as a film, play or book. Or even a simulation, a computer game. You get to decide what happens. You are the author of your own life. Write it however you want.
  • Incremental – once you have these BIG, BIG GOALS. Now you can break them down into smaller steps that you can start TODAY. I’ll go back to my aim to reach nirvana – yep so that might be a way off yet but if I meditate every day this week, I’m on the road. I’ll start to banish those little negative voices one meditative state at a time. So what if I miss a day. I won’t miss two. So what if I only manage ten minutes today because the dog throws up. I’ll do an extra half hour tomorrow. Want to run a marathon? You wouldn’t begin your training by trying to run 26 miles. You start by running a mile, then 3. Maybe you sign up for a 5 mile race. You keep training. You sign up for a half marathon, you’re getting there now. You keep training. You keep on ticking off those achievements on the way to your goal and before you know it there you are crossing the finish line with legs like lead and your friends and family cheering you on.

Tips for Setting Your Goals

  • Write them down – all of them. But for the big juicy ones that you want to work on right now, or that might lead to the bigger goals and achievements, put them on a sticky note and put them in a prominent place, on e you see all the time: your screen saver, the centre console of your car, your bathroom mirror.
  • Talk about them – this helps to create accountability and the people you discuss them with might be able to help you in unexpected ways.
  • Meditate on them. For the non-meditators out there, sit quietly and ponder your goals, think deeply on them. Your intuition, or maybe even a greater power might throw inspiration your way on how your goal can be achieved.
  • Set dates. Know that nothing terrible will happen if you don’t get it bang on but having a limit to your time means that you are more likely to do it. In my post on hobbies I talk about Parkinson’s Law. This is the theory that the time it takes to a task or activity expands or decreases according to how much time you have to do it. You know like if you really want to watch the game but you know you have to finish a piece of work first – wow – can you work fast!

Why You Can and Should Move the Goalposts

Lives change. Feelings change. Priorities change. And so should your goals. Change them as necessary, review the big list and the smaller lists at intervals. Maybe have an annual goal review, lots of people do this around the new year, but pick a date that feels right for you as the holiday season can be pretty full-on and leave us not always in the best frame of mind for goal setting. Maybe you need to scale back, maybe a date needs to change. I still have a list of goals I wrote when I was 16. Some I’ve achieved. Some it took me 20 years to achieve. Some I’m still working on (hablo un poco de espaƱol, pero no muy bien). Some are just not relevant anymore I mean yes sure I want to travel the world but not with the boyfriend I had back then – I think his wife and my partner might take issue with that!

Get in Touch

I love hearing your stories and I’d love to hear how you’ve set your goals, worked towards them or what magic happened along the way once you got your destination in view. I also love to help others step into their power and grab the life they want with both hands. So, come and say ‘Hi’ on my LinkedIn or on Instagram or on my contact me page.

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