Podcasts are a great medium for me – I love listening while multi-tasking. Recently, an episode of “Chasing Excellence” with Ben Bergeron really hit home, and did a great job breaking down the way I set and think about goals, and the way I talk about goals with my clients. This is beyond setting SMART goals.
For Coaching by G, goal-setting is embodied in the WHOOPIE approach.
Let’s break that down:
Wishing & Hoping, Outcome, Obstacles, Plan, I’m the kind of person who…, and Execute
Wishing and Hoping
Wishing & Hoping is the first part of goal-setting. Listen to yourself – what do you say you want, and what do you say is important to you? What is your grand vision for yourself??
Let’s pick running your first marathon.
Outcomes are where you start to gain clarity around what actions you’ll need to take to achieve running your first marathon. You know that you have to do a certain amount of work consistently to get there — but the idea of that work is not “sexy.” So we focus on the goal!
The human brain is actually designed to give you positive feedback when you even think about achieving a goal. This is why a lot of people stop there.
To see the outcome, the goal now has to be specific, attainable, measurable, and relevant in time.
So how do we go deeper in thinking about your goal? Attaching emotion to desired outcomes allows you to feel a certain way. Focus on the outcome about how will you feel when you achieve this goal. Envision yourself succeeding; how good does it feel? You want to reach for that feeling of accomplishment and pride.
If you can’t feel the emotion?… it is probably not a goal…
But, it may be deceptively simple to think about your outcome and your plan. You need to take Obstacles into account. Your days won’t always go as planned. You may need to work late, maybe it’s snowing, maybe you have young kids who keep you up at night. You need to plan for these potential problems, so when a problem arises, you have already thought about what you will do in that situation.
You may not be able to foresee every possible obstacle, but planning for some will help you be more flexible when they arise.
Now your Plan becomes more clear. You know what you want, why you want it, and what may get in your way. The plan is a result of all the work you’ve already put in, thinking about your goals – it’s your blueprint.
The book “Rethinking Positive Thinking” stops there. WHOOP. And that’s a pretty good start.
But “Chasing Excellence” added two more letters.
“I’m the Kind of Person Who…”
I’m the kind of person who… is a core part of the process. You have your goals set, and your outcomes in mind. But reminding yourself, throughout the process, that you are the type of person who runs in the snow, or gets up early to fit in a training, will help you stay on target and on track.
I am the type of person who keeps pushing, and that makes me proud. I can thrive, not just survive. Identify the obstacles, and identify yourself as a person who has a plan to overcome these obstacles. You stick to the plan even when things get hard. Make it who you are.
Lastly. Execute. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t execute your plan. You may need to break a larger goal down into smaller, more achievable tasks. And that’s fine. But you have to execute.
After all, you are the sum of your actions.
It is hard work to set goals and live in a place of constant vulnerability, reaching, growing, succeeding. But this approach to life empowers you to live your best life, constantly growing and evolving.
This is what I strive to do, for myself, and for my clients. Helping people achieve their goals while being mindful of the process is the most meaningful part of my job.