Goal Setting Can Be a Real Drag!


Messages We Can Give Ourselves Along the Way

It is funny. I always hated the word GOALS and now I am in the GOALS business. Why did I hate it? Because in my mind it implied failure. Of course, if I set a goal I probably wouldn't achieve it (I learned this over time) so why bother in the first place? It somehow seemed as if it had shame and disappointment attached to it. I have learned that setting goals is of course about the result but even more powerfully, about the process and journey and being in action. I realize today that what I need to do is reframe my thinking about the subject, and I  have found some messages I give myself that speak to me in a kinder, gentler voice. This helps me to keep moving in the right direction.

  • Progress is perfect! Making incremental progress is as good as it gets. No way you are going to be perfect - ever. A client of mine once said that for him progress is perfection. I love that one.
  • Ask yourself the following question. "Is this good enough for now?" Know that you can always come back to it once you get feedback and the experience of working with it "as is." Ask yourself: "What is the worst that could happen if I do it as it is right now?" Think through the possible answers to that question, and you will be surprised that embedded in the answers are many solutions you may never have even thought of. You will be amazed at the relief you will feel as you go through this seemingly scary process.
  • Keep reminding yourself how good it feels to be in action rather than in inaction. When the negative voices start, stop and refer to a success you just had, and think through the steps you took to accomplish it in spite of how you may have felt. The goal is that if you have been working to change and develop these new habits you will be accumulating them all along the way. Review what you did to get there the last time and what the result was (i.e. steps you took). This is a very concrete process.
  • Stop beating yourself up! If you must, please put away the hammer and take out a feather.
  • Be kind and gentle. Give yourself time to be in the process of change. Time takes time. You will most probably take one step forward and then three back for a while. Accept this as a natural and integral part of the PROCESS of sustainable change and reaching goals. Remember to give yourself credit for the positive things you have done on an ongoing basis.
  • You do not need to attain perfection. You need only to discover which way is forward and begin moving in that direction.

Be kind to yourself today. The alternative stinks!

Coach Nancy