Posted by: GPK | 6.January.2010

Making goals R.E.A.L.


In my experience working with folks helping them plan their goals and making them REAL, I’ve found that there are really two basic categories of goals.  The first category is the goal that we want to make REAL, we know exactly what to do to make happen but we just can’t seem to get started.  Or we get started every once in a while but we can’t seem to follow through past the first few steps each time.  Sound familiar?  Goals in this category often include weight loss, saving money, buying big ticket items, travel, house make-overs, etc.  Stuff that obviously takes time and discipline to execute over a relatively long period of time.

The second category of goals contain goals that you simply have no idea how to make real.  You don’t know where to find the resources, you don’t know anyone who has, you just have no clue how to get from where you are now to the point where you’ve got it done.  These goals are the ones you don’t get done and don’t get that upset with yourself because you perceive them as simply impossible.

Today we’ll tackle the first category.   The goals we know we CAN do, we just don’t seem to get them done.  In my experience these goals don’t get done because we perceive them as simply too big to get our arms around.  Let’s take the ubiquitous weight loss goal as an example.  Instinctively we look at our belly, for instance, and say to ourselves, “I need to lose thirty pounds!”   While this may be so, our minds KNOW that we can’t just lose thirty pounds.  First we must lose ONE pound!

If you have a goal like this…write the big version of it right now!

Now, set a date out in the future that is realistic.  Weight loss, for instance, requires time to do safely.  They say more than 2 or 3 pounds per week is not safe.  So if you want to lose 30 pounds.  10 weeks is realistic.  Now, if you want to challenge yourself, take a week off of that total and say 9 weeks.  If you want to stick with 10 weeks that’s fine.  The point is DON’T say, I want to lose 30 pounds in two weeks.  That’s crazy, stupid and most importantly…unrealistic.  It just won’t happen.

Your brain will hear it, know it won’t work and will do NOTHING to help you make it happen.

Saying, however, “I will lose 3 pounds by next Friday!”  This makes sense.  Your brain hears this, and will actually support your efforts to make it happen by reinforcing your decisions to pass on dessert, or use a little less butter or walk instead of take the elevator or park out in the parking lot rather than take the Kojak spot in front by the door.  These are the tiny little decisions that you will make over the next 7 days that will actually GET YOU CLOSER TO YOUR GOAL!

So, write the “small” goal now.  Then list all of the little decisions you’ll have to make consistent with that goal over the next 7 days.  Eat 1 rather than two muffins each day.  Drink two rather than four cups of coffee today.  Walk up the stairs 10 flights instead of take the elevator every other day or twice a week instead of never.  These tiny little victories will lead you to your goal.

Tomorrow we tackle the type of goals that you just have no idea of HOW to break them down and make them happen.

Peace and gratitude,

GPK

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