I feel like we’re used to dreaming of these big, far away, hard to imagine goals. “What’s your 5 year plan? Your 10 year plan? What are you doing to get there?”
I don’t know about you, but 5-10 years from now I have no idea what I’ll want or who I will be. Visualizing goals for a decade from today is hugely overwhelming for me. I can’t think that far in advance, or imagine a goal that could take 5-10 years to achieve. What area of my life would I even single out for a 5-10 year goal?
The problem with massive goals is that it then can often lead to uncertainty of where to start. There could be 100 different ways to get to the end goal with various options for actions in each of those pathways. How do we even pick?
Coaches have a variety of tools to help look at areas of your life in the present that need attention. This helps narrow the focus for creating goals and action plans. Let’s say you want to be healthier, but you also want to focus your time on your relationships. Which of those is more important to you right now? Are there any conflicting values between the two? Would it be beneficial to make one the primary focus?
Once you narrow it down and decide on an area of improvement, your goal still may feel too big and overwhelming. Especially if you are hoping for improvement in an area of your life that you haven’t focused on before, it could be difficult knowing how to begin.
Write down the areas of your life that you feel could use improvement. For me, it would be my physical health. Other options could be social life, romantic relationships, mental health, etc. Narrowing it down to one goal at a time is incredibly helpful for setting yourself up for success.
Now within that area, there could be multiple options for achieving your goal. Take a minute to brainstorm 5-10 options for a starting point. For my physical health example, starting points would be:
- Eating less sweets
- Going for more walks throughout the day
- Lifting weights 4 days a week
- Cooking more meals at home
- Consuming smaller portions when I eat at restaurants
Now we have very clear starting points for our goal. Choosing 1-2 of these to start tackling this week is an excellent way to begin moving toward our goal. The next step would be looking at our current habits and what needs to change to make the actions in our bullets above attainable. If I want to eat less sweets, my path could be to stop buying sweets. Choose one option that you wrote down, and list possible pathways to making that happen. Make 1 or 2 of those an action for you this week!
Overall, choosing 1-2 of these smaller goals feels way more achievable then a 5-10 year goal! The key here is making our goals realistic. The goal ‘I want to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company in 10 years’ feels way more overwhelming when starting as an entry-level employee than ‘I want to complete all of my work tasks this week ahead of schedule so that I can move towards a promotion this year’.
We as coaches will help dive into how your goals align with your values to make sure you are pursuing goals that hold meaning for you. We also hold the space for you to brainstorm pathways to move towards your goals that actually fit into your lifestyle and who you are. We will help you break down your goals into smaller, more realistic pieces. I want you to feel confident as they create the life they want that is fully aligned with their being. I want to set you up for success when it comes to your goals. I want to provide a safe space for you to explore what matters to you and provide accountability as you move toward that.
Let me know how your actions go this week in the comments or through email!