Welcome back to another Motivational Monday! Last week we tapped into our experiences to discover our unique values. Today we are going to utilize those values to establish goals that we will feel deeply connected to.
Have you started your collection of inspirational quotes? Take those out now and look over the phrasing and vocabulary they all use. What words evoke the strongest emotions? Can you rephrase your values so that they resonate with you even in your lowest moments?
By this process, you might be able to combine a few values. You should still have at least 5 by the end of it, but no more than 10.
Don’t forget, just like life is ever-changing, so are you. It’s essential to keep an open mind to revisit your values regularly.
Now that we have eloquent values written out to inspire us daily let’s create equally motivating goals.
Last Wednesday, I asked you to look at each value so that you could determine what beliefs would you need to hold in order to personify your values. Today you will need to look at what goals you can set that will bring you to a value-driven life.
For example, I value exercise and nutrition that is challenging but fun! I could wait all my life looking for someone else to give me their own diet and fitness plan. Or I could believe that I am creative and resourceful enough to find my own way.
Fixing our beliefs is half the battle. The other half is taking massive imperfect action!
Massive imperfect actions are the first wobbling steps or babbling of a child. They start as soon as they’re able, making one mistake after another until they master those first few skills.
For whatever reason, we grow up and suddenly start believing we can’t do anything unless we’re confident we can do it perfectly the first time. This perfectionism is killing our progress.
Does the toddler stop toddling after the first few failed attempts? Of course not! They learn from their mistakes, strengthen those muscles, and try again until they’re walking with the best of us.
So let’s go into this goal-setting session ready to take massive imperfect action!
So what will your first baby step be?
Get your journal out and let’s take another look at your values. We’ll take it one value at a time until we’ve fleshed out a plan for each. I’ll use my value for challenging but fun exercise and nutrition.
Can we break this value down into one or two SMART+ goals? If you’ve never heard of this acronym, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The + means to keep it positive! What we give our focus on will grow, so let’s grow a garden of vibrant flowers instead of a bunch of weeds.
Following these guidelines ensures that our goals will inspire us to take action on them. So let’s dig into each criterion we need to be meeting.
What exactly do you see when you think of your value? Maybe it’s more about a feeling, so ask yourself how you will get to that feeling.
We will be applying this criterion again and again as we explore the next 5. Don’t take it lightly!
Your goal should have an action to practice.
How many times will you be taking this action? How long will you be practicing it each time? Is there a quality you’re aiming to reach? How will you measure your progress?
I bet you can guess my recommendation for tracking even the most abstract practice! That’s right, journaling!
To be honest, it helps me far more to have a visual representation of my progress.
But sometimes the data to track isn’t apparent. Other times, the obvious data isn’t what’s most important. Giving your brain a place to spill out its experience is one of the greatest ways to discover what’s important.
I think the majority of us miss this step when we set goals without the SMART+ criteria. That’s why I’ve got the most to say about it.
We’re all so eager to get where we’re going that we forget where we are. As much as we’d like only to work 4 hours a week, we cant jump straight there from our full-time jobs. We need to break it down into bite-sized steps.
Since I’m a visual person, I like to draw myself a map from where I’m at, to where I aim to be.
To define where we are now, we will utilize the Self Coaching Model. This model defines our circumstances as neutral facts that trigger our thoughts. Thoughts are the stories we tell about our situation, they will cause our feelings. Feelings are the emotions that bring us closer or pushes us away from our circumstances, they will affect our actions. Actions are the steps we take to mitigate our feelings, these will create our results. Results are the honest consequences of our behaviors.
Writing a quick line or two about our current circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, and results will give us a 360 view of where we are now. The deeper the understanding, the more direct we will be able to address our problems
Now we need to flesh out where we are headed. Take a minute to close your eyes and just visualize what life will look like once you’ve reached your goal. What kind of thoughts will you be having? What feelings does it stir up? What kind of actions will you be taking? And what are the results that this will all bring you?
We officially have our start and end points fleshed out! So how will we get from point A to point B?
Mark off 12 spots along the path on your map. We want to make each step so small they become foolproof. However, you might want to use a pencil and eraser for this as we get the order just right.
There is no wrong way to go about filling in these baby steps. You could start with where you are now, and right out each change, you would need to make in order. You could think of the halfway point between A and B, then the halfway point between A and A.5, and so on until all 12 steps have been filled.
You may also choose to use the Self Coaching Model for goals that are a little more abstract. You may not always be able to change your circumstances, but you always have some sway over your own thoughts and actions.
Since we know our thoughts ultimately influence our actions, we should put our focus there. If you joined me in last Wednesday’s exercise, then you will already have a few beliefs under your belt. We can repeat the process here as well to refine a few beliefs to focus on as we work towards our goal.
To take action on your beliefs, you can try using them as a daily affirmation to proclaim each morning! You may also choose to meditate on them or write them out each day. If you have the time and the talent, you could try drawing a representation of each belief.
Treat this all as one big experiment! As the Health Coach Institute states in their dietary paradigms, “Your body is the most powerful, least expensive, and BEST dietary experimentation lab in existence. Why? Because the body has an innate wisdom beyond any book or authority. No matter which phase of life you are in, your body is the ultimate dietary authority.” This easily applies to any journey you take in life. It’s wise never to travel alone, but it is your body that will tell you what works best and what doesn’t.
If you have been following along in your journal since last weeks exercise, then this criteria should not be an issue. Having a relevant goal simply means that it will get you somewhere you actually want to do. Without this connection to your goal, then you will quickly lose interest.
In the section for attainability, I had you break your goal down into 12 steps so that you can easily set monthly deadlines for each step. If you find your steps are so teeny tiny that you can complete them quicker, then weekly deadlines might work best, allowing you to reach your goal in a mere quarter.
Remember, this is a process for life long habit change. This isn’t just a get rich quick scheme to make you an overnight success. True success doesn’t happen overnight. Chances are anyone touting overnight success will likely have a relapse or two (if they’re able to bounce back the first time) as they attempt to stabilize.
As you get into it, you may find one step takes less or more time than others. Don’t worry about it! Take your time and enjoy the journey.
These last criteria should help my the road to success much more positive!
Whatever it is you dislike about life now, keep it out of your goals! You may wish you’d stop overeating but if we wake up every day telling ourselves, “Don’t overeat! Don’t overeat!” guess what we’ll spend the day thinking about. Overeating!
We have to replace the behaviors we’re looking to get rid of. Otherwise, we put ourselves into this deprivation mindset that quickly drains our self-control.
Put yourself in the abundance mindset so that you can build your toolkit to fill the void left by that bad habit.
Rinse and repeat
Congratulations on completing your first goal. You may choose to define a goal for each value or take it one at a time. After all, this is a process for life long change. No need to rush, you have the rest of your life to get it right. As you complete more and more goals, be sure to reevaluate your new normal. There is always room for improvement.
If you need help at any point along your journey, don’t forget I’ve got your back! You can drop me a comment right here or send me a private message on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelocuslotus/