I’ve been talking this week, on my Facebook lives in my Leading Women in Business group, about goal setting.
Earlier in the week we discussed how many goals go unachieved and why. The answer is often that they are not the right goals. They are ‘shoulds’. This especially applies to New Years Resolutions – which is often the time people think they ‘should’ lose weight / give up alcohol / stop smoking / start going to the gym, to combat the excesses of Christmas. But ‘shoulds’ never work as goals.
We have been chatting about whether you ‘should’ even have goals or not. And the answer is definitely NOT….if….they are someone else’s goals.
Some of the clients I work with have worked all their lives towards someone else’s goal. That could be a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a friend. A friend of mine had worked all her life towards the goal of being a high powered barrister. She made it. She had the lifestyle, the designer clothes, the sports car, the penthouse in Manchester City centre. And she was desperately unhappy. Because it was someone else’s goal. In this case, her Father.
Now I know all about doing things to make your parents proud. Or fulfilling their unfulfilled dreams. My Dad always wanted to run his own business and also to publish his book. I have 4 books out and have had at least as many businesses! Luckily – those goals that he had, were also in line with my values and vision for my own life. Added bonus that it ticked a box for Dad too.
Goals are great – you do need a direction. But I think life changes so fast nowadays that – for me at least – a specific goal is too narrow. And too external, if that makes sense.
So – it’s great to have a goal to be a millionaire. But many people WANT to be millionaires. They never get there. And that might be because they are not prepared to DO the things that would get them to millionaire. Someone famous once said, you have to be prepared to do what others are not, if you want to have what they don’t.
And that’s true to a degree. But it doesn’t go far enough.
No, the reason they don’t do the things that would get them to millionaire, is that the goal of being a millionaire is probably not in line with their values. And also – to manifest what you want in your life you have to be able to FEEL it first. I don’t know why that is the defining factor – but it seems to be the case.
Athletes mentally rehearse winning their races. They don’t just rehearse the steps, the course, the pace. They don’t just THINK it. They SEE it, HEAR it, SMELL it, FEEL it.
When I met my husband I knew I was going to marry him. Looking at it logically or THINKING about it – it didn’t make sense, and it wouldn’t have happened. He was 19, I was 25. He was French and probably not planning on staying in the UK. He didn’t speak much English and I didn’t speak that much French. He was a barman. I was a manager at Yellow Pages. He lived in Preston and didn’t drive – 50 miles away from where I lived. There wasn’t much going for it. But I just knew – I FELT it.
When my Dad asked me what I was going be when I grew up – I said I was going to run my own business by the time I was 40. I knew it. I felt it. I didn’t know how or what, but I knew it was to be.
These are the big things in life of course, but the principal applies to smaller goals. You have to feel it. If you don’t feel it then it is never going to happen.
Sometimes what helps is a bit of support – someone to tell you that you CAN do it – when the little voice hits – as it will. You know the one. The voice that says – ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’d like to BUT…’, or ‘it would be nice BUT’. If you find yourself putting BUT in a sentence, then you need to sense check the goal.
You see, everything before BUT is bullshit (when what comes after BUT is an excuse). So either the goal is wrong – you are not feeling it. OR your little voice is too loud. In either case it is helpful to have a group of like minded people to bounce things off who can ask the right questions to find out whether this is a real goal and you need some support or whether it is the wrong goal.
That’s what we do in our Leading Women Mastermind group – feel free to come along to the next one and find out more about it. If you can’t make it – come join our Leading Women in Business Page on Facebook (men also welcome).