It’s January, so everyone’s all excited about goal setting and habit change. Well people, here is my truth about setting SMART goals.
In fact, I achieve a lot in my business and in life without SMART goals. I know, right. I’m a coach – I should be the number one goal setter in all the lands. But I find traditional methods make me feel crap by March because they don’t dig deep enough.
I recently listened to a talk by the author of: COACHING HABIT: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever An excellent read by the way.
He asked some questions that stopped me in my tracks and helped me focus on exactly what’s important in my life.
I’m certain you will find them valuable too:
- First – what’s on your mind? It could be in business, in your leadership, or in other parts of your life.
- What’s the REAL challenge here for you?
- And what else?
Keep asking yourself And What Else? (is on your mind) until you’ve got to the gnarly challenge you really want to address in 2023.
Now ask yourself these questions:
- What is the prize for doing something about this gnarly challenge? i.e what will dealing with it bring to your life or business?
- What are the prizes for maintaining the status quo? i.e how do you benefit from keeping things just the way they are?
We all know keeping the status quo is easier than making a change – if there wasn’t a pay off for keeping things the same, you’d have a perfect set of habits (and I’m guessing that isn’t the case).
So what is your prize or pay off?
It might relate to maintaining your safety and comfort, protecting your status and relationships, or protecting the expectations you have of yourself and others have of you.
Be super specific
For example, I want to finish the first draft of my novel but I’m struggling to commit to a writing habit. The prize if I keep putting it off: I get more time with my family in the evening, I can switch off from the screen for longer, but the REAL prize is that I can maintain the dream that I have a brilliant book inside me just waiting for the right moment to spring into life.
I’ve decided I want to write the book more than I want to keep the dream alive – and now I know this I can do something about it.
Do you have a deeper commitment to keeping things the way they are right now?
It’s OK if you do – but stop bullying yourself with more goals if it’s not the right time for you. And if you do want to bring about change, identifying the payoff makes it much harder to unconsciously fall back into the habits you’re trying to change.
So, what’s it gonna be?