Do you know your goals for the next year?

Posted: 11th May 2015

Life Coach Louise Presley-Turner offers us some advice, which can be applied to either our personal lives or our business lives, on the importance of setting goals and how we should go about it.

She explains the importance of goal setting and takes us through the process of formulating our goals – brainstorming and prioritising our ideas – before telling us how to go about achieving them.

When was the last time you set yourself a goal? Studies tell us that only 3% of people in the UK set goals and those that do are among the wealthiest in the country. So what about those that don’t set goals? Well, I call them plodders! In order to achieve the things you want in life, whether that’s to lose weight, increase your net worth, find a new job or have a baby, you need to set specific and measurable goals. Goals keep us moving forward, they keep us motivated, inspired and ultimately achieving our goals makes us happy! Goal setting is the fundamental bedrock of the coaching process and the very first thing I do with all my clients.

So, stop plodding and make this year a year of change, a year of making positive steps forward to living the life you want to live! Here are my 6 lessons to setting your goals for the year ahead.

Lesson 1 – Brainstorm

When do you ever give yourself time to think about where your life is going and what you want out of the next year… never? Let your imagination run wild and list all the things you’d like to do/achieve within the next year. Most of us have forgotten how to dream and take life far too seriously, so give yourself some free time and DREAM. Do you want to discover your life purpose, meet the man/woman of your dreams, set up your own company or have more confidence? What do you really want? It’s important to point out when goal setting that your goals must be what ‘you’ really want and not what you think you ‘should’ be doing according to your parents, children, friends, boss etc. It’s okay to be selfish! The happier you are, the happier those around you will be.

Lesson 2 – Set your goals

Now it’s important to be specific, saying something like, ‘I want to lose weight’ is no good, you need to state the exact amount you wish to lose i.e. ‘I want to lose 16 pounds by 1st May. Be specific. I’d suggest setting yourself 3 larger goals and 7 smaller goals (10 in total). When setting smaller goals think about things that you’ve been meaning to do for ages but for whatever reason haven’t got around to doing. Things like sorting out the spare room, organising the photo albums or to change those annoying bobbled bed sheets. Once you have set all 10 goals ask yourself:

Is this really my goal?

Am I committed to achieving this goal?

Can I see myself achieving this goal?

Will achieving this goal make me feel happier?

You must answer “yes” to all of the above questions, if you can’t then cross the goal off your list.

Lesson 3 – Write your goals down

Get a blank piece of paper and write your 3 main goals at the top, followed by your 7 smaller goals. Now this is important – put your list somewhere you will see it every day, maybe the fridge door, your bathroom mirror or your Filofax. You need to be reminded of your goals on a daily basis.

Lesson 4 – Make an action plan

Instead of looking at your goals as an almighty mountain you have to climb, break each of your bigger goals down into manageable chunks i.e. lose 6 pounds by January, lose 12 pounds by March etc. This way you won’t overwhelm or scare yourself. Better still hire a life coach to help you!

Lesson 5 – Set yourself weekly baby steps

It’s all very well creating a lovely list of goals and sticking it on your fridge door, but you need to take action, or your dreams will simply remain just that, DREAMS! You need to set yourself a list of little baby steps each week that help you to move closer to the goal. Keep doing this and before you know it you’ll be standing on top of your goals claiming your gold medal.

Lesson 6 – Visualise

All successful people will tell you, that they could see their success long before it happened. If you can see yourself in possession of your goal, you’re half way there.  Visualisation is imperative to help you achieve your dreams, plus its great fun! Make it a daily habit and imagine yourself living the life you want. When visualising, use colour, sound, smell, and make it as real as possible. Not only does visualising help to rewire the subconscious mind, it’s a real energising exercise that becomes very addictive. I promise, if you commit to visualising on a regular basis, it won’t be long before you start to see some amazing results.

Louise Presley-Turner