I wish someone told me about… goal setting

With the impacts of the pandemic affecting businesses for a third year, it can be easy to lose sight of your direction and feel all a bit deflated about the situation.

 So how do you keep calm and carry on?

 Alana Swain and Robyn Brown from Your Success Team, a collective of business experts, say goal setting is a useful tool, to set a destination of what you want to achieve and create a road map for how to get there.

 In this month’s ‘I wish someone told me that…’, Alana unpacks goal setting and how to do it to set you up for success, not stress.

Is one thing at a time enough for goal setting?

The new year often brings with it a sense of hope. 365 shiny new days lined out ahead of us, full of the lost potential the prior year choked on – let alone two prior years that threw us a global pandemic, as well as all the normal rainstorms and rainbows of life.

With that hope, we often cram in big goals and dreams. But what if we started small instead?

If you’ve grown up in the western world and consumed any sort of mainstream media in your travels, then you’ll have heard the message many times over and likely have a belief that a magic reset is what you need. That ‘this year’ or ‘this time’ it will be different.

That kind of thinking can be awesome and inspirational and works well for some of us. But unless you’re hitting transformation in a vacuum, the reality of life can swamp those intentions, which may result in you feeling like a failure if you don’t hit all the goals you had set.

What if you started with (and were able to remember) a couple of important things?

You are not fundamentally broken or a problem needing to be fixed and this year (like most years) there will be challenges, as well as joy, ahead.

…is some self-kindness the magic wand you need instead?

Incremental change, small things adding up, a bit like compounding interest, can be a kinder place to set goals from. 

  • What if you were to set one goal?
  • What if you were to set a series of tiny, stackable goals, that added up over time, to become a masterpiece?
  • What if you acknowledged the amount of your life which is outside of your control and, instead, you turned the lens inwards, to focus on the one thing you can control instead: You! (and, more to the point: how you choose to respond to what happens to you).

There’s a school of thought (based in Lean methodology) which focusses on ‘minimum viable product’. A way of getting a product or service to the market in the rawest form possible, to test, get feedback, validate, to get results and revenue, from the place of least effort.

The same thinking is applicable to goals and progress. 

A kinder, more realistic way to think about achieving change is to think about the micro behaviours that could help create those end results over time.  

Alana and Robyn from Your Success Team
Photo: Arna Kate Photography

By thinking micro, you might find the overwhelm fades, that it’s easier to stick with things when the life rollercoaster dips and you may well end up in the same place, but at a pace that was more enjoyable and do-able!  

James Clear in his book Atomic Habits (a great read if you haven’t had the joy yet) writes:

“… every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That’s the paradox of making small improvements.”

If you were to think about your goals in the same way, say, 10kg weight loss, running a marathon, or cracking an income or revenue figure…

  • The 10kg weight loss might become a daily practice of parking the car a bit further away to walk that wee bit further.
  • The marathon might turn into a weekly Sunday jog with the dog
  • The income threshold might become a once-a-week new sales challenge you set yourself.

Do those sound a bit easier? More realistic? More stick-with-able?

There are SO many ways to live a wonderful life. Goals are incredible. As humans, we will always search for purpose and meaning – and goals are a great tool for these, as well as a wonderful hit of dopamine when we reach them.

However, if we take the time to acknowledge the impact of the last two years on us, our teams, families, communities, and those we love most, a new approach might be just the thing we all need this year.

Your Success Team was formed by Robyn Brown and Alana Swain, corporate escapees and entrepreneurs, who have created a business coaching model that places multiple brains on your business, giving a giant hell no to ‘my way or the highway’ advice and dated formulas. 

 Because, at the end of the day, business owners want to make money from their talents, while living life on their (very unique) terms, which is why when you bring your talents, experience and grit to the table, and we bring ours, you’ll be amazed at what we’ll create together. 

 With truthfulness, doggedness and not a small dose of common sense, we take a hard look at your goals, finances, customers and growth, walking alongside you, supporting you to run a business where you’re no longer holding all the cards to your chest and trying to do this alone. 

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