Making goal setting part of your life

If you think back to some of the biggest accomplishments in your life you may notice a pattern, a series of events, all pointing you in the direction of the very best of end results. For a good example of this I am choosing my story about learning to drive.

Here’s my ‘learning to drive’ story in very few words…

· Lessons

· Practice with parents

· More lessons

· Test

· More lessons

· More practice with parents

· More lessons

· Test

· Repeat to pass! (I think I passed 3rd or 4th time)

But you see where I’m coming from?

There was an end result and a plan to get me there.

The pattern you might see already is the ability to have the goal and keep going, using a series of smaller goals to reach the end.

Another big accomplishment for me was getting my Green Lid as a Royal Marine Commando. The end result was the passing out ceremony, down at CTC in Lympstone.

Now what needed to come before this achievement was probably harder than the tests. I was a teacher at the time. I was recently married and my wife was expecting our first born child.

I had the outcome in mind (Green Lid) and I needed to reverse engineer the whole process back to where I was right at the start of that journey – putting in place everything that would lead up to the official passing out event.

To me this often looked almost impossible. I had to factor in significant amounts of training in every week, month and year before the tests. This was time spent away from home, work and my wife. It was a huge struggle but my overwhelming focus on achieving the accolade of my Green Lid was my driver. The greater the struggle the greater the success.

I was able to take this one big thing (getting my Green Lid) and break it down into smaller, easier to manage actions that moved the needle towards the big goal on a daily basis. That was key. Making every step something that’s realistic, even when the bigger picture is less of a sure thing.

It worked. I got the lid!

This goal setting approach is something I now apply in all areas of my life and also the first place I start with every new coaching client. Start with the headlines and then work backwards, setting a series of bite-sized forward-moving steps to reach the end goal.

What does success look like for you?

What is the big goal?

You might not think you have one, but take some time to think about what you want from life and reverse engineer the process to a daily action list.

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