Achieving ‘once in a life time experiences’ with every day goals

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YAY! It’s time to talk about goals! I know that it probably sounds like hard work but I promise that by the time we’ve finished you will be writing up goals for everything! Every day goals!

Firstly, lets be up front and say that there are many ways of achieving your dreams.

Some of us are just so determined and focused that once we have decided that ‘this’ is what we are going to do, we just do it. Most of us however need a bit of help. It’s not that we don’t want our dreams to be a reality, we just get distracted by jobs and family and the latest episode of Vampire Diaries. So we need a plan, a bit of support and some very clear goals.

Over the past few weeks we have worked through a few key steps leading up to this moment:

  • We took some time to day dream! We established what our dream is and we fully connected to the emotion and passion it brings us.
  • We minimised the panic and self sabotage – before we overwhelmed ourselves and put our dream in the “too hard” basket, we considered undertaking the challenge for 30 days. Just a little 30 day trial…
  • We pledged to be an eagle, and shed our chicken status! We also looked for the amazing and extraordinary eagles around us; the ones who both challenge and support us, and thought how we would support and challenge them back. They need us eagles too!!
  • We mapped out our perfect life! We got a bit brave and thought about some of the things that we really wanted to achieve and experience this year and we….wrote it down!! eeeek!!!

Now we are up to cementing the process with establishing some very clear goals.

There are a few ways to write up a goal. We are all quite different, so some will resonate with you while others wont. Test them out. Give them a bit of a trial or mix them up. If one way doesn’t work for you don’t give up! Check out Google! There are many ways to support your dream.

Today we will look at two goal setting models:

1. SMART Goals

This is how most workplaces and coaching programs will develop goals.

While SMART goals are probably the most formal model, I find that they give you a great base for thinking about goals and achieving them. So lets start here.

S.M.A.R.T stands for:

S – SPECIFIC  What exactly will you accomplish or achieve?

M – MEASURABLE   How will you (and others) know when you have reached your goal?

A – ATTAINABLE  Is attaining your goal realistic with effort and commitment? Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? If not, how will you get them?

R- RELEVANT   Why is this goal important to you. Be very clear about why achieving this goal matters.

T-TIME BOUND   Exactly when will you achieve this goal by?

So just say that one of your dreams is to visit a relative for a special occasion. Or this year you want to extend your business online. Perhaps you need a bit of help with making this happen. Here’s some examples of how you would write this up as some basic SMART Goals:

  • By 30th June, 2014, I will create a Facebook store to sell horse feed and products on line.  I will employ a contractor to develop the site and payment interface.
  • On November 7th 2014, I will travel to UK to visit my grandmother for her 80th birthday. I will do this by saving $100 every week from my salary.

LIVING Goals

The LIVING Goal model is a way of strengthening your basic SMART Goal and also connecting it to your emotional commitment. This is where goal setting becomes heaps of fun, because you are writing down your dreams and visions!

We write up this goal as if it has already happened, or happening right now! As if you have travelled forward in time. So while your goal still has all of the elements of a SMART goal, it also has all of the elements of your dream.

Close your eyes for a moment. Perhaps your goal is to lose 15 kilos. Close your eyes and think about that moment that you step onto the scales and you have achieved you goal. How does it make you feel? What are you saying to yourself? Who’s there with you celebrating with you? In your mind look at your reflection in the mirror. Are you wearing a special outfit? How will you celebrate? Are you losing the weight to feel healthier or for a special occasion? Perhaps you imagine walking into your Zumba class feeling great in your skin? Or perhaps its to attend a wedding or to be able t get back into those awesome pre-baby jeans! Whatever the vision, take a moment to imagine how it feels to have accomplished what you set out to do.

Now you are going to write down your goal in a way that connects with the emotion that your vision. This is also a great way to differentiate between what is really meaningful to you. So for example if you have written down a goal of saving up $5,000 with a clear purpose, such as travel or enrolling in a course, or purchasing a new bed, then you are emotionally invested, and will work hard to make it happen. However if you have set a goal to save $5,000…for the sake of saving $5,000, you may be finding it difficult to get excited here. Sure you may envision looking at your bank statement and seeing $5,000, but if it’s not attached to something that you are emotionally committed to, then you will find that this goal will start to drop down on your priorities list.

Once in a life time experiences have a funny way of turning into multiple life time experiences once you get the hang of this.

My husband, Cristian, had dreamt of traveling to Japan since he was a little boy watching anime on the families black and white television. He grew up on a housing commission estate and as you may imagine, money and resources for his family were hard to come by. While his parents did the very best they could to give their children a good life, this definitely didn’t include overseas holidays, or family holidays at all. By the time Cristian and I started going out, he had resolved in his head that he would never actually visit Japan, and would have to make do with the visions of Japan he saw in games and movies.

I’m sure you can imagine what happened next…

We wrote down his goal as a living goal. It read:

‘It is the 24th March,  2010 and I am about to board the plane to travel to Tokyo for a three week holiday. As I step onto the plane, I am feeling really excited and so proud of myself that I have accomplished this dream.’

(Then we put his goal up on our wardrobe door with a photo of Tokyo in Cherry Blossom season…but we will talk more about ‘actions’ next time!)

We did indeed travel to Tokyo on 24th March, 2010, for three weeks in Cherry Blossom season, and travelled around Japan. As we left Australia to fly out to Tokyo Japan on the 24th March 2010, we took a fantastic photo of Cristian about to board the Jetstar flight from the Gold Coast. His massive smile says it all! This was exactly what he had imagined doing eight months prior when he wrote down his LIVING goal. Since then, we have travelled to Japan three more times, and that initial trip has forever changed the direction of our lives!

So this is it! Your our homework, or ‘dreamwork’ as I like to call it, is to choose one achievement or experience from your Perfect Life map, that you want more than anything to happen this year. Write it up as a  LIVING GOAL. If you feel a bit inspired, write up at least one LIVING GOAL from each area of you Perfect Life map.

Remember to give yourself some space to focus on yourself. Make yourself a cup of tea, put on your favourite CD, light a candle, sit in your favourite char in your house, or go for a walk to the park or your favourite cafe. Make sure you create the space in your life to think.

Most of all have some fun, and don’t be afraid to dream lovelies!

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