Before I heard about life coaching, goals and planning seemed like a huge mystery to me. I was not a planner, not a person who would consistently look at my to-do list, calendar, phone, or sometimes even email. I could do it all for about a month and then fall off the wagon for another two. But the secret that kept eluding me at the time was that goals shouldn't be arbitrary. Goals, resolutions, and intentions need more than some wishful thinking, here is another post I wrote with extra tips and hints about forming a goal. I also learned that even the most powerful of personal goals need a little help along the way. They need some structure. Goals need an action plan.
You can download my FREE action plan worksheet at the end of this article!
First through, you, need a goal or two. These can be pretty large goals since you will have the rest of the year to work on them in baby steps. So dream a little large! By the end of the year what would you like to have done? What improvements to your life can you work on? Once you have an idea, make your goals, SMART and PPS.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.
PPP stands for Present, Positive, and Powerful.
Not all goals can be measured as easily as attaining a degree or even applying for college. Some goals are a little more esoteric by nature, like say the goal of feeling less stressed. The way to make these goals more measurable is to think about how you want to FEEL. You need to imagine how you would like to feel a year from now (or whenever you set your goal date for). Be specific about how it feels to be less stressed. If you need to, do a little visualization about this. Try to imagine the perfect stress-free day, and write down how that feels to you. Include as many details as you can about how that would happen and how it feels, that way you cover the S (specific) and M (measurable of the SMART formula.
In the SMART formula for goal creation, realistic and timely are easily understood. We know if we can do something and we usually know when we want something done by. But the A (actionable) can get a little tricky. Here we aren't looking at whether a goal is realistic, that would be redundant. Actionable refers to how you will get your goal off your to-do list. Most goals aren't going to get done in all one shot. Some goals can't be done all in one shot, like losing weight. These goals need to be broken down into many smaller steps or mini-goals, following our weight loss example this would look like going to one weight watcher's meeting, having one day under the allotted calorie count, going to the gym once, and so forth. I'll have a little more to say to really nail the actionable step later on in this article, for now we're moving on to the PPP formula.
Make sure your goals are stated in present tense. Goals should begin the statement, “I am ...”. Keeping your goal in present tense is a bit of a brain trick that will help you believe you are already on your way to achieving your goal, or that your goal is already in the process of happening. It helps keep you motivated and excited about the process.
Make sure the goal is positive! Achieving a goal you are not excited about is very difficult. So keep your goal phrased in a way that allows you experience the silver lining of achieving that goal. For instance, “I am going to lose 25 pounds.” isn't really positive. It's more of a statement. But, “I'm going to lose the 25 pounds I need to feel fabulous.” is a little more motivating and fulfilling. Play with the wording and the feeling behind what you want, so that you come with a goal that is really powerful and expresses what you REALLY want. By tapping into that feeling you are longing for, some of your small steps along the way might shift. It probably won't be all exercise and calorie counting! If you are tapping into the desire to feel fabulous, wouldn't you also incorporate all sorts of small rewards and goals that will count toward allowing you to receive that fabulous feeling?
By tapping into the bigger emotion behind the goal, we are tapping into a power that is usually dormant. I call these "Energy Keys". For me, everything about manifestation comes down the emotional energy we use and radiate outward. When we incorporate Energy Keys into our manifestation and goal planning are tapping into our dreams, our desires, and our inner power. These keys make our goals extremely powerful and personal motivators. Hence the last P in the PPP formula, Powerful. The magick of successful goal planning happens when we can marry the power and emotion we feel about our dreams and desires, not just the larger goal, but also as many of the smaller mini-goals as we can. When you can say "Hell yes!" to the majority of your mini-goals, you are on your way to a whole new state of being where your old ways are from that moment on, a thing of the past. I call this the state of radiance and talk a lot about it here on my blog and in my coaching.
But back to the practical aspects of goal planning! Once you know what you want (specifically), how you will know when you have achieved it (measurable), how you might go about getting it (actionable- the steps you need to take), you know it can be done (realistic, your time frame is reasonable, you have the resources, you want to do it), and you know when you want it done by (timely) you can begin flushing out the plan in detail.
Here's how to finish up and round out your goal planning:
- Write out in detail all the steps or mini-goals you would need in order to get to your larger goal.
- Leave no room for failure by creating backup plans for your baby steps.
- Start plugging your steps into your calendar, productivity tool, habit tracker, reward system, and/or to-do lists.
- Set reminders and motivational reminders in your planners, phones, and calendars now because you are motivated!
- Look at the period of time six weeks from when you start. During this time you are more likely to begin to lose motivation, so plan extra rewards and motivational reminders for that point in time.
- At this 6 week mark, also plan a date with yourself so that you can review your progress and success! Take the time to tweak what isn't working, change out mini-steps that are getting boring, grinding, or irritating for something new.
- Set an additional reminder at 12 weeks (or three months) to do a major update to your goal plan. Give yourself a large reward, tons of TLC, and set your dreams aiming for what you want to see improved over the next three months.
- You can even schedule an extra coaching session for that time period to help evaluate where you are and what you can change up to keep your motivation soaring!
Don't get overwhelmed! This is a step-by-step process that you alone control the pace of! Many people, when they are ready to commit to a plan, chose to hire a life coach to help them keep things real and working. So, if this is the time you decide you need to make some changes for yourself and need some help in the process or a buddy to cheer you on, the book an intuitive breakthrough session with me!
Download the free action plan worksheet with the link below or fill out the line version in the form below!
Click this to Download this worksheet