- What makes some people successful over others?
- Why do some people persevere in the face of obstacles and others are paralyzed at the first sign of a challenge?
- Why do some people keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results while other people are able to adjust, move towards their goal and achieve it?
I have always been fascinated with these questions. Some people succeed against all sorts of odds. Call it confidence, call it perseverance, or call it that voice in their heads that tells them they can do it. And they do. Along the way they shift their comfort zone. They are growing. They are achieving their desired results.
Others give up; they get stuck. The situation feels uncertain and they are not sure why. Some unconsciously “blow it”by showing up late to that important meeting. They underperform. Hand the proposal in late. Come up with excuses. Excuses they believe with all their heart.
I would like to share four tools that I have used in my coaching practice to help move my business clients towards their goals.
1. Create a SMART Goal. I’m sure you have heard it before; in order to ensure that you are not running in circles, you need to be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measureable, Appealing, Realistic and Timed. Ensure that you read your goal everyday, many times a day. Know it. Feel it. Place it somewhere you can see it so it stays top-of-mind.
2. Know your “whys”. Why do you want to achieve your goal? Make that list as long and as emotional as you can. Connect with your whys. Feel them. The more powerful they are, the more chance you have of being motivated when you need strength.
3. Map out your Comfort Zone. Divide a piece of paper into three sections with two horizontal lines spaced equally apart.
- The top section is your goal
- The middle section is where you currently are ‘ this is your comfort zone
- The bottom section is all your greatest fears. For some, this includes bankruptcy, failure, unemployment and so on
As you move towards your goal you will hit the ceiling of your comfort zone. At this point you may attempt to sabotage yourself. You might find yourself saying things like, “I don’t really want this goal as it will bring greater responsibility and work for me.” Or, “I achieved part of my goal and I don’t feel as good about it as I thought I would so I may as well stay where I am.”
This current spot is comfortable because you are familiar with it; your comfort zone is known to you. This is why we keep doing the same thing but expect different results. We may hate it, but we know it. It might not be ideal but you know what it feels like to be here. By being aware of how you might sabotage yourself you can recognize the patterns as they begin to emerge.
Knowing that all goals are outside of our comfort zone may help you on this journey towards your goal. Ask yourself what you can do today that is uncomfortable and that brings you closer to your goal. Perhaps it is letting a friend see the website you have been working on for a year. Maybe it means going to a networking function, speaking publicly about your business or cold calling your ideal client. By pushing yourself, you are moving your comfort zone and getting closer to your goal.
4. Witness what you say to yourself and others. What messages do you give yourself as you move towards your goal? Say things like, “With hard work I can do this. I am committed to my goal. I learn from my mistakes as I move along towards my goal.” If you are having a difficult time acknowledge your feelings, then move forward. “This is challenging and sometimes I want to give up, but I know all the reasons I am working towards this goal and I am committed to make this change.”
With focus, dedication and the willingness to fall down and pick yourself up again, you will be well on your way to achieving your goal.
Kim McNeill, our guest blogger this week, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality. She coaches a number of Your Planning Partners clients. By drawing on her experience as a small business owner and her credentials as a coach helps them achieve their goals we set in their planning sessions.