We all know the feeling…. time is rushing ahead and at the end of the year we wondered where the year went!
Having goals helps us to focus our energies on activities that are important to us. It’s all too easy to get into the procrastination game!
So we’re going to give a few tips over the next month about setting and achieving your goals, whether personal or business.
As a coach the first thing I cover off with coachees is whether their movitvation for achieving goals is “AWAY FROM” or “TOWARDS”. Subconsciously, this is a very powerful distinction. Our basic survival system (which keeps us alive and evolving) motivates us to avoid pain (move away from) and achieve (move towards) pleasure. There are a whole lot of complex chemicals produced by your brain that reinforces this behaviour (thanks Neuroscience)!
So what do goals and motivation matter?
Delighted you asked! If the reward (or potential pleasure) is big enough or the consequences (or potential pain) are bad enough you will move toward pleasure or away from pain.
A great example of this is ‘New Year’s Resolutions. These are generally very strongly AWAY FROM motivation which is why they are generally short lived! When we use AWAY FROM motivation, we are motivated in so far as we move enough away from the painful consequence. After that, it is down to you having to rely on pure will power and that is ofen where people lose energy and give up! The Gym’s see you coming in January as cash in on this fabulous money maker. Side Tip: NEVER sign a 12 month Gym contract in January! This type of motivation is also known as the ‘stick’ type motivation and has some limited effect, depending on the circumstances, but it is very difficult to sustainably maintain – just ask any smoker!
True and sustained success comes from reshaping your perception and motivation to a TOWARDS motivation frame. However, this is not as easy as it seems! You really need to gear your mind to moving your motivation towards a pleasurable outcome and define your goal as such. Be wary of pretending to do this! A Great coach will make sure you develop real TOWARD motivation.
Here’s an example from my own experience a few years ago.
I had an injury and among other things developed patellaforma in both my knees. This required 6 months of physio and I wasn’t able to do my normal exercise. In the time period I went from super fit to super unfit and put on 13 kgs. I kept trying to motivate myself to get fit again. But whilst I convinced myself it was a toward motivation, I found I still had to rely on a lot of will power and I kept trying and then not bothering. Chocolate and wine was so much more preferable than an hour hard work out at the gym.
So after 12 weeks of fits and starts I realised I was deluding myself – I was relying on AWAY FROM motivation – “I don’t want to have all this extra weight, don’t want to be unfit”. So even coaches can delude themselves!
Whilst I didn’t want those things, there was not enough pain to warrant bothering hitting the gym every day and doing all my physio exercises. So how did I resolve the problem? I sat down and meditated on what I used to really love doing when I was super fit and what I am missing.
I used my coaching skills and transformed my motivation for it at a conscious (mind) and cellular reprogramming level (body) and spirit!
I found that I really loved hiking and could spend all day hiking without ever perceiving it was exercise. So I reset my goal and mindset. I set a goal to complete trek in Nepal (about 14 months away at that time). To achieve this, I needed to get super fit. As it turns out that goal turned into a trekking Everest & Tibet goal, (which I achieved) but that’s a whole other story!
So here’s how to get your motivation on the more powerful track (most helpful to you achieving your goals):
- Identify what is bothering you
- What causes these things to bother you? What is your self talk? Notice is it negative or positive?
- Notice what you are perceiving as consequences
- What would you really want to achieve?
- What is pleasurable to you about that goal?
- If you were given options of doing that goal or some other pleasurable stuff what would win?
- Can you taste, smell, visualise and deeply sense the goal as if you’ve already achieved it?
- Sit with this for a bit. Are you really motivated about moving away from the consequence, or are you powerfully engaged in the toward. Notice the energy. It is two very different types of energy and perceptions.
- If you are motivated by AWAY FROM, put that on a piece of paper to the far left. What would represent the opposite at the far right. Now notice, for you, what would you love about achieving the goal on the far right. Look for what it is for you that really engages you and energises you!
- Then set your goals, action plan and execute.
Stay tuned to how to set goals!
Get in touch if you would like some powerful coaching to Quantum Leap you TOWARDS your dreams and goals.