I realise that the title to this Blog represents a pretty bold statement. I agree. It is bold and provocative but if you have a modicum of interest in improving your life, please read on and make your judgments in five minutes’ time. I will be sharing a factual study about how you can better support life desires and goals.
Before we get into the detail of that research study, let’s take time to consider the best conditions for planning our futures.
Make time for contemplation and planning
I have learned that some of life’s most powerful and important decisions come on the back of taking holidays. The annual family vacation usually allows our minds to be a little less occupied by day to day challenges and so we are more predisposed to reflecting and planning. The up and coming festive period is notoriously quieter for some people and can represent a good time to plan for the future.
For the more fortunate people amongst us, the festive holidays see our incoming emails slow down, the phone does not ring as much and many of us get at least a modest portion of relaxation. Very few people would argue that our quieter moments are essential to give us the clearer mind that is essential to ensure we can properly reflect on lessons from the past and make important decisions about the future.
Calm and quiet environments are good for life evaluation & planning
When our mind is calm and there are less distractions, we are more predisposed to deciding what we want from our lives. This is the reason why many of us return from our holidays with renewed energy, rekindled ambitions and sometimes a sequence of exciting new plans.
Positive intentions are not enough
However, as encouraging as this all sounds, I have learned that positive intentions will only carry us so far towards our desires. To extract best value from our renewed energy and enthusiasm, we need to create a specific plan. This is a little bit like erecting the sail on a boat – something that can truly catch the wind of our enthusiasm and carry us forward.
Writing a life plan
As a Professional Business Coach, I always recommend creating a life plan. I have become accustomed to some people smiling nervously and suspiciously as I make the declaration about the need to ‘design their life to suit their needs and preferences’.
For many people, the thoughts of actually designing aspects of their life, in a similar way to how they would decide what items they want within their homes, can seem a little too optimistic – a bit like hoping for a Magic Genie to come along and make dreams come true.
I really do empathise with the people that adopt this attitude and feel skeptical. I once possessed a more negative and pessimistic mindset than the positive outlook I have created now.
Thankfully, I listened to the advice of some great people. I wrestled free of my limiting beliefs to develop an immunity to those people who seem to take satisfaction from suppressing my dreams. I wrote another Blog article that touches on the subject of courage and negative people. You can read it here.
The research and proof that I promised
If you still think the process of life planning is not effective, I am now (respectfully) pleased to prove such opinions are incorrect.
Many people in my profession refer to an old Harvard University Study. This is the study that purportedly proved people with goals outperformed those without them. There have been some debates about the authenticity of this story and so I wanted to conduct some research to find better and more evidential proof about the effects of goal setting.
One of the most respected research studies that I can find on the positive benefits of life design and goal writing comes from Dr Gail Matthews.
Dr Matthews created a research study to measure the impact of certain types of goal planning. This exciting study included 267 participants from a wide variety of businesses, organisations and networking groups. The age of the participants in this group ranged between 23 to 72 years of age. This age range was especially pleasing, as it offers an outcome that is fully representative of a diverse group, both in terms of geographical location, cultural style, personal circumstances, business experience and age, and not just the more probable outcomes from more targeted groups of people.
Participants in the study came from countries such as the United States, Belgium, England, India, Australia and Japan. The research group included people who were classified as entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, artists, attorneys, bankers, marketers, human services providers, managers, vice presidents, directors of non-profit organisations. These are not the sort of people who would treat this important research study lightly.
I could write a lot more about the detail of the study but I want to stay close to the headline that is most important.
Dr Mathews found that more than 70% of the participants who sent weekly updates to their friend reported successful goal achievement. By this term we mean they either completely accomplished their goal or were more than half towards accomplishing. Only 35% of those that kept their goals to themselves actually achieved their goal.
This research study provides unequivocal proof that taking the time to design your preferred life can help you to achieve the outcomes that you crave.
Ok, now we have seen the evidential proof behind the power of Goal Planning, let’s take a look at how you can begin to plan your own life desires or goals. Here are seven goal setting tips to help you.
Tactic Number One – be specific
The most important point about setting out your goals and desire is to focus on being specific.
Mapping your goals is a little like setting out on a journey. If you don’t know which direction you are going in and what vehicles you will use for the journey, you might never get there.
As you consider the point about needing to set specific goals, take some quiet time to consider exactly what you truly desire from your life and why this is so important to you.
As an example, if you’re goal is to get fitter, define what this term “fitter” means to you.
Right now, maybe you can manage only 30 minutes on the Cross Trainer machine. Your goals might be to last 60-90 minutes.
Another specific goal might be to generate an additional monthly income of £500 or £1000.
Being clear in your vision of the intended result is crucial to effective goal setting.
Tactic Number 2 – set some realistic measurement
You will be well served setting some reasonable measurement around the progression of your goals. Break this down into manageable chunks.
Sticking with the example of earning an extra income, making a plan to earn an extra £100 pounds at the end of month one is totally realistic. In fact, via the Business Coaching service that I offer, I would be desperately disappointed if I could not help someone achieve this target well inside the first month.
For month two, the plan would involve setting specific actions that would lead to £200 of extra income.
Tactic Number 3 – Keep your goals & desires realistic
Some people come to me and say: “they want to set up their own business, leave their current job and see themselves earning £2,000 – £3,000 per month inside the next month”
I cannot think of too many scenarios where this ambition would not be regarded as totally unrealistic.
Setting unrealistic goals will serve only to demotivate and demoralise you. It’s ok to be ambitious but try to ensure any ambitions are harnessed with realism.
If you set a goal that is unrealistic, you are only setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. It’s absolutely fine to want to achieve huge goals, but start with something realistic. Once you reach that goal, then you can go for something more challenging.
Tactic Number 4 – Set a sensible deadline
Setting a target delivery date is extremely important. If you don’t set this sort of date based deadline, it is too easy to delay, procrastinate and abandon and ultimately you will never reach your goal.
I always like to see people who develop a sense of urgency in their appetite towards taking action. The best way to accomplish this is to set a time frame and a date that you feel confident that you can deliver against – even if this is stretching yourself and forcing a level of discipline that you have rarely demonstrated before.
Tactic Number 5 – Create mini-tasks and goals
Once you have decided on your ultimate goals and desires, take some time, plot a course of smaller tasks and actions that lead to the bigger objectives and mission.
A nice example is losing weight. With a mixed plan of healthy food intake and the right type of exercise, most people could lose one pound per week.
This sounds like a very modest goal but across a six-month period, this is almost two stone in weight and a remarkable four stone inside a year. Small, daily actions repeated consistently over a period of time can make a big longer term impact
Breaking your big ambitions down into manageable chunks will ensure you have a higher level of belief and a reduced feeling of becoming overwhelmed.
The most important aspect of setting mini-goals is that accomplishing them gives you a feeling of satisfaction, success and achievement. This motivates you to target the next mini-goal in the sequence.
This type of task based approach is an easily identified trait and habit in most of life’s well known achievers.
Tactic Number 6 – Rewards yourself
Ensuring you stay motivated is a key part of effective goal setting.
Celebrate your accomplishment of mini goals and reward yourself. As an example, if your goal is to secure an extra £1,000 of monthly income inside a 12-month period, when you get to £300 per month extra (perhaps by the end of month three) take yourself out for a celebratory meal with someone close to you.
In the process of doing this, be sure to take a few moments to discuss what you have achieved and link the reward to the accomplishment.
Tactic Number 7 – Share your plans
The final part is to share your plans with several people that you like and respect.
Organise a coffee meeting and tell your chosen people what you are doing and why. Share your goals plan and ask them to take an ongoing interest in how you are progressing.
Working on a life plan with other people is always easier than doing it in isolation. Your friends and colleagues will support and motivate you. They will also empathise with the detail of what you are trying to accomplish.
About The Author
Julianna Beavan is one of the world’s most respected Business Coaches and Network Marketers. With a proven track record in helping people to take better control of their financial and lifestyle circumstances, via exciting options that exist in the health & wellness sector. Julianna is often commended for her inspiring coaching style – never neglecting the important human aspects of being warm, supportive and humble towards all those who approach her with a serious business appetite and the discipline to succeed.
If you would like a totally free and no strings attached personal consultation with Julianna, please make direct contact via the link below. Julianna guarantees you will have an opportunity to consider working directly and personally with her.
Operating with transparency, good personal / business ethics and integrity is very important to me.
As a Global Business Coach, I operate beneath the Umbrella of Forever Living Products and I recommend their business formula as a vehicle for the pursuit of personal and business and business success. Virtually every business in the UK is governed by some form of UK Legislation. As far as the UK Legislation is concerned, what Forever Living Products does comes under what is known as The Trading Schemes Act.
When you consider any business opportunity, it is very important that you examine the details set out in the terms & conditions provided by that business and you consider the amount of time and effort you will need to put in to achieve the success you desire.
As I am effectively a promoter and a participant in a trading scheme, I am always careful to ensure that my clients understand that the benefits that myself and many others have enjoyed may not necessarily be achievable by everyone. It will take hard work, discipline and persistence to reap the benefits.
It is illegal for a promoter or a participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits through joining a scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved.