Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
Most of you are probably familiar with the Wheel of Life coaching exercise (if you’re not - find out more about the Wheel of Life in this article or in more depth in my e-book 10 Days to Ditch the Stress and Get Happy). It’s the most popular coaching tool used today.
The Wheel of Life has 8 major areas of life. Some people don’t use the Wheel’s life areas, but instead come up with their own. Whatever you decide to use, rate each area from 0 being really crappy to 10 being really happy.
To use this for goal setting, after you finish rating the life areas, choose 1 or 2 areas that you rated the lowest.
When you’re focusing on the Wheel of Life areas that need the most attention, I find it helpful to also remind clients that just because we’re focusing on areas that need more of our attention, we also need to continue to focus on those areas that are rated more highly. This isn’t a free pass to neglect the areas that are going well for you.
I also want to bring to your attention that, for example, if you’re a parent, your kids and family will command more of your attention. It’s natural to have other areas of your life that aren’t given as much attention during certain phases of your life.
Having a new job or starting a new business may require more effort and focus at that time in your life. However, it is vital to pay attention to all aspects of your life, even by just doing “the little things” like, if you’re a busy parent, taking time for a date night each week to add to your relationship area.
When you’ve selected the 1 or 2 areas you’d like to focus on, now I’d like you to think about what would bring those areas up to a 9 or a 10.
What do you think is lacking in these areas? What is within your power to do differently to change your rating?
Recently, I re-did this exercise (I do the Wheel exercise at least 2x a year). The Fun and Recreation area rating was down for me.
I realized I was taking life way too seriously and that I needed to inject more fun into my everyday life. So, I scheduled fun into my calendar!
I talked this over with my coach (yes, I have a coach. It’s important for coaches to have coaches – just like you’d like your doctor to see a doctor for regular check-ups). We talked about how I had lost touch with my fun and lighter side. Then, we talked about fun experiences I could do that didn’t take a lot of time, money, or effort on my part – that were readily available.
I decided, for one of my fun experiences, that I would head down to my local beach for 2 hours for 2 days that week, and bring books, notebook, and a pen.
For me, as an extroverted introvert, I need time to myself to decompress and get re-centered. I also love to learn, so settling down on my beach towel and a bag full of books (and my sunscreen) was so gratifying.
After going to the beach and completing that part of my coaching homework, something shifted. I realized that I already do have fun in my day and that I could have even more fun, even doing ordinary tasks like the dishes, if I had a “fun” attitude toward whatever it was I was doing.
By creating goals in that area that I felt I was struggling with, I completed them (it’s helpful to be accountable to someone), and I felt even better than I thought I would afterwards.
So let’s go with the Fun and Recreation area as an example. I know other coaches use SMART goals, which are:
According to the SMART model, you want to make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and assign a time frame.
For my fun, I set a specific goal of going to the beach for 2 hours at a time for 2 days that week. This was measurable, definitely achievable (especially since the weather cooperated), it was realistic, and this was a definitive time frame in which to get my “fun” homework done.
I also use what I call the GROWING model of goal setting:
Get clear on what you want
Research your options
Organize your options into a
Workable road map
Implement the road map – take action
Negotiate each step – If you falter, reassess, modify, and keep going! Don’t quit!
Goal reached! You are GROWING! Celebrate, feel grateful, and start a new process to go for more goals!
So, let’s say, for example, you wanted to work on your health. You’ve put on 25 pounds and you haven’t been able to shed the pounds.
Get clear on what you want.
You want to lose 25 pounds. But…why? What’s your big why here that will help make this goal a reality? What’s going to keep you motivated?
Maybe you want to feel healthier. Maybe clothes just fit better and feel better. Maybe you want to be able to have more energy to run around after your kids/pets/grandkids.
About 15 years ago, when I lost weight, my motivation was to be healthier. I was already exercising, but the stress over the breakdown of my marriage took a toll on my weight. I made the intention that instead of using the word “diet,” that I would be creating a healthy lifestyle. I deserve that. So do you!
What is it that will keep your eyes focused on the ultimate goal of losing weight? Why do you want to lose weight? Then, ask yourself why again? Ultimately it comes down to a feeling – like to have more peace or to feel happier.
Alright, now let’s research options on how to reach this goal weight of yours. What kinds of exercise and eating habits need to be adopted – and which ones can be thrown out?
Get clear on your options - which ones you'll use and be motivated to use.
Create a road map
That road map will be your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. It will list the tasks you need to do to reach your goals.
So, let’s say you decided that every Sunday you’d create a meal plan and grocery list of those things you’d need for healthier meals and snacks. You do this ahead of time and prep food beforehand to make it easier to make healthier choices.
Next, now that you’ve got your meals and snacks planned for each day, create a weekly plan for exercise. You’ve researched your options for what works best for you (hey – maybe you’re not a runner but you’d like to try walking for cardio, for example. Find out what you like best and use that to stay motivated), now mark this down in your calendar.
Implement the roadmap – use it! Take action on your plan. If you need motivation, check out my article!
Okay – if you falter or have an “off” day, don’t stress about it and don’t quit! Reassess where you are, modify the plan if you need to, and keep going!
And the last step – you made it! Woohoo! Goal reached! You are amazing! Celebrate the big win and the small wins along the way!
What does this look like when you’re planning this out?
Create a menu and grocery list if you want to lose weight, based on the example used above.
Daily: Review your daily menu and when you will exercise and type of exercise. Make sure it is in your to-do list and in your calendar.
Weekly: Plan out your weekly meals, grocery list, when and what type of exercise and for how long. Assess how you did for the week and what you need to change.
Monthly: How much weight do you want to lose for the month? 10 pounds? This is about 2.5 pounds/week.
Yearly: You goal would be to lose 25 pounds. At 10 pounds a month loss, you would be at your goal weight in 2 ½ months. To maintain this for the year – and your life- check in weekly to assess your weight, eating and exercise habits.
What are some other great habits to begin incorporating into your life? How will you reward yourself after this big accomplishment?
I also use a system that is broken into quarterly goals. This may be helpful for you, too.
For example: January, February, and March is the first quarter. In those 3 months I would have overarching goals. For example, losing 25 pounds by the end of the quarter. You can also choose more goals as well.
Then for each month, I would break the goal down into 10 pounds a month. Then I would list the tasks I would need to do to accomplish the monthly goals. For example, menu planning and grocery lists along with exercise goals (each week I would run 4x, do weights 3x, and yoga once).
At the end of the week, sit down with your calendar, assess your progress, tweak what needs to be changed, and continue. If you’re visual, use a bullet system to check off the items on your to do list for your goals.
You’ll find that if you schedule these things into your calendar, you’re more likely to continue to stay motivated.
Look for an e-course coming soon based on time management and reaching your goals successfully.
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