Overcoming common goal setting mistakes

One of the biggest barriers to people achieving impact from their coaching sessions is identifying and shaping well-formed coaching goals.

Goals are useful as they elevate the coaching sessions from a loose discussion to a discussion with real purpose behind it.

Here are some common goal setting mistakes and ways to overcome them:

  • Making your goal too easy

When you set yourself goals try to think of things that will stretch you beyond your day-to-day role.

If you already have the skills, knowledge, experience to achieve a goal then it’s unlikely to really stretch you.

Instead, try to think of the areas that make you feel uncomfortable, perhaps something that you need to learn more about to feel confident in or a topic that you want to truly master.

Start by thinking about what you want to achieve over the next six to twelve months – where are your current skills and knowledge gaps?

Once you understand your current ‘gap’ then you can start to design a goal that will help you to plug that gap.

Once you’ve identified an area that you’d like to focus on then you can start to shape your goal.

  • Making your goal too big

At this point it’s important to breakdown each big goal down into smaller milestones to help you to achieve your big goal.

Without the smaller milestones it’s easy to lose momentum and you can become disheartened by your perceived lack of progress.

These smaller milestones will help you to feel a sense of achievement as well as making goal attainment much easier.

The more specific that a goal is then the easier that it will be to identify if you have achieved it or not.

  • Creating a poorly formed goal

When you are forming your goals, it can help to ask yourself the following questions to make sure that your goal is well-formed:

  • What do you want? Often people will know what they don’t want but this doesn’t help to create a well-formed goal so instead phrase it as “I want to be, do or have X”.
  • Is it achievable? If it has been done by someone before, then in theory it can be done by you too. If you’re first to do it then maybe as yourself how you know that it’s achievable.
  • What will you accept as evidence that you have achieved your outcome? Try to build a sensory picture and think about what you will see, what you will hear, what you will feel when you have done what you have set out to do.
  • Is achieving this outcome within your control? Anything outside of your control is not well-formed.
  • Are the costs and consequences of obtaining this outcome acceptable to you? Is the outcome worth the time, outlay, impact and effort involved in achieving it.
  • Do you have all the resources you need to achieve your outcome? Resources can include knowledge, beliefs, objects, premises, people, money and time.

Once you have the answers to these questions then you should be able to create a goal that is purposeful and well-formed.

To book a free and confidential chemistry conversation and start exploring your goals contact Vic Johnson at victoria@greenjaygroup.co.uk.

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