Nov. 8, 2022 - Goal Set… and Now What? (Part 1)

Life Coaching: Goal Set… and Now What? (Part 1)

Whether we have a specific goal in mind or we’ve identified a facet of our life to work on following the “wheel of life” exercise, the question that comes next is “Now what?”. This article provides some tips on how to proceed from there… I’d suggest that the best way to proceed is to go through this self-reflecting and brainstorming process several times, on our own as well as with someone else, such as a life coach, or someone on our “personal board of directors”.

What’s Important about that Goal?

Or, as Simon Sinek puts it in his TED talk “How great leaders inspire action”: Start with “Why” … applying that principle to our “goal”:

  • Why do we want to achieve that goal?
  • Why does it matter so much?
  • What are our main purpose, goals, believes behind that goal?
  • What do we get out of achieving this goal?

And, every time we answer one of these questions, we ought to ask it again based on the answer we just gave, digging deeper and deeper into the “Why” (yes, exactly like a child who keeps asking “but why?”…), until we’ve run out of answers… - which may takes several rounds, over a period of time… Then, we’ll have found the real “Why” behind us wanting to achieve that goal…

Two other very good questions to ask ourselves are:

  • What if we don’t achieve our goal?:
    • How would we feel? How would that impact us?
    • Is achieving that goal really that important to us? Or not?
  • What if we don’t even try?
    • How would we feel about it? Would we regret it forever, constantly thinking “What would my life be like if I had taken that step, that opportunity…”?
    • Is achieving that goal really that important to us? Or not?

What Does Success Look Like?

Now, it’s time to let our imagination run wild and imagine what achieving that goal would look like…

  • How do we feel like? How is that feeling different to how we feel now?
  • How does our life look like – for example, what is a “normal day” like? What are the differences with our actual “normal day”?
  • What tasks / actions do we do now that we didn’t do before achieving our goal?
  • What tasks / actions have we stopped doing?
  • How does achieving our goal affect the life of the people close to us, in our personal life as well as in our professional life? How do we deal with their “reactions”, especially if they don’t “accept” who we’ve become?
  • What “trade-offs” have we made? Are we happy / satisfied with having made these “trade-offs”?

And then it’s time to let it, our imagination, run even wilder: Should we dream bigger?

Checking with Ourselves

Now that we’ve identified the “Why” behind our goal, and we can imagine what successfully achieving that goal would be like, it’s time to check-up with ourselves to make sure our goal is aligned with:

  • Who we really are, going back to our dreams, challenges faced, exciting situations, “stretched” moments;
  • What Success means to us, ignoring how the people in our personal and professional circles, and society in general, view success;
  • Our Values, again ignoring society’s views on what good values should be in our circumstances…

And then to conclude:

  • Are we comfortable with this alignment?
  • Are we ready to “own” our goal and the changes it will bring?
  • Or are we discovering some contradictions between our goal and the subsequent success, and who we really are, what Success means to us and our Values?
  • Do we need to adjust our goal and how successfully achieving that goal would be like, to make it a better fit?

And Now What?

Next come more questions, leading to more reflection…

  • What do we need to achieve our goal?
  • Who could support us?
  • How to establish a broad roadmap?
  • What’s our commitment level?

All to be discuss in a follow-up article…