How do we improve our chances of achieving our goals
Last week I talked about our comfort zones and how we avoid taking opportunities that could benefit us because we are afraid of the unknown.
I have noticed that I have also fallen victim to that very issue. Over the last few months, I have been thinking of putting up some videos and live feeds of some of the work I do at Self Centre, in order for me to show you how I work and some of what I do. For over six weeks I have intended to make these videos but for a variety of reasons I have been putting it off.
In my head these videos have become a huge task for me to undertake and the reasons for not doing them have been numerous, ranging from mental blocks on what I 'should' actually say, to lacking the confidence I need to go in front of the screen. The advice that I have received has been equally varied, from “you’ll be fine” to “I’m sure you’ll come up with something”. I understand that people have tried to be wonderfully supportive, however, this support has not been helpful in overcoming my resistance to pushing my comfort zones and actually making the videos. There are people who also think that making the videos is a simple task and that I should just get on with it…. Yeah, easier said than done!
I have decided to meet my own resistance head on and extend my comfort zones by trying out the 'SMART Goals' technique. Here is how it worked for me:
First, I set a firmly understood goal to assist me in forming an action plan. This goal usually needs to contain five things.
1. The goal will need to be specific. For example just saying to myself “I’m gonna do it” doesn’t give a clear picture of what I need to achieve. This poses a few questions, “what Is it that I want to achieve”, “how will I know I have achieved it?” and “What will it look like when I have achieved my goal?”
2. The result of the goal should be measurable. This means that the result should be clearly observed. Saying “be thinner” isn’t enough, however, saying “lose 10 pounds” means that you can weigh yourself and see a positive result.
3. Make the goal achievable. “I will create a blockbuster movie” will never be achieved since there is a lot of stuff that I need to learn about creating a video, let alone making a movie. So instead I lowered my expectation to a more pragmatic goal.
4. The goal should be reasonable and realistic. That there should be a logical reason to do the task is important...What factors are motivating you towards your goal? Are they reasonable, and in who’s eyes- would a close friend or partner agree this is reasonable?
5. Finally, don’t leave the goal open ended. I know if I don’t have a time restraint then I will just put it off again, so set yourself a reasonable deadline.
So, I have decided my goal will be “I will create and upload my first introduction video of Self Centre within the next two weeks.”
This goal matches all these points and will enable me to form a plan of action.
Now that I have my goal, I can focus on what I would need to do, breaking it down in to mini steps which by themselves feel easier to achieve than one big goal by itself.
1. I need to figure out what I am going to say by drafting a script.
2. Get equipment to be able to upload video
3. Allocate time when to do video
4. Edit and review video
5. Upload video.
Now that I have a plan I need to work through, what is called, a SWOT analysis. This means looking at my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and then threats.
My strengths are the friends that I have who are able to support me with working through the steps of my action, my knowledge of the subject matter and my drive to complete the task.
My weaknesses are my confidence in my voice and looks, my anxiety towards being able to speak on the video.
In terms of opportunities, I have the equipment that will be able to record, edit and upload video and my knowledge of computer systems.
And as for threats? Well, I have never done something like this before, so I am extremely nervous about getting it right and not sounding like a fool. I will also tend to prioritise other tasks over the goal I am trying to achieve when I am anxious about it, classic avoidance right there!
Now that I know what the threats / weaknesses are I can begin problem solving and looking at using my strengths to overcome them.
This technique is one of many that can be used to work through changes in your life. What do you think you can use it for?
In next week’s blog I will look in to some of the thought process that can occur when working through changes. If you have any suggestions that have helped you with change, please just message.