Goal Setting – Avoiding Overwhelm

In the Personal Development and Coaching world there is often talk of Goal setting. Goal Setting is considered one of the most important habits to learn when aiming to make improvements in your life.

This can cause problems for some people, especially those pre-disposed to anxiety. 

However, if you learn the right approach to goal setting and managing your target expectations, this undue stress can be avoided or at least minimised.

There are many different ways to manage the steps towards goal achievement but I have highlighted the five that I think are most useful for avoiding or reducing overwhelm.

  1. Be absolutely clear that it is YOUR goal and not somebody else’s ! You are far more likely to want to take, and to enjoy taking the necessary steps to achieve a goal if it is your own goal rather than something that you feel like you should ( we don’t like should !) be achieving. 
  2. Break the Goal down into tiny steps, each being achievable in its own right. You could imagine a long ladder with your full goal at the top and each rung is a smaller goal that will lead towards it. Or you can score your goal as a 10 and then score your current state. If for example your current state is 2 then just focus on turning this into a 2.5. 
  3. Give yourself plenty of time. There’s no need to rush ( unless there is off course, but that will be covered in a different blog). If you think the first step on your ladder will take one week then allow 10 days. A little pressure can be good but it’s supposed to be an enjoyable process so give yourself the time that you actually need to take the necessary steps.
  4. Once you have decided on your first few steps book them into your diary. Doing this gives you space in your head and ensures that you consider your personal development plans when booking in other work or activities.
  5. Do not compare your goal or your progress to anybody else’s. This is important. We all learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. One person’s goal might be to make a million pounds by the end of the year whereas another person may plan to pay off one of many debts in the same time period. One person might plan to run a marathon next year whereas another might plan to walk up the stairs to their office instead of using the lift. Whatever you decide to do at this particular point in time is exactly right for you at this particular point in time. You are ok.

Learning to set goals that are realistic and achievable and that you actually want to achieve is a skill. It’s a valuable skill to learn and you can apply it to any area of your life. 

Just remember though, they are your goals, not anybody else’s. You can change them or pause them if you need to. If you start to feel stressed why not consider a goal of ‘learning to manage stress more effectively’ first 🙂 

It can be a great help to work on goal setting with a trusted friend or with a life coach. If you would like to work with me please contact me via www.lesleygormanlifecoach.co.uk