I can remember being a small child and wondering what my life would be like in the year 2000… I wondered what I’d look like and used to practice pulling faces in the mirror trying to imagine… oh the age of innocence… and how time flies….
Here we are at the start of 2010 – not only the beginning of a new year, but a new decade of adventure and possibility!
Many people begin to plan in January for their year ahead – holidays, new car, new home and house extensions… blah blah bah… but I wonder how many people give the same amount of time to planning their life?
Looking at glossy holiday brochures is wonderful, you can escape the cold and rain and imagine being on a beach for a week or two … feeling free and relaxed… but I wonder if you ever spend time the same amount of time or more…. imagining your life and really planning what you want to achieve, how you want to grow as a person. Life is a journey – do you want to be the driver or the passenger? Do you want to choose an interesting, scenic and exciting route or leave it to chance and have a snooze in the back?
Often we make short term plans – fun interruptions in our lives; we dot in the holidays and the things that give us excitement or something to look forward to – but how would it be if we made a decision to plan a bit further ahead? Rather than life developing and us existing… we can choose to make things happen the way we design them instead of leaving it all up to chance?
When you set your goals for this year – push out of your comfort zone – plan for the decade! See yourself in 2020! How does that sound to you? Does it feel little scary? Question that for a moment…. what make it feel like that? This is your life. You want the best for your family and friends – why not for yourself?
How to set you goals for 2010 – 2020
Choose a time when you are feeling peaceful, relaxed. Free of interruption. Get yourself in a positive state, open to possibilities. Write a list of things of what you are proud to have achieved during 2000-2009. List them down and quietly reflect on them. If it helps you, write the years in a list and write beside each one. Feel the feelings of achievement bubbling up :) give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back… well done you!
What did you do during these years that were the ‘icing on the cake?’ Make a list. What gave you your greatest sense of joy? Who was there? What happened? How did it make you feel? What photographs do you treasure of those moments? Go and have a look at them… and relive the feelings, sounds and sights…
Think about the areas in your life that are important – list them down eg career, environment, personal development, fun & recreation, relationship with friends/family, significant other, spirituality etc. Consider where you are with each right now, today. Give each one a score out of 10, with 1 being low and 10 being high. How would you score your satisfaction with each area?
Think about how you would like to change each area – what would make it a 10? What would ‘10’ be like for you? How would it feel? Close your eyes if it helps… imagine, dream… design… paint a picture in your imagination of how you’re choose to change things. Imagine if Aladdin’s genie gave you 3 wishes… how would you use them to change your life? What if you had more than 3 wishes, how would you use them? Drift into your imagination, what can you hear, what can you smell, taste? Who is there? What are they doing? How bright is the picture? Turn up the colour… adjust the volume so it’s right. What difference would it make to your life? How would it affect your relationships?
Put the list in an order of priority. Which area of your life needs action most urgently? When would you like to have this achieved by? Set dates for the other areas, being realistic – but being true to you.
What is the first step to achieving your goals? Who can help you? What resources do you need? Where can you get these? What additional learning do you need? Where can you find out about this? When are you going to begin? How important is this goal?
Why are you doing this? What is motivating you? If you do not have a big enough reason ‘why,’ you will find yourself falling off the wagon… like many new year resolutions people make, it will be overlooked and your life will be left to chance once more. How do you want to feel when you look back in 10 years and remember the dreams you once had, that you didn’t ‘bother’ to achieve? Decide how important this is to you, your family… choose to make it a priority in your life. Many of my clients come to me because they have goals, but they know unless they are accountable or spend time each month focusing on their goals with me, their coach – they will give up on them. And they are serious about changing their lives, using goal setting strategies to get what they want.
Who will you share your goal with? Be careful here. I have found that if we are too free with our excitement about how we’re designing our lives – others do not always support us and try to prick our bubble. Sometimes, friends and family like life to be the way it is and that’s that. They do not want anything to change. It can be that they do not want to see us start something and then fail. If they love us they will want to protect us. Others may think it’s best for us to take a more conventional route or do things the way they did. Each person is a unique individual with their own set of life situations and challenges. If we listen to and take on board negative comments of others, we’re bound to struggle to achieve our goals. We must have belief in ourselves, determination and adopt a success strategy that works for us. We must be clear about why we’re doing this and what the outcome will be. Share your goals with people who will support you, encourage you and be inspired by you. Keep focusing on the ‘why’ and the outcome. This is another reason why deciding to have a coach can be crucial to your success – a coach will keep you on track, will believe in you and will encourage you to dig deep to find the solutions to your action steps. It is a powerful union.
What will you do to remind yourself daily of your goals and your commitment to yourself? Some clients of mine choose to write themselves a statement which they keep in their wallet or handbag which they look at each day. It could be something such as:
“It is 3rd January 2020 and I am sitting on my porch of my dream beach house with my loving partner, watching the sun setting over the ocean. We are sipping cocktails and planning our next holiday together. We feel healthy, safe and secure. I live in abundance of all good things and my life is perfect.”
It is important that this statement is personal, set in the future with a date and conjures up the feeling you will have once you are living the life you’ve designed.
Some clients choose to design a ‘dream board’ which is board covered with cut out pictures of how their life is going to be, what they will have, what they will be doing or what’s important to them. They will look at the board every morning and every night – looking at the pictures and choose to imagine the feelings of having those things now. This is an incredibly powerful way of speeding up the goal process – ideas will come to you during the night as your mind continues to dream while you’re asleep – you will wake up often with new ideas of how you will make this goal your reality.
Each month, ideally on the first week day or weekend look at your goal list. Look at what you’ve achieved. Praise yourself, treat yourself if you like J Feel good about how you’ve moved forward. The changes you can see now, the way this makes you feel. How your positive actions are affecting your state of mind. Decided what the next step will be to getting to your goal. What you need to do, who you need to speak to and put a date on the action – when will this be achieved by?
Okay, so imagine… In ten years time, how would you like to be living? If you were to look back at this decade what would you like to be able to say you’d achieved, ticked off your dream list or experienced? You’ll be ten years older… go on, you can do the maths. I heard something recently that really got me thinking – he said, imagine you’re about to meet your maker – you’re standing at the gates of heaven and the angel says to you “Wow, I’ve heard about the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Stonehenge, Grand Canyon! Wow what are they like?” and you turn to him and say “Oh I don’t know, I never went there… but I can tell you what happened on EastEnders last week!”
You might be thinking “I’d rather just see what happens in life and watch EastEnders” or you could be thinking “How could Ali help me achieve my goals?” “What benefits are there if Ali coaches me? Will I get results?” “Being accountable would definitely help me”. Message me and we can arrange a complimentary telephone coaching session to get you on track or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words from my previous clients:
‘What is special about Ali’s coaching is her gentle and compassionate approach, along with her perceptive and intuitive insights. Through her support and her powerful questioning, I have been able to see more clearly and be more empowered. I would thoroughly recommend her to anyone who wants to make deep and significant changes in their lives. Thank you Ali for all your help!’ Hilary Reeves
‘Ali is a wonderful, sensitive and compassionate coach and friend. She has helped me to get back in touch with my self worth and talents when I had lost sight of them, spending many years at home looking after my family. I now feel ready to move on to the next stage of my life and I am very grateful to Ali for helping me find the way.’ Chris Horner
‘Ali has a great manner about her. She is patient and easy to talk to and really helped me to think about my priorities and focus in life’ Ros Kitson