When it freaks you out to set a goal
What if I told you that I was throwing you a fabulous party in an exotic, faraway location?
All you had to do was show up.
The only hitch was that I wasn’t going to tell you the address for the party.
Wait - what?
Yup. You were expected to show up for your party - but you would not be told the address.
How could that be?
How are you supposed to get there?
How could you know where to go without a specific address?
Stop right there.
The confusion, frustration, and bewilderment you’re feeling?
That’s exactly what it’s like when you resist setting goals for your life or your health.
Stick with me for a second…
Think of how much easier it is to get somewhere when you know where you’re going.
It’s the difference between having specific map coordinates and landmarks….and just driving around in circles with no plan and a broken GPS.
You have to have a destination in mind, so that you can know how to chart a course.
If you have a specific, realistic, achievable goal in mind for your life or your health - you have a direction.
You have an address. And you can find the way to your party.
People tend to freak out about setting goals. They resist it. They don’t want to do it.
Nothing shuts down a coaching conversation faster than the question, “So, would you like to commit to a short-term goal?”.
Suddenly things get squirmy and uncomfortable.
Suddenly there are a zillion reasons why committing to a goal is not possible.
Why is it so yucky to commit to a goal?
“I’m afraid that if I set a goal and then I don’t achieve it, I will be sad/a failure/a terrible person”.
“I’m afraid that if I set a goal, then I’ll actually have to follow through on it - and that might be hard”.
“I’m afraid that if I set a goal, I might set the WRONG goal, and then I won’t like where I wind up, and I will have wasted a lot of time”.
Lots of fear. Lots of reasons. Not a lot of action.
Let’s shrink this Goals thing back down to size, eh?
The thing about goals is that they are not LAW.
There is no Goals Jail if you set a goal and you either change your mind about it, or don’t follow through.
Sure, it’s disappointing if you continue to remain stuck, or far from your stated goal. But it is also an opportunity to look deeper into yourself and what might be getting in your way.
Sometimes, you have chosen a goal that isn’t quite the right fit. The only way to know is to begin to take some steps towards it - and see how you feel. Discovering that it’s not the right goal is not time wasted. It’s time spent bringing you closer to the goal that really matters.
But sometimes, the goal is a good one and you simply need a different way to tackle it.
But don’t be afraid of starting.
I encourage you to set a goal - ANY goal - no matter how seemingly puny or silly you think it might be.
Commit to losing 1lb in the next 7 days.
Commit to making 3 phone calls to potential employers by the end of the day.
Commit to organizing one shelf in your cluttered closet.
Start small - start minuscule, if you have to - but start.
Give yourself a direction - an address - and watch how the way forward becomes more clear.