A Fresh Look at Goal Setting - Part 2
A Fresh Look At Goal Setting - Part 2
In the last article, I discussed the advantages of goal setting and suggested a three-tiered approach. Tier One is the "doing" level of goal setting and deals with the "what" of our goals. This is the level we are most familiar with and operate in most of our lives.
Level Two involves developing specific competencies. The third level of goal setting is a process of shifting our Way of Being. At this level, attention shifts from learning a new skill and becoming competent to actually developing specific personal qualities that will support positive and enduring change. At levels one and two, we deal with our relationship or interaction with a set of objectives. At level three, we deal with the relationship we have with ourselves, intentionally looking beyond the desired outcome to include a more holistic perspective of what we want to achieve.
Reflective Questions Jumpstart Level 3 Goal setting?
Traditionally, the first step in goal setting is to write down the goal and to make sure it is specific and measurable. However, this is akin to putting the cart before the horse. Before breaking down the goal into working increments, it is important to pause and reflect on the real purpose of this goal. Will the realization of this goal really offer the results you desire or produce the life you want?
Without this essential step of reflection to discover the purpose, we realize, within a short period of time, that we are not sticking to our resolutions, and give up on them. The familiar reaction is feelings of guilt and discouragement. Specifically, ask yourself whether or not this goal will ultimately deliver what you really want.
From a Level 3 viewpoint, this exploration includes current ways of looking at the world to see what needs to shift in ourselves in order for the desired result to occur. When people spend beyond their means they are often looking for external solutions for happiness and satisfaction. It may be appropriate to begin a process of looking deeply into the habits that have created your world and explore whether or not they have been effective in order to develop the world you want.
Knowing What YOU Want
Make sure the goal is something you really want. If your goal is something someone else said you should do, or if it is something you feel like you have to do because of cultural expectations, then it is unlikely to motivate and inspire you. Goals will not be effective for you until you mentally move them out of the “have to” realm and into the “want to” realm.
If you’re not completely sure of what your want, our culture will quickly step in and tell you that you need more of just about everything. If you’re not clear what’s important to you, others will tell you!
Is there conflict?
Evaluate whether or not your goals are in conflict with one another or in conflict with the goals of those individuals most important to you. Do you want to save for retirement and your partner wants to spend money for a vacation now? This knowledge can complicate your efforts in moving towards your goal. Once you acknowledge the conflict, then you can look for ways to resolve it.
Is the timing right?
In other words, what will you need to shift in your schedule or eliminate in order to pursue this new goal? We’re not machines. No matter how efficiently we work or how much we delegate to others, there are limits to the number of balls we can keep in the air or the number of goals we can responsibly track. Three areas of focus seem to be the maximum for many.
Do you have adequate support?
Obviously, you need the willing support of both your family and your office staff, but you may also need the guidance of a friend and/or coach who would keep you accountable as well as help you to overcome unexpected challenges. Remember, if you don’t run into a few hurdles along the way, than your new goal probably isn’t challenging enough for you!
Do you have adequate self-care?
I’m talking not only about keeping yourself physically fit and well nourished or getting massages regularly. I’m also talking about that voice in your head that evaluates your performance and compares your achievement to others. Do you think about setbacks with a kind, compassionate inner dialogue or do you tell yourself to just try harder and keep pushing yourself? Powering through obstacles will only work for a short period of time; then you will get discouraged and burn out.
Once you’re satisfied with your responses to these reflective questions, it’s time to entertain the most important question in this process:
Who do I have to “be” in order to obtain this goal?
What new skills and qualities are needed to achieve this goal?
Qualities such as satisfaction are more difficult to measure than linear skills needed to achieve a specific and measurable goal. Being satisfied, for example, may be observable by others and/or myself, but it’s not specific and can’t be measured.
This level of goal setting refers to complete assimilation of a set of ideas into your being. In other words, you have taken the matter to heart and can no longer think or act without incorporating this new understanding.
Shifting our way of being is the most challenging of the work we do because our habits are so completely embedded in our daily activities. Shifting our way of being requires personal commitment and a support structure. If we want long-lasting results, we need to invest the time and effort necessary to create a life we love. Once we do that, the financial decisions will fall into place effortlessly.
Judi Martindale, (www.judimartindale.com), a certified financial planner as well as a certified coach and author, was named as one of American's top 250 financial planners for three years in a row by Worth magazine. She specializes in working with women's concerns all over the country.