Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals For Change
You can find the earlier posts in this series at the links below. In the last two posts I asked you to start thinking about emotions. I explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future. On top of that, I asked you to think about what is most difficult for you. I said that success depends on being very honest with yourself.
Now we know what the problems are, we are going to set some goals. Goals are the outcomes that you want from your change. Selecting them sounds very simple but there are things that you would be wise to avoid.
- Don’t choose a goal that you can’t achieve or that depends on someone else changing first. For example, you can decide that you will try to be less jealous in a relationship. But you can’t control your partner’s behavior so that he does less of whatever it is that triggers your jealousy. Though, you might decide that in future, instead of getting upset, you will explain to him quietly what has just happened to make you feel unhappy
- Don’t select quick-fix, short-term goals that don’t really deal with the underlying problem. You’ll simply feel more frustrated next time
- Do not set out your goals in negative terms, for example, “I don’t want to keep eating foods that do me harm”. Instead, focus on the positive – “I want to eat a healthy diet and feel fitter”.
- Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals which are either too challenging – “I will run three miles a day” for example – when you first start running. You will probably fail, feel miserable and give up. But nor should you set the bar too low – “I will run round the block”. That might be so easy it gives you no feeling of satisfaction, so again you give up.
- Don’t be too stoical. Don’t be so brave that you don’t make a real change that might relieve your pain and make you happy
- Don’t be too vague – for example, “I want to lose weight” is far less effective than “I want to lose 20 pounds by Christmas, so starting now, I will lose 2 pounds each week.”
- Don’t set goals that conflict with your values. For example, “I resolve not to upset my husband by telling him how unhappy his behavior makes me, because I know it upsets him”. His behavior may not be acceptable to you in terms of your values and keeping quiet may damage your self-esteem, as well as feeling miserable and resentful.
Goals you set for yourself are not set in concrete. It will make sense to review them as you make your change. This is to make sure they are still relevant and that they stay challenging, but achievable.
The next post in this series on making a personal change will be about challenging and changing the core beliefs we all carry. They can get in the way of making a personal change to improve our lives.
The earlier posts in this series are below.
Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier Posts in this series
- Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed
- Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Want
- Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You
- Be Successful-Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you