I have always been a goal orientated person and this is supported by being self-motivated, but for many people the ability to set goals and stick to them is a great challenge in their life.
Goal setting is very personal and will be different for each person. Many people can be discouraged if they have goals that are unrealistic or if the goals are performance orientated rather than learning goals. It is better to have sets of goals such as short term, medium term and long term goal as if you can succeed at a short term goal then this may give you the motivation to work towards a longer term goal.
People’s goals are also linked to their values. What a person chooses to be a priority in their life is important to them for a reason and is an indicator of their values. These values can underpin a person’s life for many reasons or can be silent to the person and are only revealed through the goal setting process. When setting goals the first step is to identify the goals that you would like to achieve, these goals can then prioritised and a plan drawn up of how you will achieve these goals.
Often, the achievement of the goals will depend upon the internal and external resources that you have to draw upon such as self motivation, support people, resources and knowledge. The achievement of goals is also impacted by the presence of obstacles which could be internal such as low motivation, low self esteem, poor self image, lack of confidence, anxiety or depression. These obstacles could also be external such limited finances, work opportunities, lack of transport, negative friends or family members, an injury or family commitments.
In working towards achieving goals and goal setting people are usually required to move outside of their comfort zone. This can be a challenge for many people as the comfort zone is a place that is known, but for people to learn new skills and to be challenged they need to move out of this zone which requires a certain amount of motivation to do so. Achieving your goals also requires that you challenge your self perception. People can view themselves in a certain way and this perception can be self-limiting, and therefore can negatively impact the achievement of goals.
Goals can change over time as your life circumstances change and for this reason goals should be reviewed over time. Sometimes there will be a smooth path to achieving the goal, but often there are barriers and the person may have to make some changes in their life or adapt their goal to address this barrier. There are so many different types of goals that can be achieved such as weight loss, financial, health, relationships or career. Goal setting should be a part of everyday life, but goals need to be flexible as a person’s circumstances change as often a goal may still be able to be achieved with a small adaptation or it may have to be put off for a while.
It helps to have support people when setting goals and working towards achieving them. The person can help you with identifying if the goals are realistic and achievable, any barriers, required, resources to support you, and communicating your objectives to another person makes you more accountable to achieve them.
Finding the right person to talk with can make all of the difference in how your goals are achieved and what goals are identified as being important. Life Coaching can be of a great benefit to many people to help achieve goals in their life. The different approaches used such as the goal setting approach will help people to achieve their goals but as people are so different there are many other approaches that can help people to achieve their goals such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, the Reality Based Approach or Motivational Coaching. People who are functioning well in their lives but would like to function better could see a Life Coach, Nutritionist or Personal Trainer as examples, but other people who have dysfunction in their lives such as mental illness or a lot of personal conflict may need to see a Counsellor or a Psychiatrist.
Goals allow us to work towards something in our life and encourage change.
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