Some seasonal thoughts on goals and target setting
As many of us may well be already starting to struggle with keeping to our well intentioned New Year resolutions, I thought it might be useful to highlight very effective ways of helping us stick to them and become much more likely to achieve our ultimate targets or goals.
The great news is that the very same principles can also help us to achieve our goals or targets in business much more effectively, including our well intentioned safety targets!
So, lets look at our typical personal resolutions at this time of year that might well include weight loss, more exercise or even altering our eating habits. In doing so, we may also set ourselves very specific targets…..to lose 10 kilos, to be able to run 5 miles or to stop eating fatty foods etc.
In setting our targets, most of us will identify either a TOWARDS or an AWAY FROM motivator. For example, away from our current weight, or towards our target distance. That often feels like its the right thing to do as it focuses our minds on a very specific goal and traditionally, in sport, business and in our personal lives that is exactly what we are often encouraged to do. However, that’s the HUGE trap that many of us FALL into.
You see, if we have an AWAY FROM motivator, as soon as we start to move away from our original state then we start to feel good and we then start to justify to ourselves that we’ve achieved our goal and then it becomes easier for us to stop trying anymore. A TOWARDS motivator appears to be better then? Well no, not really because what will we do once we hit that target? Many will then start to ease off as the target no longer represents a true challenge!
Why not try, just this year, to not actually set a target at all. Or, if you must, make sure that its as vague or even abstract as possible. More geared to enjoying a lifestyle or cultural change rather than a specific target or goal.
In doing so, each and every day you will be better able to notice and pay particular attention to what your feelings, sensations and emotions are each little step of your wonderful JOURNEY. You see sometimes, if we just focus on our destination and how much we want to GET THERE then we fail to notice the wonderful little things that are happening each and every step of our journey.
Once we start to enjoy each and every step of our journey, then it becomes much more pleasurable for us and we are more likely to actually WANT to continue the journey way beyond our actual destination and on to even greater things just because we ENJOY it so much.
I’ve been purposely vague in what those great pleasures will be along the way as they will be very personal to you, but be sure to take time to notice how much better things feel each moment along the way!
That’s all very well for New Years Resolutions Darren, I hear some of you say, but what the heck has that got to do with setting Business Targets or Safety Performance Goals? Well, believe it or not, exactly the same principles apply….go on, try it, especially in a recession. Be brave and don’t actually set a specific target and make sure that you notice and if necessary celebrate every little gain or success along the way. Most importantly, make sure that your people notice those gains and of course, it’s very important to let them know that you have noticed them too.
You will find that before too long, you’ll be way past your old targets and marching on to even greater performance that will continue to grow. This happens for many unrelated reasons such as your people will actually WANT to do it that way and they will even become PROUD of doing it that way.
Now that’s often why accessing a sub-conscious goal set via METAPHOR can be so much more powerful and effective in setting targets for performance. Find out more about sub-conscious goal setting and how they can be applied in business on our IOSH Accredited Staysafe Leadership courses.