I’m looking forward to this year being my most awesomely abundant year yet! I hope you are too… and I want to help you make that a reality.
In my last blog post I started sharing some of my insights on goal setting.
A quick recap:
A lot of people fail in their goal setting because they set their expectations too high… or they come from a place of feeling like they’re not good enough and so they set goals that actually feel more like punishments. They prioritise things that they think they “should” do, but if they did some digging they’d find those goals are not actually that important to them. And they forget to work on their mindset.
To avoid these common goal-setting pitfalls, I follow 3 Basic Steps in my goal setting process:
Over a series of 3 blog posts, I’m diving deep into each of these 3 steps and discussing the important (yet simple) tweaks you can apply to ensure you make this year your most abundantly awesome year ever!
I did a deep dive into Step 1 in a previous post here:
In this post I’m talking about Step 2… how I set goals that help me fulfill my WHY.
Once I’ve clearly identified my WHY (Step 1), I look at what specific projects and goals I can work on during the year that will best serve me in that purpose.
There’s a simple tweak for Step 2 that will really boost your success. This is a concept that I got from fitness guru Chalene Johnson… it’s the idea of ‘push goals’.
What’s a push goal? It’s a goal that, when fulfilled, actually helps you in achieving all of your other goals.
An example of this is physical health. I’m kicking off the new year with a 5-day hike in the pristine wilderness of New Zealand, this year because my fitness is a ‘push goal’. It’s going to give me a break from technology, help me with my mental clarity, give my body some great exercise and reconnect me to nature (which is a big source of energy for me).
Another push goal I have is meditation. When I meditate daily I am much more able to tap into my intuition, think clearly, detach from emotional and impulsive decision making, and have patience. And that helps me enormously in everything that I do.
When I don’t keep a regular meditation practice, things go off the rails much more easily. I can get overwhelmed, and I’m more likely to react to situations impulsively instead of responding calmly and with regard for the consequences of my actions. For some reason, establishing a regular daily meditation practice has been challenging for me in the past… but I know how much it helps me so I’m just gonna keep on going after this goal.
My third push goal this year is mindset conditioning. It’s something that I know really works for me. Making sure I’m focusing on the positive, on possibilities and solutions instead of just seeing problems. Making sure I’m hanging around with positive and inspiring people who have a ‘can do’ attitude. Doing regular NLP and hypnosis sessions so that my subconscious (which is VERY powerful) is working for me, and not against me.
I’m going to talk more about the importance of removing subconscious blockages and fully engaging the power of your subconscious mind for achieving goals in my next post. For now, just know this:
No matter how much you want a goal, no matter how carefully you plan for it, and no matter how diligently you execute on that plan… if you don’t really believe you can have it on a subconscious level… or if you have a conflicting subconscious desire that will be violated if you do achieve your goal… then you will not achieve it. Period. Your subconscious will find a way to sabotage the outcome.
More on that in Part 3…
In the meantime, let’s come back to goal setting.
The Importance of Clarity
Tapping into your WHY (which I talked about in Part 1) helps you decide which goals will feel satisfying and meaningful for you to achieve.
Push goals assist you in achieving all your other goals.
But before you set your push goals, you need to identify your main goals. What you want to achieve this year. You need to be clear. Clarity about your goals is super important.
Then, In terms of identifying push goals… I look at what qualities I’m going to need to pull from deep within myself in order to achieve my main goals.
Maybe I need to up-level my mental clarity, or up-level my ability to tap into my intuitive guidance system, or up-level my ability to FOCUS. These perspectives will inform what push goals (and daily habits) will help me to best cultivate those qualities.
The Power of Kaizen
There’s one more concept that’s really important in goal setting, and it’s the Japanese concept of ‘kaizen’. This is the idea of incremental improvement.
So often in goal setting we want to get a big bang. Some major transformation. And we want it next week. So we go in all hot and heavy, over-commit to an unrealistic or punishing regimen that is actually very taxing mentally or physically… Then, when we don’t get a radical transformation in the next week we lose motivation, we feel genuinely exhausted by our over-the-top efforts, and we give up the goal.
If we follow the Japanese theme, I’d call that the ‘kamikaze’ approach to goal setting. Goal suicide.
The idea of ‘kaizen’ is that slow and steady wins the race. Kaizen allows us to approach our goals in a way that is far kinder and gentler on ourselves. And ultimately, it improves our chances of success.
Don’t set goals that are so punishing, you know you won’t be able to sustain them. Don’t set goals that are not in alignment with your WHY because you won’t actually care enough, when push comes to shove, to keep going when the going gets tough.
Set goals that push you outside your comfort zone, yes. But not too far, all at once. That’s just a recipe for giving up. Take it step by step.
Kaizen is about focusing on incremental improvements. Most people overestimate what they can achieve in one month, and underestimate what they can achieve in a whole year. Small changes add up with cumulative effects.
How can you move the needle by 1% each week? That’ll get you a more than 50% improvement in just one year. In fact, because of the power of compounding, the real answer is a 67% improvement in one year if you improve by 1% a week, because each week the base is getting higher.
Improving 2% a week provides more than 100% improvement in a year (for the maths geeks, with compounding the real answer is a 285% improvement in one year).
If I grew my income or improved my fitness by 50% this year, or helped 100% more people, or increased my mental clarity by 285% by meditating… I’d be super happy. I’d call that success.
When you keep your expectations of yourself realistic, but let your efforts be cumulative with ‘kaizen’, focus on a few major goals, add in some push goals to help you along, and celebrate your wins and milestones along the way to keep your confidence high… you’ll find that little steps add up to big shifts over time.
Let me know in the comments if this post has helped you in any way, and what some of your goals are… (PLUS bonus points for identifying your push goals!)
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns