In my previous blog I discussed the idea of finding purpose. Not only a purpose in life but a purpose and a reason for doing all of the little things we need to do (that aren’t necessarily fun or exciting) to get to where we want to be. Now that we have asked ourselves what it is that we want, the next step is to plan how we are going to get it.
Once we understand our purpose; “our reason WHY”, it is much easier to find and maintain the motivation to keep working towards our goals. But how do we come up with our goals and more importantly, how do we stick to them?
As you would remember from my last blog, I am a huge fan of excellent quotes. With that in mind… I will give you another one, one that I believe is very relevant to setting goals:
“If people are not laughing at your dreams, they are not big enough.”
I am an advocate for dreaming big. The bigger and crazier the better. Where would our society be if we didn’t have the dreamers making breakthroughs. Breakthroughs that once we thought were impossible.
Aircrafts, the 4-minute mile, television, mobile phones, space travel, medicine, cookie dough ice-cream, Essendon winning a final after 17 long years of mediocrity … the list goes on, but the sentiment remains the same.
Almost everything in our world at one time or another would have seemed impossible. People would have laughed at the idea of all of those examples when they were first conceived. But here we are. So why not make your dreams massive? Why not chase the impossible? Whether it be overcoming an injury, getting more active, running a marathon, playing with your kids or getting out of pain. Whatever it is your dream is, big or small. Chase it.
Now let me pose a question to you. What is the difference between a dream and a goal? The answer is very simple – a plan. Any dream that you may have, when accompanied by a plan to achieve it, becomes a goal. In the same way; any goal that you have, without a plan to achieve it will forever remain a dream.
Motivation is often a difficult thing to come across and many of us are happy to sit and relax and put things off until the last minute. So when we have big dreams, that seems so far away, that seem impossible, and we aren’t progressing quickly or noticeably we will invariably give up and put it in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Planning is the act of breaking a big task down into smaller and smaller tasks, all of which lead towards the end goal. Whether we break our goal down into 5 steps or 5 thousand steps, we can only complete them one step at a time and every time we complete these tasks, we will always be one step closer to success. And more than that we have a great understanding of what comes next. There is a very SMART way to do this.
SPECIFIC – Break down your goals into smaller, clear, concise goals and write them down.
MEASURABLE – Track your progress.
ACHIEVABLE – Breaking everything down into smaller steps makes them achievable while still being challenging.
RELEVANT – Set these goals that are relevant to your WHY/PURPOSE
TIME BOUND – Set yourself a target finish line
This framework for goal setting is something everyone has heard before and there is a reason for that, it is effective. Any goal that is made SMART can be brought much closer to reality, compared to a goal with no framework or planning. Smart Goals allow us to dream and plan at the MASSIVE level whilst executing on the smaller STEP by STEP level.
Yet another wonderful quote:
“An idiot with a plan will always beat a genius without a plan.”
SMART goals provide a simple framework through which we can begin planning our goals. That does not mean that it is easy. It takes a great deal of practice and fine-tuning to find out what works for you. For example; I thrive under structure. I plan out my weeks in advance, time block important activities and tasks and give myself small goals to achieve every day. All of this is written in my diary and my laptop, both of which sit open on my desk all day (when you are in the clinic feel free to sneak a peek).
As an Osteopath, we love helping patient’s realise and achieve their goals, whatever they may be. We are here to help in any way that we can along your treatment journey and will always be around for support, ideas and encouragement; but also to help you plan and work towards your goals. What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. So I challenge you to go and find what works for you, ask your Osteopath for help and as a team start planning.
Once we have realised our goals and begin working towards them, there are sure to be roadblocks and failures along the way. But the great thing about planning is that the plan can always change.
When we fail, when we struggle, when we mess up, we learn.
When we learn, we can improve our plan.
And when we improve our plan, we are always getting closer to achieving our goals.
Thanks for reading along! Look out for the Part 3 of the series in the coming week or so….