Setting Goals for 2024

Goal setting is so important for making changes in your life, but you know that. What goals you choose to set are really important because of the way they can make you feel. Some goals energise and some goals will actually block your achievements rather than help you.

How to set goals - what to avoid and what to focus on

This episode sets out how to choose goals that inspire you rather than weigh you down.....

If you would like to learn how to let go and perform brilliantly, so that you can feel confident (even without being able to guarantee the outcome!) then go to to find out how to work with me.

Read the episode transcript here:

[00:00:00] As we come out of the festive period and into 2024, I thought it would be useful to talk about goal setting because setting goals as a coach or helping my clients set goals is hugely important as part of the process. And that's not just for an individual session, also for a whole program.

So when people come and work with me, what we do is we work out what it is they want to achieve from working with me, overall, over the whole program. And then for each individual session, we will work it out, work out what it is they want to achieve in that program. particular session. Because if they don't know and I don't know what it is they want to achieve, then it's much harder to achieve it.

But if we have this goal, something they want to achieve, it gives us a sense of direction, even if over the course of the process. That goal changes. The analogy I like to give is, you know, you set off on an exploration with your client and [00:01:00] they say, I want to climb the mountain. And you say, yay, let's go climb the mountain.

And you're working your way through the undergrowth, through the jungle, up through the forests, and you're climbing the mountain just as they wanted. Your help to do and then you get to a clearing and they see the ocean and they suddenly go. , No I want to go to the ocean. I'm not going to as a coach say no your goal was to climb the mountain I'm going to hold you accountable and make you stick to that goal of climbing the mountain on the contrary

I'm gonna go Wonderful let's go to the sea and help them on their journey to the sea because that is what they now want to achieve because things don't stay the same. However, if we hadn't started on the journey up the mountain, they would never have seen the sea. So that sense of direction, that sense of motivation is so important to achieving what you want.

That's all well and good. However, goals and goal setting There is a negative side of [00:02:00] it, and there can be bits of it that make it harder to achieve what you want if you set a goal. And there are two main ways that this happens in my experience. The first is, someone has this big, amazing goal that they want to achieve, and it becomes so big and so important and so precious that it almost becomes scary.

They almost don't want to achieve it or doubt whether they can achieve it. And then every step starts to have so much importance that each step becomes scary. And if you have a major goal, you might find this. You might find that All the steps you want to take towards that major goal, you're procrastinating over, or you're struggling with, or there's a lot of tension around.

And this is where a lot of tension, all three, [00:03:00] Physical, intellectual and emotional tension can come up because suddenly it becomes so important and it's so heavy and every step along the way is so important and so heavy because if you mess any one of them up you might not achieve this amazing beautiful goal.

So making a goal too important, too precious, too almost, just beyond the best thing ever. can make it harder. You'd have thought it would light a fire under your backside to get you going and for some it does but for others it can make it so important that you really don't want to mess it up and that becomes your focus.

So what do I suggest you do? Hold your goals lightly. I think I did a post recently on Instagram talking about the idea that we don't know what success looks like. We might have an idea of what our success looks like. Our success might be we want to climb the mountain. [00:04:00] But we don't know that halfway up, we might see the sea and realize that actually we want to go to the sea.

I would never in a million years have predicted that I would be a life coach, a performance mindset coach working with people to transform how they feel in front of an audience. You know, that would never have crossed my mind. And now I'm doing it and I can't imagine doing anything else because I love doing it so much.

But I couldn't have seen that 10 years ago. 10 years ago I was not even yet on my journey. I was on my journey because you're always on your journey to where you're going because the whole thing is your life. But I hadn't even started training as a life coach. It was 9 years ago I started training as a life coach.

So I couldn't have seen what I would be doing and how that would look. 20 years ago I was just starting out as a barrister. 20, 25 years ago I can't work it out, before that I couldn't even have imagined I was going to be a barrister, and at all of these points, I've had [00:05:00] different ideas of what success would mean.

So although you think your major goal is the absolute be all and end all, or maybe you do, it might not be. So hold it lightly. And remember That every step you take moves you forward. Even if it's not a successful step in the way you would have categorized a successful step when you wanted, when you took that step.

There's a story about Edison, I'm not sure if it's true, that he was once asked, How does it feel to have failed 10, 000 times? And his reply was, I haven't failed 10, 000 times. I just found 10, 000 ways that didn't work. Every step we learn from. So. In each step, it's better to take a step than to not take a step.

You might fail in inverted commas with the step you take, but if you don't take a step, you're never going to succeed. So hold your goals lightly. Have them as an inspiration [00:06:00] as opposed to fixed in stone that this is exactly what success looks like and nothing else will be successful. If I, if I had thought that my theory now, was a successful theory of how to be comfortable in front of audiences, there's no way I would have thought that this was a theory that would have worked 20 years ago.

It was the complete opposite of what I believed was true at the time. So, we don't know what we don't know yet. Hold your goals lightly and use them to inspire you. And that brings me to my second point. My second point is that the other mistake people make is that they can make their goals too prosaic, too achievable, , too realistic.

That's the word I'm looking for. Too realistic. So, for some people, I might ask what they want to achieve and they say they don't know. Or they tell me something that's really They're kind of half hearted in terms of what they want to achieve and it doesn't feel like they're inspired by it [00:07:00] because they want to be realistic.

They don't want to set themselves an unrealistic goal. Well, the difficulty with that is it's really hard to be inspired by a very realistic and prosaic goal. It's hard for us to feel the joy and energy to get moving about something that doesn't inspire us. So The opposite is don't be too realistic in your goals.

I'm not saying be completely unrealistic, but have a goal that does inspire you. If the question I often ask my coachees is if I had a magic wand and I don't have a magic wand, but if I did have a magic wand, what would it achieve for you? And that can be what would it achieve for you today or what would it achieve for you in the long run?

And for so many people, that lifts them and allows them to suspend their disbelief and tell me what it is they really want but don't feel they can dare to [00:08:00] hope for because it's too out there. And I can't tell you the number of people who then go on and achieve exactly their dream goal. So suspend your disbelief for a while and imagine what would transform your life.

What would you really Want to achieve because that is what your inspiring goal will be and then remember to hold it lightly So you don't make it a weight around your neck You make it a balloon a helium balloon an imaginary one and an environmentally friendly helium balloon that will lift you out of the sense of drudgery and heaviness of tasks you should do, have to do, need to do, ought to do, into a land of tasks that will light your fire and get you one step closer to this amazing dream that you have.

So have a think about what it is you want to achieve in 2024. Make that goal Inspiring and light and [00:09:00] don't load too much onto it because then it will bring it down, it'll bring that imaginary helium balloon down to earth with a bang with the lead weights that you've put on it and it suddenly becomes heavy.

Let it lift you by holding it lightly and imagining that this is your goal for now and it will lead you down the road that will either get you to that goal or get you to something even better. Better. I would love to hear what your goals for 2024 are. I'm Hattie Volker from Find Your True Voice.

Thank you for listening.