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Don’t tell people your goals

It’s good to have goals isn’t it? Of course it is. As coaches and trainers we are also acutely aware that many people have goals, love telling others all about them but they never seem to quite manage to get there. What’s going on? Well the reality is that by talking out our goals we may be unintentionally diluting the energy needed to start and maintain the action required to achieving them. However of course we need to share our goals in order to get much needed support, encouragement and essential information. There is an answer to this paradox but you first might like to take a look at Derek Sivers short TED video. Just click on the image below to do so.

The bottom line is that talking about a goal doesn’t make it happen – in fact spreading the joy may indeed be counter productive. Making it happen makes it happen.

You should discuss goals with the key people in your life that can influence your success. In fact you are going to have to. However, to be most effective, only tell them what you need to.

There is another angle to goal setting. Did you know that some of your friends, family and colleagues secretly don’t want you to achieve your goals, no matter how enthusiastic they appear to be? They don’t consciously mean to thwart you and it simply is just part of human nature. You see many people have goals they want to achieve in life but also struggle to achieve them. Their level of satisfaction and happiness in life is unconsciously drawn from comparing themselves to others. If you struggle and deviate from your goal then it makes it ok for others to struggle with their goals. If you fail then it makes their failure easier to deal with.

If you change something in your life it often imposes a change on others because they are part of the system. If you don’t make a change then they also don’t feel the need to change anything either. You staying as you are makes it ok for them to stay the way they are. The danger is that you reach the end of your life and are still talking about all the things you could have done.

So why do so many successful people use professional coaches or mentors in their life to ensure their success? Talking a goal through with an experienced coach is very different from telling friends, colleagues and family about your bright new future. A good coach will:

  • Ensure your goal is well structured and in line with your values and sense of who you are.
  • Help you identify specific actions you are willing to commit to take and when.
  • Keep you on track and help you navigate difficulties on your path to achieving your end goal.
  • In the most appropriate way, remind you that you haven’t finished until you are finished.

So if you really want to make things happen, get focused on what is realistic, take action and be very careful about how and when you involve others. Use a coach or mentor to help keep you on track. Then watch and enjoy how this also inspires others to take action and make their own goals happen – but don’t ask them to tell you all about it. Who are the most inspirational people in your life? Is it because they talk about what they are going to do or is it because of what they’ve done?

To find out more about effective goal setting and how to create the life you want take a look at our NLP Diploma programme.

If you liked this post you might like:

Find out how to help yourself and others set great goals on the Field & Field NLP Diploma programme.

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