What can marshmallows reveal about your willpower when it comes to goals? Yes, we know, seemingly nothing much. When you set yourself a new goal, you can bet that willpower, grit and determination will be key components. Enthusiasm can get you started but what happens when the going gets tough? Willpower makes or breaks your dream or goal. But is willpower something that we are born with or can it be developed to help us work towards positive change? We take a look at an iconic marshmallow experiment all about cognitive control (you’ve got to love science that uses marshmallows), three steps to help you develop your willpower along with evidence from the world of neuroscience to help you reach your goal.
Change your habits, change your life we’ve all heard it before, but if it was that easy we’d all be living a life we love. So how do you make those changes reality? Setting powerful goals is the starting point. Goals are a road map, a guide, your blueprint to achieve even the most audacious goals that you can envisage. Got a goal in mind? Here’s our step by step guide to making sure you set a goal that really makes a difference with goal architecture made simple.
Episode 6: Successful Goal Setting. Using Goal Setting To Achieve Your Most Audacious Dreams
Hey Fabulous Positive Change Guru Friends! It’s great to see you again. This week we’re asking…..
Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do? Something that you dream of achieving? A goal that is still on your list or a change that you want to make but don’t know where to start? You’re in the right place!
Goal setting is your road map to success without it your dream is, well, just a twinkle in your minds eye. Join us for this goal setting episode where we walk you step by step through goal setting to make your most audacious goals reality. We’ll take you through;
- Why most people fail to achieve the goals they set
- The GROW Model
- Ideas for getting clear about what you want to achieve
- How to generate ideas to achieve your goal
- Creating a road map to guide you towards your goal
- The importance of reviewing your progress
- How to manage priorities and ensure that your goal stays on track
Goal Setting For Success
Psychologist, Viktor Frankl, observed that,
“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.”
When you are committed to making a change in life, strategic goal setting is crucial to success. Time spent on goal setting will, as Frankl described, help pull you towards your goal. Once you appreciate how crucial effective goal setting is for success you will want to utilise the power of goal setting every time you decide to make a change.
A popular model used by coaches to support goal setting is the GROW model. This model talks you through each step of the goal setting process. The GROW model also invites you to anticipate possible obstacles and prepare solutions to overcome them. If you are new to goal setting then the GROW model is a great place to start.
So what exactly is the GROW Model?
Successful Goal setting requires a goal
G = this is where you describe your goal. Successful goal setting means putting pen to paper. Why write your goal down? Mark McCormack, in his book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, describes a 1979 study done with Harvard MBA students. Students from the class of ’79 were asked,
“Have you set clear, written goals for the future and made plans to accomplish them?”
Only 3% of students had written goals, 13% had goals but had not written them down and an incredible 84% had no goals at all.
Fast forward ten years and the class was interviewed again. The 13% of the class who had used goal setting but hadn’t written goals were earning twice as much as the 84% with no goals. What of the 3% of the class who had written goals? On average, the written goal setting 3% group were earning ten times more than the other 97% combined.
What a great reason to write down your goal! Measurable goal setting is essential because you will need to be able to measure progress and success along the way. Also consider the timeframe you will allow yourself to reach your goal. Incorporate the timescale into your goal.
Successful Goal setting needs to be realistic
R = Is your goal Realistic? At this stage of the goal setting process you will be examining what steps need to be taken to help you achieve your goal. You may find that your main goal actually involves lots of smaller steps or sub-goals. Consider what you have tried before and how effective past methods have been. How is your timescale shaping up when you consider these sub-goals? If necessary, revise the timescale for achieving your goal.
When considering how realistic your goal is, it’s essential to ask yourself, “how motivated am I to succeed?” Strong motivation will keep you focused when the going gets tough. If your motivation is low, question whether the goal you have chosen is right for you. Examining your motivation, consider how well your goal fits in with other goals. Is this goal a good fit with other goals or is there conflict? If conflict exists, decide what is most important to you. What lifestyle are you working towards? What will help you achieve your dreams? What leaves you feeling demotivated and despondent? Which goals energise you? Adjust the conflicting goals accordingly.
Successful Goal setting considers options and obstacles
O = What are the available options to support you to achieve your goal? At this stage of the goal setting process try to consider as many options as possible. Weigh the options. Choose the option that is the best fit for you and which will successfully propel you towards your goal.
The O in this goal setting model also allows you to consider any obstacles you may encounter. What are the potential difficulties? Thinking about obstacles now can prevent events, people or circumstances from derailing your efforts in the future. What can you put in place now to ensure success when obstacles arise?
Successful Goal setting points the way forwards
W = This is what you will do or the way forwards. Pull together the what, when, why, how and whom of your goal setting process. At this stage you are action planning.
Throughout the rest of the GROW model you have thought about your motivation, how realistic your goal is, any possible obstacles and how these will be overcome. The final stage of the goal setting process enables you to incorporate all of this into your action plan. Consider periodically setting time aside to review your progress. Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments along the way and take time to savour your success when your goal is achieved.
Feeling all fired up? We’ve got your back! Take a look at our blog Goal Architecture Made Simple for even more tips on making your goal reality and don;t forget that you can access a huge range of free resources to help you on your way to success on the rest of our website www.positivechangeguru.com We’ll see you there!
Come over and visit our YouTube Channel to find out what we’re up to and how we can help you!
The business world has long since recognised the value of using coaches for their top performers. But coaching skills don’t have to remain the exclusive domain of a professional coach. What if you were to grow those exact same skills in house? As an internal coach you are uniquely placed to develop powerful relationships along with lasting individual and organizational change. Leaders are increasingly developing their own coaching style of leadership, viewing coaching skills as a core leadership competency. So what are coaching skills and how exactly can you develop them?
Traditionally the model of development pivots on shoring up our weaknesses. Good leaders recognize that this is an outmoded (and incorrect) deficit model. Instead, by taking a strengths based approach, looking at what’s working, rather than what isn’t leaders are able to increase efficacy. Enter positive psychology. Research (Linley 2009) demonstrated that by identifying and leveraging strengths we see a bump in performance of around 38%. Once you’ve identified the strengths of your team you can begin to develop them, aligning them with your business goals and challenges. Not sure what a strength is? Go to the world’s most used, free strengths assessment, the VIA at www.authentichappiness.org and take your team with you.
When you’re coaching others it’s important to be curious about them, the environment they operate in and the world around them. Curiosity will help you to stay open to new ideas and innovations, keeping you a step ahead of the game. Being curious will prevent you from believing that you have all of the answers, leaving you open to fresh ideas and suggestions from your team. Growth mindset coaching questions to develop your curiosity and your team are;
“What do YOU think some options are?” “What would YOU do?” “What are the pros and cons of each option?” “How would you advise a colleague?” “What is the learning information here?” “What can you do differently next time?” Ask questions that will help your team, to identify their motivations, to see other alternatives and achieve their goals.
Feedback and Accountability in Positive Psychology Coaching
It’s that checking in with staff on their progress that makes such a powerful difference to achieving success. Research by Christine Porath and Gretchen Spreitzer found that the four factors necessary to sustain a high performing team were; feedback, autonomy, civility and information sharing. It’s a growth mindset blueprint for success. Feedback enables your team to know if they’re headed in the right direction. Make it clear, timely, specific, non-judgemental and positive. Once accountability has been established, staff have a whopping 95% chance of achieving their objective. Think about the systems and processes that you have in place to enable staff to build this sort of accountability into their role. Consider how you support, encourage and motivate staff to be accountable for the goals that they have committed to.
Yup, it sounds obvious but often it descends into either combative listening; waiting for the other person to shut up so that you can interject with your own point of view and tell them how they ‘should’ be doing it or passive listening; peppered with a string of “Umms” “Uhuhs” or nods as you slowly zone out. A coaching skill that is often overlooked.
With genuine listening you’re aiming for active and reflective. Make sure you focus as you listen and regularly reflect back to check your understanding of what has been said. There really is nothing quite like the attention of a good listener and this skill will help you to build rapport to boot. Leave your own agenda behind (remember your curiosity?) keep interruptions to a minimum and watch the dialogue flow.
Positive Psychology Coaching and Communication
Karen Tweedie of Access Leadership says “Better conversations mean better relationships, which lead to better output.” Below are a few tips to help the coaching leader support direct reports or other key stakeholders:
- See yourself as a thought partner, listen for potential (of people and ideas)
- Keep your questions open-ended (be willing to be surprised)
- Encourage self-discovery (encourage colleagues to find their own answers to their own challenges)
- Put your attention on the person in front of you, not the issue
- Expect that the person is capable of discerning the best approach
- Empower the other person to succeed – remove obstacles, provide resources
- Maintain accountability, celebrate effort and results
Once you’ve mastered these coaching skills you’ll have a vital addition to your leadership competencies, increasing your impact, developing your people, improving your relationships and your results.
Why coach using positive psychology? Rarely are jobs designed to match the talents, preferences, and aspirations of the individual. Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski, professor of Organizational Behavior at the Yale School of Management, discusses the art and science of job crafting.
We love to talk about all things positive psychology at Positive Change Guru. Check out our forthcoming events or get in touch to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke positive psychology training for your organisation.