Ioana is a lifelong learner with a mission to enrol others on the path of their own growth. In her own journey, she came to understand that with all of the different delivery methods available to us today, the real talent resides in inspiring people to act. With diverse personal development experience ranging from NLP to Steven Covey’s - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, she is now training to become an Erickson coach. Having worked for over 10 years in a multinational corporate environment, she has greatly developed her skills for effective project management and effective communication.
What is a Life-Goal and How To Achieve It?
It goes without saying that everybody knows what a goal is. We all have goals, right?
Any goal worth pursuing will be something that moves you in life, that gives you energy while working towards it and following an action plan will take you and your goal from initiation to completion. Undoubtedly and by extension, you will agree that a Life-Goal is the one specific goal to journey with you for your entire life. So with this logic, does achieving a Life-Goal require having a Life-Plan? Absolutely!
Marilyn Atkinson, the founder of the Erickson Coaching International, states: “All things happen first in mind, then in reality”. So, let’s put coaching to work here for you. Coaching works best through open-ended questions. My personal belief is that to a certain extent, self-coaching also works well. Below is a framework you can use both for yourself and your friends to have them thinking of their Life-Goal and also step into planning.
Start by asking yourself this question: “If anything in the world was possible and you had all the resources you needed available, what would you dream to do?” While thinking about this, I would actually encourage you to take your dream one little step further and make a statement about it - a phrase that summarizes it will do. Now, say it out loud. Use a piece of paper to take notes of what becomes available for you.
Would you try now to say it out loud? … Or at least whisper it to yourself if you’re on the subway when reading this… Just as Milton Erickson said, “a goal without a date is just a dream”. Think of a deadline and attach it to your Life-Goal to make it a Life Plan. Then, engage your auditory system and listen to yourself while making your statement even stronger!
I’m curious, how close your dream is to you now, after hearing yourself say it out loud a couple of times? Why not also make a drawing to go with it? Albert Einstein said, “One picture is worth a thousand words”. You already have the pen and paper next to you if you wrote earlier about what you’re dreaming of to do. If not, it’s about time you made them handy. It’s always useful to anchor your goals in your mind’s eye by making images with what you want to achieve.
Time to review where you’ve gotten so far: your Life-Goal sounds exactly the way you wanted and there’s maybe an image attached to it. The deadline is also there, so it looks like you’re having a plan. Fairly easy to this point, wouldn’t you say? You engaged your both auditory and visual system, so the next step is to also engage your kinesthetic system and check how does your Life-Goal make you feel?
If we were to assess how your choice is of value to you, I would ask you to validate your Life-Goal with some of the critics around you. This question might help: “When anything in the world was available, why would anyone choose exactly what you chose as your life goal?". Any answer will do, but I guess you wouldn’t hesitate to say anything similar to this: “I chose this to be my Life-Goal and this is what I want to do. It makes me feel good only by thinking about it and it also gives me a sense of purpose in life. And if I was to expand my Life-Goal to a couple of years from now, it’s actually giving me clarity about what I am going to do for the rest of my life. And when I get there, many people will benefit from it.”
And then you would also say this: “For sure, if I were to go backwards from completion, there would be some moments in time when my life goal made no sense to me, but then we all lived those moments that felt like we were wearing the wrong size shoes?”
Let me give you a hint here. When this moment comes, then don’t call your critics in. Invite the best mentor you’ve got. Imagine the perfect voice encouraging you and helping you to re-ignite the process of achieving your life-goal. Mentors are quite insightful when asked for help. Feel free to choose yours and ask them for help whenever necessary!
Finally, if we were to take this further down the line to the moment of completion, how would you say that achieving your Life-Goal made your time worth it? How did the people around you benefit? What about your family? Would you invite everyone and celebrate the many hours you put in and the hard work? I would!
As we have reached the end of this “self-coaching” session… from a scale of 1 (being the lowest) to 10 (being the highest) how ready are you to make your Life-Goal your personal mission statement?
“What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create.” - Buddha
Inspired dreams everyone!