Setting and achieving goals is a universal ambition. Whether it’s in your personal life or within the realm of business, the pursuit of goals drives us, motivates us, and often defines our path to success. But here’s the catch: not all goals are created equal. To truly succeed and lead a fulfilling life, it’s crucial to set goals that align with your values and aspirations. This article will explore the life changing power of setting aligned goals and understanding the stories we compose around them.
The Crucial Alignment: Goals and Values
“What are the goals you’re setting for your life or your business?” This is a pivotal question. A question that prompts us to reflect on our ambitions and aspirations. Are we aiming to increase our income, expand our businesses, or perhaps prepare for an eventual sale? These are common objectives, but the key to success is in aligning these goals with our core values.
You may be wondering why alignment is so critical. It’s because when your goals resonate with your values, you’re more likely to dedicate yourself to pursuing them. You become a truly driven individual, committed to achieving your goals, no matter the obstacles. However, if your goals don’t align with your values, you risk making half-hearted attempts. Then, even when you accomplish them, you won’t experience the fulfillment you expected.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Achieving goals is not just about setting them; it’s about understanding the stories we develop around them. The stories we tell ourselves have a profound impact on the actions we take, the decisions we make, and the overall trajectory of our lives. These stories can be of various types.
Stories of Defeat: When we constantly tell ourselves stories of failure and setback, it becomes challenging to maintain the motivation needed to achieve our goals.
Stories of Victory: On the other hand, stories of success and triumph can fuel our determination and drive us towards our goals.
Stories of Scarcity: A mindset centered on scarcity often leads to a fear-driven approach to life and business, delaying our potential for growth.
Stories of Abundance: Narratives rooted in abundance can inspire us to take calculated risks and seek out opportunities.
Stacking Stories for Success
Tony Robbins teaches that your stories, stacked one on top of another, are going to determine the outcome of your life. The stories we accumulate, whether positive or negative, shape our perception of reality and our ability to achieve our goals. If our narratives are dominated by defeat, scarcity, anger, or other negative emotions, it becomes nearly impossible to lead an enjoyable life, let alone reach our goals.
However, when we stack stories of victories, abundance, service to others, and triumph over our own challenges, these stories serve as powerful motivators. They enable us to focus on intelligent, achievable goals that are in harmony with our values. As Tony Robbins famously put it, “Change Your Story, Change Your Life.” The choice to reshape your stories and, by extension, your destiny rests entirely in your hands.
Avoiding the Trap of Others’ Stories
While our own stories significantly impact our lives, we must also be cautious not to take on other people’s stories as our own. Empathy and sympathy are essential, but taking on other people’s struggles to the detriment of our well-being can be counterproductive.
We all have different perspectives on challenging times, such as the tumultuous 2020 we experienced. Some may look at challenges as terrible. Others may see them as merely bad, or even okay, good, or great. What’s important to know is that our perspective largely determines our experience. By choosing a positive perspective and then stacking positive stories so that we find joy and pleasure amid difficulties, we can maintain emotional resilience and pursue our goals more effectively.
Balancing Realistic and Challenging Goals
Another crucial aspect of successful goal setting is striking a balance between realism and challenge. Setting overly ambitious, unrealistic goals can lead to discouragement fast, and that leads to abandonment, similar to many New Year’s resolutions. Being realistic is essential. My own personal gym experience is a good example. After repeatedly joining new gyms, hurting myself and then quitting, I finally learned that gradual progress and incremental challenges got better results than trying to lift the same heavy weights after years of inactivity.
In the business realm, it works the same way. For example, it’s really important to recognize that goals of doubling sales and spending more time with family might be incongruent. You may not be able to do both at the same time. So, remember that while you’re pursuing ambitious business goals, be sure you also have a well-rounded plan that allows for rest and recuperation. Burnout can undo all the financial gains you’re enjoying if it jeopardizes your health.
Strategizing with an Action Plan and Support
To effectively pursue your goals without burning out, it’s essential to develop a detailed action plan that’s like a roadmap. Without it, it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve your goals. Seeking support from coaches, accountability partners, or advisory boards can also help keep you on track because there’s strength in numbers.
Another critical step on the road to accomplishing your goals is identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis). Recognize where your expertise lies and where you may need assistance. In the ever-changing business landscape, being adaptable and responsive to threats and opportunities is essential. It’s critical not just to know your biggest problem but also to address it.
Delegating Weaknesses and Embracing Failure
Learning to delegate tasks that aren’t a strength for you or that you consistently ignore is a valuable skill. Virtual assistants and collaborators can help you focus on tasks that align with your strengths and move you closer to your goals.
On the road to reaching your goals, sometimes you’ll miss the mark, and it’s crucial to acknowledge that failure’s a part of the journey. Vince Lombardi believed, “Failure isn’t getting knocked down; failure is not getting back up.” When setbacks occur, pick yourself up, learn the lessons, and move forward.
The Importance of Time Frames and Visualization
Goals without time frames and plans are mere wishes. Every goal should have a clear time frame, whether it’s a 6-month, 1-year, 5-year, or 20-year goal, and you should be able to picture it. Visualization is a powerful tool. What you can visualize in your mind, you can make real. By picturing your goals, you open the door to their achievement.
Assessing the Impact on Life and Values
Consider how each goal will impact your life, your family, and your overall success. Balancing your professional and personal life is essential. Committing to unrealistic work hours while aiming to spend more time with your family is a contradiction that often leads to unhappiness and personal problems.
Ensure that your goals align with your values and integrity. Success that compromises your core values is not genuine success. Staying aligned with your values is the true test of authentic achievement.
Setting Goals for Activities in Business
Beyond overarching goals, set specific objectives for your business activities. Establish targets for networking events, referrals, and social media engagement. By quantifying these activities, you create actionable plans that contribute to your overall success.
Seeking Mentorship and Coaching
Finally, consider the value of mentorship and coaching. A coach can provide accountability, encouragement, new ideas, and a reality check when needed. They can keep you on course and prevent you from straying into unproductive territories.
Edwards Deming wisely stated, “Don’t focus on the results; focus on the activities that lead to the results.” When you focus on setting and achieving goals by first aligning them with your values, planning strategically, developing support systems, maintaining adaptability, and keeping a healthy perspective on setbacks, the results will come.
When you’re ready to take your life and business to the next level by developing intentional goals and changing any negative stories you may hold and you want a trusted business coach to help you do it, reach out to schedule your 30-minute discovery call with Joe Novara, expert in relationship marketing, sales, and business mindset mastery.