Aim high with simple goals

This summer has sharpened our focus on climate change and the lifestyles we will need to adapt to survive, writes Alice Johnsen.
While it can be uncomfortable to make change, change is good. More than good – it’s essential for us to keep surviving successfully.
At the start of this year, I set out my own goals for my business. Some of them are on track, others less so, having got lost in the distraction of everyday life or becoming less relevant.
I think the start of a new academic year is as good a time as any to consider how your plan is turning out – are you on track, and is it all still working?
While goals are for the most part helpful, they are there to serve us, not the other way round.
We should not become slaves to the goals or targets we set for ourselves. When that happens, the anxiety produced as a by-product is distracting, draining and time-wasting. If a goal is causing those symptoms, it probably needs revising. Or the tools you are using to reach that goal need reviewing.
A goal in itself can be a good thing but it needs a story around it. Why are you aiming towards that particular goal? Why is this the right time in your life/business/relationship/training? How will you know when you have achieved it and what will it lead you on to? Does it sit well with your life now or is it a standalone idea, potentially a standalone distraction?
One last thought about goals. A big goal will quickly seem unobtainable when times are tough. It becomes too easy to give up on what you are trying to achieve. To prevent this, keep your goals small or – with a big goal to aim for, such as qualifying for a regional level sports team – break it down.
Create smaller steps you can work through to take you to that goal. Give thought as to how you can recognise when you have achieved each step so your mini-successes build to motivate you towards the big success.
That way, you build a feeling of having a positive influence on your life. You are in control, moving forward and can be proud of what you are doing.
n Alice Johnsen is a life coach. Telephone 07961 080513. Website Email

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