Yes, sometimes I let my goals slip. What?! Did you say that out loud? but you are a Coach!! how could you? I hear you say. My first sarcastic answer will be, because I am human. On a more serious note, I will say because I needed to.
When setting goals, there will be overarching goals as well as interdependent goals. For example, if wanting to become a millionaire by 30 is your overarching goal, an interdependent goal might be, I want to stay alive and healthy to enjoy the millions. You must be able to recognize these types of inter dependencies, so that at any point, where an intervention is necessary, you can increase or decrease effort and momentum accordingly.
Why is this important, because, a key interdependent goal can sabotage an overarching goal and subsequently lead to lack of achievement and fulfillment.
So, my main goal is to retire very soon, I won’t tell you when, not trying to avoid following the SMART goal setting process, but a lady does not tell her age. My interdependent goal is to stay alive, healthy, young looking, energetic from now and until that date and beyond.
When the overarching goal creates stress, I need to recognize the sabotaging effect it could have on my health and deal with it first, or press the pause button and de-stress. By taking care of foundations and first things first, I am able to gain energy to keep or increase pace on the overarching goal.
You could also have competing goals. Say you are someone who wants peak performance in more than one area of your life, then you could experience conflict.
I have always wanted to be the best mum I can be, at the same time pursuing my passion as a Coach was non-negotiable. This meant being pulled in different directions. This resulted in imbalance.
I had to find a way to ring-fence and allot time to do both. I would take weekends off to go out and live out life with family. The whole summer I took the kids round to friends each weekend and we got reacquainted with some neglected relationships. Then came the end of Summer, kids are back in school and I went back to my intensity of pursuit. Whatever I do, I do it passionately. I had to make a conscious sacrifice of one for the other. Allowing balance to exist in one area so as to stabilize it first, while the other operated at a less than satisfactory level for a short time was my way of resolving my life conflict.
Balance will not always be straight forward and easy to achieve, the key is to do your best and give your best at each opportunity and make a conscious effort not to dwell on things outside of your control.
This is not to say avoid all stress, as you well know, no reward without risk, but risk has to be calculated, monitored and mitigated. It is also not to say make an excuse for procrastination by claiming to focus on the important inter dependencies, “you snooze you loose”.
From the onset of goal setting, identify and devise systems that you can put in place as mitigation, e.g. attend your annual health checks, do your exercise, eat healthy, arrange non-negotiable planned chill-out time. These systems when set-up properly, serve as safe guards against inertia but also sabotage. I must admit, I haven’t always done this correctly, but through increased awareness, I am retracing and establishing my systems, one intentional step at a time.
So, the next time you feel that things are getting a bit much, take time to reflect, press pause and take a chill pill. Smell the proverbial roses and live a little.
The tomorrow for which you set goals, is not promised, all you have is today. So, make it count.