Hey there gorgeous piece of a human being who wants to get more and be more but might need some goal setting awesomeness to help along the way! How to set better goals for yourself is what you might need..? Or maybe you wish to have more clarity on what your goals and dreams should actually even be and how to achieve goals. Maybe you dream about setting goals with purpose… If any of this rings true to you, you are in the right place, because the goal for this post is…
No more goals that you write in your notebook and two months later you don’t want to open that notebook because you know you have failed that goal.
No more goals that you want to just forget because they are not meaningful enough for you to accomplish.
No more goals that feel so big that you don’t even believe in them full-heartedly.
No more goals that take your whole life or require a change that you are not totally on board with.
No more goals that please others more than you.
No more goals that make you feel anxious about yourself or stressed about the outcome.
Ah, like what are these goals? Like dreams come true? Well why not my friend, let’s get started and start saying no to goals we don’t know how to achieve.
1 GOALS AND DREAMS – REACH THEM WITH TIME
I am writing this blog post outside and I am watching all these little leaves moving just a little tiny bit in the wind. Now in the fall you can see those leaves turning their colors. But you can’t actually see it happening. You see the difference in a week or in a couple days, but if you stare at a leaf for an hour, no matter how intensively you do it, you won’t see the color change.
Same way, when you start a new goal or habit… The difference is not noticeable in a day. But in a few days or weeks, you can make visible changes already. As I am writing that sentence, the leaves and trees caught a much bigger gust of wind, almost as if to prove my point haha. Soooo, I speak tree!! Or maybe we go back to real things. Like thinking about your goals. Consider them as leaves that are changing color little by little.
The dream is then the next season, a tree with new leaves. You can have your season dreams or just one big dream that might require you to drop and grow new leaves many times before you are there but either way, the achievement of that dream comes often down to how much you believe in your goal and how consistent action you take towards your goal.
Yes, there will most likely be seasons or moments where you feel naked.
Where you want to keep the old leaves to protect yourself.
That is when the belief in the new season,
In the new layer of leaves,
will be measured and rewarded.
Sometimes the wind is stagnant,
and nothing moves for a while,
sometimes the wind picks up and the change feels like you are flying forward!
But how can you count on yourself when nothing moves or changes? How to know if you are going to achieve your goal if nothing happens? You are not a tree you are a human being for tree’s sake! How do you know and believe that the little things you are doing are working for you?
Well, I am glad you asked!
2 HOW TO ACHIEVE GOALS?
Now, it actually matters what the change you want is. What do you want? What goals you want to achieve? And are willing to sacrifice for? Don’t just read that and keep scrolling. Think for a minute. What do you really want?
Because if you don’t know what you want, your goal setting process will be like buying a lottery ticket and we all know that the odds are not in your favor in that case. Setting goals with purpose is huge. Also, if your goal is something like “I want to be successful” – as your blog friend I would advise you to narrow it down. Successful in what? By when? And so on.
One good way to do that is to use the SMART-goal framework that many of us have already heard of. I think it is a very useful way to look at goals but also a tad boring. Sorry. But for me it is. You can find tons of articles about SMART-goals but here is a quick summary of what it is.
S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time-bound.
I created my own goal setting process where goals are set aligned with your values and I call it the SAANA – model!
What, like how full of myself I am to do that?
Saana is a mountain in Finland and the letters and metaphor just work so well so what the heck, why not use it!
Mountain is a representation of how we all have our own mountain to climb,
our own peak to reach.
You can’t and you should not be climbing anyone else’s mountain. Let your neighbors have their own.
You also know that the climb is not gonna be easy.
The last part of the climb is going to be the slowest and hardest. As it should. It ain’t a steady corn field for a reason.
But the view and feel on the edge is making it all worth it.
2.1 SAANA : GOALS WITH SELF-COMMAND
So, when we have SMART-framework, let’s add SAANA on top of it to make goal setting more fun, efficient, purposeful and authentic to you. (More about authenticity in sports here)
S – Self-command : the goal needs to be broken down into smaller tasks that are totally up to your gorgeous self to master and control. Otherwise, it is too easy to let all of the uncontrollable things to take you off track. Goal setting is therefore something that is more up to chance than actually dependent on your actions. That needs to be reversed. Your goal has clear steps that by taking them, you are in control and success is inevitable, it is just a matter of time when you are going to get there.
Example: Meditation 5x/week for 10 minutes. Visualization 2x/week for 10 minutes. Can’t blame anyone else if you don’t do these.
2.2 SAANA : GOALS WITH ASPIRATION
A – Aspiring : Your goal and dream need to inspire you so that you feel so damn excited about reaching the goal that you feel like a sun sat on your face. Suddenly you also start finding time for the little actions that are gonna take you closer to the person you aspire to be. The goal and dream is giving you a gateway to become the person you want to become but all of this is connected to yourself as a human being.
Example: I will be a thriving athlete who feels good in her own skin while crushing my personal records this season.
2.3 SAANA : GOALS THAT YOU CAN ADJUST
A – Adjustable : because we dream big and not everything is always under our control (pretty much the opposite to break the truth to you), our goals need to be adjustable in some sense. I mean that if something unfortunate happens, we don’t just say F this and kick the dream and goal to the corner and never look that way again.
Nope that’s not how to achieve goals. We all know that the cookie jar is still there even if we put it on the highest shelf and close the door.
So adjusting makes the goals more achievable. No matter how long it takes. If it is important enough to you, the time frame is not the most important thing but getting there is. If you miss a day or a week etc., you still get back to it. You remember that the cookies are good for a reason. 😛
Example: If you wanted to increase your vertical by 3cm in 6 months, you don’t give up if you don’t get any results in 2 months. You still have one more month and if you increased your vertical by 1.5 cm in 6 months, and those remaining 1.5cm are still important, use an extra 2 months to get there. You won’t regret that and you will still be a champ when you get to this goal. Also, if your ways to achieve that goal won’t bring results, it does not mean you give up, it means you alter the ways. You find solutions. This is a vital part of goal setting and something that often goes south so prepare better for the hardships. Risk management, peeps.
2.4 SAANA : NECESSARY ELEMENT(S) OF THE GOAL
N – Necessity: the goal is something you feel that you need in your life because then you can create those necessary steps that you know you NEED in order to get to that big change. Picking one thing that truly makes sense for you and for your dreams is the key here. We get so overwhelmed easily with everything we should be doing. Pick one that is always necessary and stick with it. Commit to see how great that thing will make you. How far it takes you.
This action is necessary and will bring the results to where I want to be in 5 years. If I don’t do it, my success won’t be as fast or as big.
Example: I need to add one completely off day for my mind and body in every two weeks where I do just whatever I feel like doing to rest and recharge. Or I am watching videos every other day to learn more.
2.5 SAANA : ALIGNED GOALS -> ALIGNED ATHLETE OR PERSON:)
A – Aligned : After all, this might be the most important one that will tie everything together. Your goal and the small actions need to be aligned with you, with the big picture, with the purpose you have. Figuring out something bigger that your goal or dream is tied with in addition to just you and your little butt, you will make bigger things. Very often this is also related to service, being of help or of example for others.
Example: By crushing this glass ceiling, I am showing others from the same situation that this is possible for them as well. I am empowering other people that have the same struggles as I used to have to get out from there and get better.
There you have it, the SAANA-framework for goal setting.
When you use this kind of goal setting process, you are setting goals that get more results and feel more aligned, aka it is gonna make you more successful to reach them. That is how you achieve goals, not just set them. Ah what a win-win, it’s like the combination of dark chocolate and coffee on a sunny afternoon! *Slurp*. Speaking of bite-size chunks of chocolate… Let’s move on.
3 REAL LIFE EXAMPLES OF GOALS WITH PURPOSE
So from the big picture to smaller.. How? Now you have the framework and ideas but now we need to put all of it together. I created a roadmap for you that you can download below this post.
And here is the way to go after setting goals with purpose so you get actionable, aligned steps to take.
Start with the ideal version of you that when you close your eyes and think of what you want… What kind of human being should you be to achieve that? What comes to your mind? What if you would be that person today? What would it require from you?
One real life example of how the bigger version of myself and my purpose won and made me still move in a direction towards my goals… Psst.. That’s what setting goals with purpose does.
I hadn’t played volleyball in forever, for months due to an Achilles tendon injury. Then there was a tournament and after a while I knew deep inside that I wanted to participate but everything in my mind was resisting that idea because I had not prepared myself at all and I would expose myself to a lot of criticism, especially from myself but also from others.
Well, I came to the conclusion that a) if I want to play then b) the only real/valid reason not to participate would be the condition of my leg. BUT c) all the BS my mind is saying about how bad I will be, how everyone else will also think that, how I don’t want to blow the tournament for others and so on is all just noise that I need to silence if and when I want to walk my own talk.
If and when I am the one talking about taking action despite the fear it causes.
If and when I am the one who wants to show an example for others to be able to play freely without a constant worry about other people’s opinions. (See this post what I mean)
If and when I want truly be the one who wants to empower others…
I had better be the one who is also doing the work herself.
And so I did. I signed up and started to visualize my playing as successful, how it feels to be back on the court and competing. Well hell yeah (sorry for the curse word but it is necessary here) it felt good to be on the court and forget what others might think of me and my playing. I actually enjoyed it. I was able to play freely most of the time. I achieved my goal.
The lesson of this story. The purpose is bigger than the pain so I take the pain to get closer to my purpose. Like Michael Gervais said it: “When purpose is small, pain wins. When your purpose is big, you will deal with the pain. You will have the perseverance.”
So really use the time to get the big picture to its place. Then you’re ready for the next step.
4 THE STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE YOU REACH YOUR GOAL
What five things are your obstacles? What is standing on your way that you are not there yet?
Break each of those five things or obstacles down. Write each of them down and then think of what 3-5 steps would you need to reach each of them? Depending on the size and concept of these steps, you can now start applying the SAANA-framework to complete your own path to your ideal version.
One thing before you start getting into action. Don’t play small. Go for something that really excites you. You don’t achieve goals that are not exciting. And grab the goal setting worksheet that follows these principles below that tells you how to achieve goals with a smile in your heart:)
If you need help or someone to go through the process with: hey, I am here for you. Just waiting for you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Or if you are one of the brave ones, set up a free 15-min call with me to see how can I help you to achieve your goals here 🙂
Some sources and more interesting reading/content on how to achieve goals:
https://ideas.ted.com/4-tips-to-help-you-achieve-your-goals/ (Watch especially Define your fears by Tim Ferris)
Atomic Habits by James Clear + his articles like this one: https://jamesclear.com/schedule-goals
High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard