A Blessing or a Lesson ..
by COLETTE PIENAAR
Most of us start the new year with the best intentions. Given we have had the most bizarre 2020 our hopes for 2021 will most likely be based on what we missed out on last year. I for one, can not wait to be able to travel again and have a knees-up with the girls! do I hear an amen ..
Perhaps you have been burying your head in the sand waiting for things to get back to normal .. or getting used to the new normal .. maybe your usual plans for January include losing weight or giving up alcohol or moving house or getting a new job or retiring!
The fun surrounding creating a vision board or adding your dreams to a dream jar will only take you so far and yes even those dreams will be target-based dreams. These are brilliant, to begin with.. the beauty of layering the learning-based goal-setting principle over the top is that you unwittingly create opportunities and begin to see things from a different perspective. This is what this post is all about.
I came across this concept many moons ago through a friend Denise. She introduced me to Learning-Based Goal Setting by Tom Evans. You can find out more about him here www.tomevans.co
The idea is that rather than set a target-based goal we focus on learning and as result get out of our own way. So much of what we aim to do is constrained by what we know and our experience that we have no idea how much further we can go unless we open our minds and get out of the way.
It is that typical saying .. we don't know what we don't know ..
The biggest reason our goals and ambitions are not fulfilled is simply and brutally put .. and there is only one reason. YOU !!! The world does not conspire against us - we do.
As soon as things get tough, our focus on our goals is forgotten while we deal with the drama at hand. More often than not .. they are put on the back burner or forgotten about altogether. The conversation we then have with ourselves usually goes something like .. oh well, life is hard, it's simply not meant to be and we move on to the next drama or big thing that demands our attention .. and tada here is an instant disconnect.
In order to achieve our dreams and goals, we need to learn and focus on that.
By seeing anything that comes up that stops us from hitting our goals or slows our progress as a blessing in disguise, we rise to a new level of both understanding and achievement. It is about taking ownership of everything that happens around us and believing that everything happens for a reason and we are the co-creator .. in essence, its a blessing or a lesson.
Love this quote by Tony Robbins, "Life happens for me .. not to me"
it sums it up beautifully and is all about our mindset when it comes to living our lives.
The question to ask is why target-based goal setting systems don't deliver?
Goals set in this manner are essentially limited by our imagination, experience and the information to hand at the time they are set and therein lies the rub.
For example, you might write down a ‘smart’ goal like:
“By the end of June, I will have lost 1 stone in weight and fit into a size 12" ..
In reality, you could achieve more if you simply got out the way ..
To achieve all you can possibly dream and more is simpler than being as specific and focussed than this. All we have to do is to base our goal setting on what we would like to learn. It's a bit like committing yourself to the journey rather than the destination.
When you then align what you want to learn with what you want to achieve, something magical happens. Firstly, you get presented with opportunities and challenges to help you grow as a person. Secondly, the opportunities to help you achieve your goals start to appear as if by magic. Thirdly, you achieve a level of success that is much better than you imagined.
We get in the way of our own success, so by stepping out of the way and letting things happen, we begin to reap unimagined benefits.
So as an example of this we say, this is what I have learned so far and am learning:
2021 - how easy it is to “Feel happy in my skin, maintaining my healthy weight"
Go ahead and make a list for yourself, this is a great way to start this exercise.
1994 to 2005 - how to source, market and sell products
2006 - how easy it was to complete an MBA
2005 to 2020 - how easy it was to learn, live and breathe fitness and to teach other people how to do it too
2018 - 2020 - how easy it was to pivot my business online and serve my tribe
By Q1 2021 - how easy it was to help women experiencing hormonal changes take control and get their bodies back
By Q2 2021 - how easy it is to get back on stage and be in the best shape of my life
2021 - how easy it is to help others live a life beyond the ordinary
2022 - how easy it is to reach at least 10000 women
So if you want to move gracefully through life and want your dreams to be surpassed then start here.
STEP 1: YOUR LIFE MAP
What is amazing about his approach is that we have been doing it without being aware of it all of our lives. So before setting your learning-based goals, let's have a look at how well you have already been doing this and how equipped you are for the future.
Grab some paper, a note pad, journal .. and make a Mind Map of your life story so far like this one.
Starting with your biggest successes, then the highlights of your life, people who are the most significant to you. Places that are special to you. Things you know that you are most proud of and then on the final branch, simply dream about what you might yet be capable of, armed with your experiences, knowledge and wisdom.
STEP 2: NOW CREATE SOME GOALS
On the next map, make a list of what you would like to learn by the end of each of the time periods listed.
Then focus on any perceived blocks and any habits you would like to leave behind or instil as a result of this analysis.
The action steps you need to take will become clear so pop them down too.
Then when you have finished stick them up somewhere you will see them every day. This is such a powerful exercise because without reading them or looking at them properly every day you will be reminded just by walking by.
You may find that your goals shift and your action steps change, that's all good and part of the learning process. Nothing is set in stone so this is a great way to make sure you get out of your way and learn as much as you can on your journey to life beyond the ordinary.
STEP 3: LISTEN AND LEARN
So the exciting bit now is realising how much work you have actually done in completing these mind maps. There is no need to set any specifics, just know that whatever you learn will surpass your initial expectations.
Be open to the opportunities that knock on your door and have a growth mindset in whatever you do. At the same time when things don't go as expected see these events as blessings and lessons.
It is worthwhile making a note of the following things every day before you go to bed, whether this is in a journal, a diary or simply on a note to self.
Gratitude is Lattitude .. so list the following:
3 good things that happened
3 not-so-good things that happened (habits/blocks)
3 things you’ve learned
3 things you’d like to happen the next day
If you forget to do it, make sure you do it when you wake up.
Simply be grateful for these things. You may find fewer blocks appear over time, that's awesome, and likewise, you may find more good things happen, just write down what you are grateful for.
So that's the learning-based approach I use every year to set some goals and challenge my perception of things. Blessings and lessons, I hope this serves you and helps you view the goal-setting process a little differently.
Let's head into the year with that growth mindset that says how much can I learn and grow this year? and we compare notes in 12 months ..
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