It’s the beginning of a New Year, and for many of us it means it’s time to set goals for 2021. Statistically, even the most well-intentioned goals often fizzle out and we end up feeling like we failed. Today, you’ll learn how to make goals that actually stick.
Most of us have been taught to go after goals that scare us, but our brains are naturally inclined to run from things that feel hard. That is why most people quit.
In this episode, you’ll learn exactly how to set goals that are both challenging and doable. Goals that keep you progressing, but also feel accomplishable. You’ll also understand why it can be very healing to work towards something that helps you get out of “survival mode” and start thriving.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal From Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 22, How to Set Goals.
Hello, and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more free than the life you’re currently living,
but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick
around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is
it possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea
Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello everybody, this podcast will be released on New Year’s Day, so if
you’re listening to this on New Year’s Day, happy new year,
congratulations, you survived 2020. Isn’t that amazing? Who knew that 2020
would turn out the way it did? I know that it blew us all over in many
ways, but I also know that for me personally, 2020 taught me a lot of
things that I needed to see, that I needed to shift. So I’m grateful for
the lesson, I’m also grateful for a new year, if I’m being honest.
Today, we’re going to talk about how to set goals. You probably hear about
this a lot right about now, but you might not have heard it in this way
before. At the beginning of the new year, many of us look at our life and
look at the things that we want to change, and we might have really good
intentions of things that we want to do differently. And we jump right in,
go for it, dedicate ourselves to it, are just sure that we’re going to
stick with it, and then we fizzle out. And today, I want to talk a little
bit about this and why that happens and how you can help yourself.
Now, first of all, I remember when things were really intense for me
personally, when I was making the decision of whether or not to end my
marriage, when I was ending my marriage, when I was dealing with his loss
after he passed away, goals were not quite on my radar. I was in survival
mode, I was trying to get through the day and just be alive. I was trying
to keep my kids alive, trying to have enough of something to give to my
kids, trying to love them, trying to have support for them, and often, I
felt like I was in survival mode.
There does come a point though where it can be very helpful to have
something that you’re working towards that is bigger than you, something
that excites you, something that motivates you. I’m going to tell you what
that was for me, I remember it. So it was several months after my first
husband had passed away. Life was starting to feel a little bit more
normal, a little bit more like I could handle it, and I decided that I was
going to run a race. There was a girl in my area who was severely
handicapped and her family did a fundraiser for her called Sweating for
Sammy. And I decided I was going to run in the race, that was the
fundraiser to pay for this sweet girl’s medical care.
And so I set this goal to run this 5K race. I lived in the Bay Area,
beautiful areas to run and I thought, you know what? I can do that. And so
I downloaded an app on my phone that was like Couch to 5K, something like
that, and I did what it told me to do, and I just did the running. And so
really surprised myself in that race and I got second place in my age
group, and it felt so good. My kids were there, they ran for their age, and
sometimes I trained with my kids, even my little twins who were pretty
young at the time got to race. And it was a really fun time, a fun memory,
and it felt good to me to be doing something that was a goal that I said I
would do and to accomplish it, I had fun, I met other people, it was good,
it was a healthy thing for me. I want that for you, my friends.
We’re going to talk first about goals and why they matter. Zig Ziglar, I’m
sure you’ve heard of him, he says, a goal properly set is halfway reached.
I agree with that, so many of the times we think of these big goals, we
have these big ideas, and that’s great, I’m all about big ideas and big
goals. But then we leave it up to chance of how we’re going to actually
accomplish it, I’ll just figure it out, and the problem is we often don’t
figure it out. And what I want to teach you today is, how to set yourself
up for success so that you just keep chipping away at it.
Next, Seth Godin, he says, the thing about goals is that living without
them is a lot more fun in the short run. It seems to me though, that the
people who get things done, who lead, who grow and make an impact, those
people have goals. Amen to Seth Godin. We are conditioned to just chill,
we’re conditioned to just hang out where it’s comfortable and not do things
that are hard, but it’s the people who want more for their lives, who make
an impact, who grow, those people have goals.
If you remember from earlier episodes that talk about the motivational
triad and how we are literally wired to not want to do anything
uncomfortable or scary, we want it to be easy. And so it makes perfect
sense that most of us set these goals, we’re all in, let’s do it, brand new
start, and then we fizzle out because our brains are wired to scream at us
not to do it. So it makes perfect sense that we would fall off the wagon.
Let’s talk about how to stay on the wagon.
Step number one. This may seem really basic, but basic is good. Step one,
decide on the goal. First of all, in deciding on your goal, I want to give
you a couple tips. One, is to avoid all or nothing approaches. For example,
going from not working out at all to extreme workouts is probably not a
good idea, you may burn yourself out quick. Going from not budgeting at all
to trying to keep such a tight budget that you have no wiggle room at all
might burn you out. Going from eating whatever you want to cutting out all
sugar, flour, anything that you might deem harmful completely might burn
you out, your brain will likely rebel and put up a fight.
The next little tip in deciding on a goal is to make it measurable. How
will you know if you’re succeeding? Here’s some ideas, charts, planners,
document, you can make the most basic simple chart where you get to cross
it off and it really is satisfying to check that box saying, I did it.
However you want to document it is up to you, but you can teach your brain
that you’re winning at your goal. Our brain loves rewards, our brain loves
to be told, you’re doing such a good job. So the more you can find ways to
reward your brain, the better. Make it measurable, how will you know that
you’re winning? How will you know that you’re succeeding? Document it, make
it measurable. You want this to be something challenging, a stretch without
it feeling like you have to become a whole new person to pull it off.
You’re just stretching into a new version of yourself, you’re not doing an
overhaul of who you are, that is unnecessary.
Step number two, is break down exactly what needs to happen to reach this
goal. I have a one-on-one coach that I work with once a week and a couple
weeks ago, I brought to her some stuff that I have going on in finances.
I’m trying to do better at really paying attention to everything going on
in my business, in my personal life with money. I have a lot of resistance
to it, I’ve never particularly felt like I’m really good with money, and so
I have a lot of drama around it. So my coach did exactly what I’m going to
tell you to do.
She asked me to tell her exactly what needed to happen. So I’m like, well,
I need to do this and this, I want to print out all my bank accounts, I
want to really see where every penny’s going. And I just listed it out. I
broke down exactly what needs to happen, this gave my brain so much more
awareness of like, I can totally do that. Instead of looking at this thing
like it was so overwhelming, would take me at least three days to do.
Instead, I gave my brain, step by step, the things that need to happen to
reach that goal. You could break it down even more. Smaller increments,
decide how long each increment will take, each single increment.
For me, it was printing up the statements, going through them, highlighting
what was being pulled out, what was being put in, deciding on a budget,
having a discussion with the husband, deciding when we’re going to have a
financial meeting every week to go over the finances. Literally breaking it
down to the smallest little things so my brain could handle it without
going, no, that’s too much. Breaking it down, smallest increments possible,
deciding how long those things will take.
Next step is to name all of the obstacles that you may might have to
reaching that goal. For example, if you have a goal to get up and exercise,
the obstacle might be, getting up is hard. I don’t like getting up early,
that might be the obstacle. If you are trying to change your diet, an
obstacle might be intense sugar cravings. If you’re trying to focus on a
task, you might feel like the obstacle is that you get easily distracted.
Time can be an obstacle. My spouse might is not on board, that could be an
obstacle. Kid interruptions, so many obstacles. Our brain is at the ready
all the time to put little blocks in our way of saying, no, that’s much too
hard, showing us what those interruptions are.
Next, I want you to write down a solution for every single obstacle, every
single one. You’re getting gritty here, you’re using the resources of your
brain to come up with a solution. For example, getting up may be hard, plan
on it being hard. Set the alarm and remind yourself as you get out of bed,
this is the part where it feels hard and it’s okay. Sugar cravings, I will
allow them, I won’t react, I won’t resist, I won’t avoid, I will just be a
person who has a craving and will remind myself that it will pass. What
about getting distracted? I will set an alarm for 20 minutes and give
myself a five minute break in between 20 minute chunks. I will ask for
outside help, like keeping the kids in another area of the house to
minimize distraction for that 20 minute chunk time.
Time, this is a huge obstacle for so many people, there’s just not enough
time. Get gritty, get creative. How can you challenge your thinking about
what you can get done in a certain amount of time? Who can you ask for
help? What other solutions can you come up with with time? Maybe it’s
coaching your brain before you sit down to do something about what you want
to think on purpose, about the thing that you’re about to do. What if you
can challenge your thoughts about time? What about the obstacle of the
spouse? How can you come up with a solution for that? One idea is, I will
believe enough for both of us. I will trust that he isn’t on board because
he just doesn’t understand and it’s okay, I understand. He will understand
in time, you just have to have enough belief for you, my friend. You don’t
need to be in charge of his belief, he can handle that. The next step is to
start. Go, write out when you will do things, just stick to it.
Now, how will your identity shift as you make these changes? Let’s talk
about that a little bit. My coach, Brooke Castillo of the Life Coach
School, she did a podcast episode a while back that really blew my mind,
it’s called Minimum Baseline, I suggest you go find it. It’s Minimum
Baseline Life Coach School Podcast. Anyway, in that podcast, Brooke
Castillo teaches this concept about goals, about setting herself up for
success. And she teaches this concept that instead of saying, I’m going to
become a person who is an exerciser, instead of doing that and pushing
yourself so hard to do these hour long power workouts and then burning out,
you start building that identity by becoming the person that walks around
the block for five minutes a day, five minutes minimum baseline. What is my
minimum baseline for becoming a person who exercises daily? Keep it small,
These little shifts you’re teaching your brain, it doesn’t matter that you
walked for five minutes, it doesn’t matter that you walked really slow.
What matters is that you’re teaching your brain, I am a person, one, who
exercises every day. And two, that keeps my word to myself. Five minutes,
think about how that compounds over time. First of all, getting out the
door can be the hardest part. And so you might find that you start with
five minutes and you really like it, so you go for 30 minutes. But in your
brain, you’re like, I only have to go for five minutes and it’s giving your
brain that comfort that you could check that box like, I can do five
minutes. Where instead, think about the resistance that one might feel if
they think they have to go out and go running for an hour or even a half
hour. Five minutes, I can do that.
Think about it with all of the goals that we talked about, all the
different ideas, like not desiring sugar, for example. What is a minimum
baseline? We tend to be all or nothing. What if instead, that minimum
baseline is, I only have sugar when I have decided a day ahead of time to
have it, that is my minimum baseline. Do you think you could do that?
That’s what I’m working on in 2021. I’m working on sugar, sugar has been
something that I have … I’ve got a sweet tooth, always have, and I’ll do
really well for a while and then struggle. And I’m going to try a different
approach as well right along with you. I’ve really grown with this exact
process in other areas of my life and now I’m ready to apply it to sugar.
With this minimum baseline, what is your minimum baseline? Start by looking
at the end. Who do you want to be? Why do you want to achieve that goal?
Why did you pick that goal? Why do you want it so bad? What is the identity
of that person who has completed that goal? What is she like? Who is she?
What is her day like? What has improved in her life because she
accomplished this goal? And what is the minimum baseline you can do to
become her, to identify as her, to feel the way that she feels? The more
you can clear up that story and tell yourself a story that feels good in
your body, the more willing you’re going to be to do this process. To take
the steps to decide to put one foot in front of the other, to decide what
your minimum baseline is, and doing this work of finding the obstacles,
naming the strategies, and going for it.
Who do you want to become in 2021? Like I said, I’m working on a few
things. I’m working on finances, cleaning things up. My business has grown
a lot this last year, and with that, some of my structures in my business
need to be cleaned up. Some of my financing needs to be cleaned up. Some of
the ways that I do things need to be strategized and put into better
systems so I can keep up with the growth. It’s been a good thing, a
blessing, but that’s something that I’m going to work on this next year.
I’m going to work on my health because I want to be a person who lives in a
healthy, vibrant body, who has energy, who feels good. I have stuff I want
to do, I have important work to do. I love my work, I love being a mom, I
love being a wife, and I want to have a physical body that matches all the
things that I want to do and the person that I want to be. So that’s what
I’m working on in 2021.
I also want to set up better family structures. I am pretty chill, I’m
pretty down to earth, I’m pretty relaxed, and part of that has cost me. I
have never been great at having really clear, clean family structures. I’ll
do it for a while and then fall off, not have real good set consequences
sometimes, and I’m feeling it. With six kids living at home and four of
those kids being teenagers, I’m feeling it because they don’t always know
to believe me or not when I say I’m going to give a consequence, et cetera.
So one of my goals for 2021 is to have a better family structure and to
have my own back in it to keep my word, to give the consequences, to follow
Those are some of the things that I’m going to be working on. I hope that
this is helpful to you. I want you to just pick something. What is it?
What’s one goal you can work on? You’re worth it, you’re worth this work,
you’re worth striving for something. There’s so much joy in growth. There’s
so much joy in accomplishing things that you maybe thought were impossible
before. Who do you want to become in 2021? You don’t have to go change
everything to become her, it her starts with one little step, taking one
step and moving forward. Have a wonderful New Year, happy New Year, and I
will see you next week. Bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
email. You can subscribe @andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andrea giles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.