Life Coaching – Setting Goals

Setting goals – take ownership of your life!

How often do you get in your car, have no destination in mind and then drive around until you run out of petrol? The idea sounds ridiculous and yet we do this all the time with something much more important – our own lives. If you don’t have a clear idea of where you want to go then how will you know when you’ve arrived and how will you know which direction/actions to take?

If you feel like you’re stuck, lacking direction or maybe life’s passing you by then this article should help.

Also do you ever feel like you spend half your life doing things you should do rather than what you want to do? The problem is that we ‘should’ ourselves to death – inevitably if we’re not really that interested then our efforts are only going to be half-hearted.

After a while we may even begin to think there’s something wrong with us for not caring enough – in fact we just need to find what does interest us and place our energies there!

Why goals are so important

There is a force (the subconscious mind or the universe, depending on your perspective) waiting for us to tell it what we would like to happen in our lives. We each have this incredible resource, which can’t wait to get into action, but all most of us do is fill our minds with negative or random thoughts or concentrate on what we don’t want.

Do you ever go into the supermarket with a list of things you DON’T want? This force is incredibly powerful, but takes us at our word so be careful what you think about!

In 1979 students on the Harvard MBA programme were asked “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

An amazing 84% had no goals at all and the results when they were re-interviewed 10 years later were nothing less than astounding –

  • The 13% who had goals (but not written down) were earning twice as much as those without goals at all.
  • The 3% who had clear, written goals were TEN TIMES as much as the other 97% put together!

The main reasons why people don’t set goals

  • They don’t understand the importance – hopefully we’ve cleared that up for you now!
  • They’re fed up with other people’s goals – whether it’s society, our family, friends, boss or company there’s no shortage of people lining up to tell us what we SHOULD do. Since the goals are not our own, it’s unlikely we’ll get excited by them and put much effort in. The problem is though that we can start to categorise goals in a negative context and this can put off setting goals (even our own) for life!
  • Fear of failure! “If I don’t set goals they I can’t fail to achieve them” – true, we don’t like to break promises to ourselves but if we don’t try then the loss to our self- confidence will be much greater.
  • They don’t know how to, they may never have done it properly (for ourselves) before. This is something that life coaches can provide invaluable help with.

You’ll have heard of SMART goals but here’s why they’re so important. If they’re not….


Specific – if you simply ask for “more money”, you’ll may only find 20p on the floor of the toilet!

Measurable – you won’t know when you’ve reached your destination so you’ll either give up before you get there or, like Forrest Gump, you’ll keep running well past the finishing line!

Achievable – you’ll never get there so either you’ll give up before you begin or damage your confidence when you ‘fail’. Beware though – although it’s important to take small steps to begin with, you may be able to achieve considerably more than you currently give yourself credit for!

Realistic, ie if you don’t have the resources you need to start or maintain your journey you could lose steam. Make sure you have control and you don’t over-rely on others!

Time-Based, you may never achieve them or, if you do, it’ll be an accident! Tomorrow never comes and if you don’t set yourself deadlines you’ll continue to procrastinate until it’s too late. If your life ended today (I’m sorry to say it but a day WILL come when that’s the case!) would you be happy with what you’ve achieved so far?

Life coaches can really help you to achieve your potential by:

  • Identifying what you really want (which may differ from what you think is currently possible – most of us have imposed low ceilings on what we think we can achieve and then act accordingly). Coaches are great at asking the right questions, the answers will be your own but they may surprise you!
  • Helping you explore these ‘wants’ into well-defined goals that are congruent at all levels (if they feel right to us deep down they’ll have a much greater chance of success – otherwise a part of us may sabotage our efforts – sound familiar?)
  • Finding out what the barriers are (self-awareness being a big first step) and helping to remove them. It’s likely this will include some limiting beliefs, which are often hidden, irrational and yet devastating in their power to hold us back. Most people live their whole life without even knowing they exist!
  • Encouraging you to take the first few small steps towards a new happier life – actions break habits but they need to be small enough (‘chunked down’) to be achievable. It’s likely that you may begin to view the world in new and exciting ways!
  • Support you through this transitional stage of your life – you won’t know how uncomfortable your ‘comfort’ zone actually is until we work together to help you out of it!
NLP Life Coaching LondonAbout The Author

Paul Brown is a life coach and NLP practitioner based in several locations across London. In founding Empowering Beliefs his main aim was to help clients from all walks of life break through their self-imposed limitations through developing awareness.

Find out more about Paul’s work by visiting his GoToSee profile page here

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