By Doug Bennett aka The Goals Guy®, and special guest Paul Avins
Have you ever noticed that trying to achieve some of your goals feels like you’re rolling a giant boulder up a hill, while other goals naturally fall into place as though the stars have aligned in your favour?
If you’ve been devouring my blogs for a while, you’ll know that taking consistent action towards your goals will bring you results. However, if you feel like you’re doing that already and getting nowhere fast, you’ll love what I’m about to share from business coach, mentor, investor and speaker Paul Avins.
You can hear our full conversation on the Goals Do Come True podcast (and if you’d like to find out what he had to say about S.M.A.R.T. goals, check out my earlier blog How To Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals More Meaningful To You).
In this blog, I’m going to share ten insights from Paul to help your goals be on point, on purpose, and a lot closer to fruition!
10 goal-setting insights to take you further, faster
- Are your goals based on fear?
Fear-driven goals make life tricky because they’re less about bringing you fulfilment and more about “fitting in”.
Paul: “A turning point in my life was when I realised that a large number of my goals were ego-driven. They arose because I was trying to impress other people and show off. I realised that I was chasing external validation and trying to make people like me.
I wanted people to tell me I was good at what I did, and that I was a nice person. I struggled to believe that I was good enough because I was put up for adoption at four weeks old, so I always thought there was something ‘wrong’ with me.
My goals became like a trap; I’d walk offstage and feel happy for a few minutes, then I’d go into a deep, dark depression and want to prove myself all over again.”
Check in with your goals and gauge whether they are truly based on what you want, or if they’re all about other people. When we set goals to prove ourselves to others, we rely on external approval, which we can never guarantee and is likely to exacerbate self-doubt and worry.
- Are your goals a little on the toxic side?
Paul: “When I look back, I realise that most of my goals were about getting things for me rather than thinking about how I could help other people. I wasn’t thinking so much about how I could serve or make a positive difference in the world.
If you’re chasing your goals for the wrong reasons, they can become toxic and feel awful. Think about what you can give and how to do that.”
- Choose the right environment
Paul: “In the UK, setting a New Year’s resolution is a big thing, but your brain is not likely to be wired for success in the dark when it’s cold, wet and miserable! You need to be in an environment where you feel good about life, so that you can be more optimistic and have a bigger perspective, both of which will help you set better goals.
You need to think bigger and create space for possibility. Amazing visions are unlikely to come out of a space where you sit every day to work; don’t surround yourself with reminders of all the problems you tackle on a daily basis.”
I’m a big believer in creating space for possibility; whenever I am in my swim spa, I allow my mind to relax, drift and dream. Then, I like to write my goals in my goal-setting notebook when it’s quiet at the office and I can fully concentrate on what I’d like to achieve next. My team indulges in a lot of eye rolling whenever I come up with my next “grand plan”! I also have a folder marked WTFWYT where I pop random ideas to be considered later (WTFWYT stands for: “What the f**k were you thinking?!”).
- Set a clear intention
Paul: “Be very clear about the intention behind your goal. If you cut out ten logos of ten businesses that you want to work with and stick them where you can see them all the time (with the intention that you will be working with them in the next five years), you’ll be amazed by the results. You still need to take action, which might mean commenting on their social media and engaging with their brand, but either way, be clear with your intention because it will help you get results.”
- Write it down
I’m a big fan of writing down my goals. I like to rewrite them from memory each day, and I find that the ones that really matter to me are always at the forefront of my mind, and the ones that are just “nice to have” tend to slip off the list and are forgotten about. Paul also advocates writing your goals down.
Paul: “If you can’t write your goal down concisely, I don’t think you can achieve it. You need to be able to take it out of your mind so it becomes more than a concept. Part of the manifestation process involves putting it down on a piece of paper. What you don’t realise is that when you have a new idea, hundreds of other people also receive the same idea from the universe, and if you don’t start the ball rolling, someone else will.”
Do you occasionally feel discouraged because your goal isn’t happening fast enough? You’re not alone!
Paul: “So many of us get frustrated when we’re trying to reach our goals because we don’t trust ourselves or the process; we’re too busy trying to control the process. You need to be patient!
Look at it this way: how many songs have to be written before a songwriter finds fame? Probably more than a hundred for just a handful of success! There’s a ratio at play here! Perhaps all your goals won’t come to pass, you might find something better or change your priorities; either way, you have to trust the process.”
- Match the vibration
Paul: “If you’re vibrating at one level and the thing you want is at a different level of vibration, your job is not to pull the goal towards you. Your job is to vibrate at a high enough level to bring that into your life. How do you need to change? What do you need to refine? How might you evolve? What needs to happen for you to become a person who would attract whatever it is that you want into your life?”
- Be mindful about sharing your goals
If you share your goals with a bunch of people who don’t believe or think like you do, it can create an environment of doubt. It’s likely that just reading this will help you think about the naysayers in your life. Paul had a few words of wisdom to share.
Paul: “There will be certain people in your life who aren’t ready to hear your goals for their own reasons. Your commitment to a goal might make them feel uncomfortable. Decide who you want to share your goals with. There are certain people in my family that I always tell my goals to because I know that they’re slightly mocking me when they ask how I’m getting on, but I use that to motivate me to take even more action so I can prove that it’s possible.”
- Mind your language
We know that speaking optimistically about our goals helps to reinforce positive-thinking habits, but Paul took this one step further and shared a couple of surprises when it comes to the language we use!
Paul: “I get really frustrated when people hurt their chances of success by using negative language. You have to act as if you’re excited about your life even if you’re not right now! You need that new energy and intention to take you on the journey you need to go on.
If somebody asks you how you are, stop saying ‘not bad’; the subconscious mind doesn’t process a negative, so all that we hear is ‘bad’. ‘No worries’ are another two negative words that turn us into doom merchants! Use positive language!”
“I am fabulous!!” is my usual answer to, “How are you?” It always elicits a surprised look, but the more I say it, the more fabulous I become…
- Don’t doubt the universe
Paul: “Sometimes in business, we expect the value [financial benefit] to flood out of the people we’re interacting with the most, and it can be annoying if they buy from someone else. You might feel upset and drop into a negative headspace but you have to stop it! Remember that it’s not your job to control what other people do.
Your job is to look after your own energy, add value, serve people and make a difference. Let the universe balance the books! So often we get trapped by thinking that we know more than the universe, but we need to trust it!”
In a nutshell
Which of the insights I shared from Paul stand out to you? I’m a fan of #7 “Match the vibration”. I know that I initially felt very fearful when I was on the brink of bankruptcy, and that was not energetically aligned to creating wealth. I was much better placed to become a millionaire when I set the right intention, created a strategy and started taking massive action! I am also a fan of #9 “Mind your language” because people may do business with you if you’re miserable, but they are extremely unlikely to refer you to others (and they will certainly not invite you to parties!).
I’d love to hear your thoughts; and if you’d welcome my professional support to help you reach your goals, why not either book a discovery call to find out how I can help you, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
P.S. If you haven’t already, you might like to check out my books on goal setting.