Have you ever noticed that some people seem to smash their goals while others struggle to reach even one milestone?
If you’ve been following my blogs and podcasts for a while, you’ll know that taking consistent action towards your goals will bring you results. But what if you’re doing that already and getting nowhere?
I recently spoke to Dr. Ben Levy on the Goals Do Come True podcast (catch our full conversation here). Ben is a coaching psychologist, mind magician, and the brains behind Make It Happen, an evidence-based programme to help people get what they want.
During our conversation, he broke down his model for turning your goals into reality – and we had some fun applying this model to my motorcycle-riding goals!
In this blog, I’m going to share five key insights from Ben to get your goals on the road and make them happen.
After working with young people and startups for over a decade, Ben noticed an emerging pattern. He realised that all the people who achieved their goals and solved problems quickly, had five things in common.
He calls this the ABCME® model:
In my previous blog, we talked about the power of setting challenging yet reachable goals. And that’s the crux of goal setting. To achieve any milestone – whether it’s a personal ambition or a career-driven goal – you need to have what it takes to cross the finish line.
Ben: “If you’re trying to climb a ladder, you’ve got to physically be able to do it. In the same way, if you’re trying to switch careers, in addition to having the key skills required, underneath it all, you have to be truly able to do it.”
Although your ability is the first step to consider when setting personal and professional goals, Ben pointed out that it means nothing if you don’t have the second key ingredient: belief.
Ben: “Do you believe in your ability to complete that particular task to achieve that specific goal? It’s not a philosophical type of belief. It’s specifically: how confident are you about achieving that thing? Anyone I’ve met who’s really confident about achieving their goals is always much more likely to do so. And there’s research to back this up too!”
Ben: “Clarity is how clear am I on my goal, and how do I actually get there? The clearer I am on the destination and the journey, the more likely I am to achieve it. I always say to people: if there is one area you should focus on that gives you the best chance of achieving your goal, it’s building up your clarity. And there are simple techniques we can use. One of them is to write your goal in one sentence and ask someone else if it makes sense. This way, you’re focusing on what the goal actually is, and you’re checking with the environment to see if it makes sense. And then, you can flesh out exactly what that goal looks like.”
I’m a big believer in writing down goals – which is something I always recommend in The Wealth Tribe. I typically advise that people start by writing down five simple goals that they’ve got their sights set on. As they write and flesh it out daily, they come one step closer to whatever they actually want to achieve.
Ben: “You can have all the ability and belief in the world. You can also be totally clear on how you want to achieve your goal. But if you don’t have the motivation, you won’t get anywhere. When someone approaches me with a big goal, I want to know that they really want to achieve that goal and that it’s the right goal for them.
Because if we don’t work from a position of high motivation, we’re going to be working backwards. We’re just not going to get where we need to get to. This doesn’t necessarily mean that motivation is going to carry them all the way there. But it’s the important starting point.”
There will always be obstacles along the path to achieving your goals. Obstacles designed to test your capabilities and desire. But the truth is you can always find a solution to these obstacles as long as you’re motivated to do so. Without motivation, there’s a huge chance that you’ll get stuck when things get tough!
Have you ever noticed that even with these four factors in place (ability, belief, clarity, and motivation), it seems like you’re getting nowhere fast? It could be because you’re a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Ben advocates for a change in your environment.
Ben: “We should never forget the impact of not just our physical environment, but also the culture, and the emotional and psychological environment. How supportive is that? I’ve seen plenty of people who can tick all four boxes – A, B, C, and M – but they’re in an environment that’s just not supportive. I’m a certified habits coach, and one of the core principles behind changing habits is this: if you want to shift or grow a habit, focus first on your environment.
For example, if you keep grabbing a chocolate bar, the mere act of moving it to a different space or going past it changes your outcomes. This tiny change in environment determines whether or not you build that habit or lose the habit you don’t want.”
In a nutshell
When it comes to getting your goals on track, it’s important to begin with these five core questions:
- Ability: Can you actually bring to the table what’s needed to achieve your goals?
- Belief: How much do you believe in your ability to get it done?
- Clarity: How clear are you on what you’re trying to achieve? And what are the steps you need to take to get there?
- Motivation: How much do you care?
- Environment: How supportive is your environment – everything and everyone around you – when it comes to achieving your goals?
These key questions can help you work out any kinks in your goal-setting journey and make progress towards each milestone as opposed to getting stuck. I’m a big fan of number five because when you have the right people and circumstances backing you, you’ll be better placed to get results and move closer to fruition.
I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with any of these steps. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you haven’t already, join The Wealth Tribe for an extra dose of weekly inspiration.