How does visualisation help goal defining?

Is visualisation an effective goal defining technique, or is it just day dreaming.

If you have big goals or aspirations, visualisation can be a very effective technique.  Rob discusses with Ricky how you can use your imagination to define your future.

None of us know what the future holds but visualisation can be a helpful way of gaining clarity and harnessing our imaginations. Rob and Ricky begin by exploring how some goals are clinical and straightforward, set targets for example. But bigger goals focused on the future require a different approach and this is where visualisation comes into play.

They explore the issue of retirement as another example. Many people can talk very precisely about their retirement even though it may be as far off as 15 years away. To have such clarity, they must have thought about the matter a lot and be very motivated about what retirement is going to bring them. Essentially, they have achieved a level of clarity through visualisation.

Rob and Ricky go onto explore how visualisation has a couple of elements: the first is clarity and the second is focusing on what we want to achieve. By using our imaginations to build a picture of the future, we can define our goals.

Senior Managers will often spend a lot of time thinking about the future. Rob and Ricky explore how they can bring that visualisation to life, enhance their passion and energy, to take the rest of the team on the journey.

Visualisation helps us to turn off rational or scientific thoughts and tap into our imagination enabling us to work towards something we really want to achieve at a future point. To all sense and purposes, it’s about sketching a picture and then giving others the opportunity to add colour and fill in the gaps.

How can you write goals for things that are touchy feely?

 

Some goals are easy to write down, they have clear defined outcomes.  However, goals for feelings, such as confidence, or for perceptions such as relationships or expectations are much harder to articulate.

In this episode, Rob explains to Richard how you can use a benchmark within SMART to create clear simple goals around these harder to define areas.

When it comes to the best approaches for writing down goals around emotions and feelings, there are still useful techniques that can be applied. Rob explains to Richard how you can use a benchmark within SMART – specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time related – to help you achieve a written down goal.

But how do we measure something that is a feeling or a perception? Rob explores how a useful technique is to consider the feeling on a scale of one to ten and then apply a numerical figure. For example, you may judge your feelings to be 4/10 at this moment in time but where do you want to be on the scale by a particular date?

Rob and Richard discuss how this approach allows us to write the feeling down in a SMART goal format: by this date… I will have…. improved to a specific number.

Rob adds that it’s important to use our imaginations. For example, on the scale we know what 4 feels like right now but how much would we like it to be? What would this feel like? We may feel an improved level of confidence in specific situations.

It’s fair to say goals around feelings are more difficult to write but as Rob and Richard explain in the podcast, there are useful methods that enable us to put these to paper.

The Thinking Focus: The Question Is podcast series is available to download on ITunes.

Should the R in SMART be Realistic or Relevant?

Have you noticed how some people use realistic, while others use relevant?

So which is the right one, does it even matter?

Rob and Rich discuss the merits of both.  Maybe they might change your mind about which one to use.

It’s fair to say the acronym that gives us a guide to setting goals and objectives, SMART, has been around for some time. In our podcast, we explore how you get better value if you consider the R stands for relevant.

Rob and Rich begin their discussion by reminding listeners what SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-bound. Many people use realistic because that’s what they know but Rob is a big fan of applying the term relevant instead. He maps out how if you have a list of tasks to achieve on a day, we can always choose something that’s realistic. Just as an example, we could easily set ourselves the limiting goal of running 100 metres in 14 hours.

It becomes a different question if we ask how relevant is the goal? We should be looking at the relevance of achieving our tasks rather than just asking can I achieve them. By applying this technique, we can reach a meaningful goal.

Ricky adds that we bring into play questions and thoughts for the person writing the goal about their motivation if we use the term relevant.

Both agree that realistic and achievable can almost be interchangeable when considering the SMART framework. Substituting the R for relevant can help us to prioritise and consider our motivation therefore adding more value to the whole process.

There really are no right or wrong answers but using relevance in their expert opinion will add more depth and value when it comes to achieving our goals.

What’s the best tool to use for writing a goal?

 

Is there just one way to write a goal, or are their different techniques?

In this episode, Rob and Richard discuss how to select the most appropriate approach making defining your goal easy.

How many ways can you write a goal and what methods are best? In our podcast, Rob and Richard discuss the most appropriate approach to make defining your goal easy.

When it comes to the best approaches for writing down goals, there are a few elements to consider. In the podcast, Rob and Richard discuss how it all depends on what the goal is about.

Among the questions to ask ourselves are: is the goal specific or big picture? Rob explains that SMART is a useful technique if the goal is quantitative and you want to achieve it in a certain amount time. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time related. On the other hand, if the goal is around feelings, a benchmarking technique is a better approach.

Richard goes onto examine how aspirational goals are another matter and you can break these down into different parts by using a ‘chunking’ strategy. For example, if the goal is to run your own company before you retire, this can be broken down into chunks so it becomes achievable.

Goals set around feelings are more difficult to measure but Rob explains benchmarking can be a useful technique. We can ask ourselves questions about where we are now, where we want to be in the future and look at closing the gap.

The pair summarise the discussion by focusing on the approaches they have examined including SMART and benchmarking. They explore how it’s important to be able to describe and measure the goal in some way. This gives us greater clarity as to whether we buy into the goal or not.

The Thinking Focus: The Question Is podcast series is available to download on iTunes.

Why can’t goal writing be easy?

Goal writing sometimes seems like a mystic art form, limited to a very few highly trained experts.  Are goals really that difficult?

Richard and Paul discuss how to make goal writing really simple.

Goal writing sometimes feels like a complex task that requires specific training to get right. In our podcast, Richard and Paul discuss how to make goal writing really simple.

There are times in the workplace when we’re asked to focus on writing down goals but for many of us it’s not always a straightforward process.

In the podcast, Richard and Paul talk about how we may never have been shown how to put goals to paper before starting work. Sometimes people talk about goals as though there is a magical way of writing them but in reality, if you have a decent structure, the entire process can be simplified.

The easiest way to begin is to set out what you are trying to achieve. Crucially pick a date and then focus on the positive ‘I will have.’ Richard and Paul explore how there can be a nervousness around choosing a specific date but once we commit it allows us to start focusing and really working on the goal.

They go onto examine how many of us play it safe when it comes to writing down goals keeping them vague. But goals need to be sharp: we need ‘picture, perfect, clarity’ and a real point of time in the future by which the goal will be achieved. Sometimes if we feel unsure about a written down goal, it’s because we haven’t given it enough thought.

Richard and Paul conclude their discussion looking at the issue of accountability. If we share a goal, we are more likely to achieve it. Essentially, they say writing down goals is about having a go. Keep it simple: what do I want to achieve and when do I want to achieve it by?

The Thinking Focus: The Question Is podcast series is available to download on ITunes.

Why is it important to write down goals?

What is the difference between a goal in your head and goals that are written down?

Ricky gets Rob to explain the benefits of writing your goals out.

Experts agree the world over that you are more likely to achieve the goals you have written down. In our podcast, Ricky asks Rob why putting your goals to paper could make all the difference?

When it comes to a goal in your head compared to a written down goal, the likelihood of you achieving it becomes so much greater because you have greater clarity. In the podcast, Rob explores how a written down goal suddenly becomes much more important to us. By writing it down, we have committed to it: our thoughts have become crystalized resulting in a more meaningful goal.

Putting your goals to paper has the knock-on effect that we then hold ourselves to account. Sharing goals has advantages too as someone else gets involved. Rob goes onto discuss how written down goals have other benefits as they can be reviewed easily. The goals can be tested and examined to see if they are still the right thing, still achievable and deliverable. The process enables us to sense check the purpose remains relevant. Then there is the question of memory. Many of us are holding multiple tasks and goals in our heads on any given day. By writing goals down, you can capture them.

Ricky goes on to offer some other useful advice. He explains how we can’t rewrite history if the goal is on paper in terms of the original aims. It allows you to be more consistent reducing the chances of drift in terms of timeline, volume or quality. Writing down goals allows us to check there isn’t any duplication in specific areas and has the additional benefit that everyone knows what the organisation is setting out to achieve.

Putting goals to paper increases collaboration and commitment in the workplace and can be a bit like an insurance policy; a useful way to minimise risk. Essentially it all comes back to the issue of clarity and it’s fair to say you get much better value in an organisation if goals are written down.

The Thinking Focus: The Question Is podcast series is available to download on ITunes.

How can you motivate yourself?

 

Everyone has to get involved in things that they would rather not be doing.  To get these things done we need to master the art of motivating ourselves.

Ricky and Rob explore, how can you motivate yourself?

We all know there are times at work when we need to get involved in projects or tasks that we would prefer not be have to do. In our podcast, Rob and Ricky discuss just how to make a connection and get motivated.

On a personal level, it’s likely most people will be more enthusiastic and therefore more likely to do a better job if they make a connection on some level. In the podcast, Ricky and Rob explore how sometimes the only motivation is that we have to do the task because it’s part of the job. How can we learn to attach importance and value to our work if this is the case so it becomes a personal and greater goal?

To be motivated, we need to see the bigger picture. Rob explains if we see things as having to do them, the motivational goal is only ever going to reach a certain level. To attach more importance, we need to see the job as a personal or community goal which will in turn increase motivation levels.

Ricky goes onto explore how if we can make a connection at a personal level, it will make a positive impact on productivity and the quality of our work. We will be able to put in more energy and vigour for the greater good of the organisation.

A useful checklist when getting motivated is asking the questions What, Why and Can I? This will give us focus to move forward with the job in hand. What is it we need to focus on? Why is important personally, to the team and organisation? Rob and Ricky wrap up their discussion on a positive note examining how we all need to believe that ‘we can’. This will instil a level of confidence in turn boosting our motivation.

The Thinking Focus: The Question Is podcast series is available to download on ITunes.

What is the point of goals?

Why do we need to have goals, do they have any effect on what we do, or are they just management mumbo jumbo? In our podcast Paul asks Richard, what is the point of goals?

It might feel like a bit of a Nineties throwback to sit and write down your goals but, as we discuss in our podcast, there’s a reason why putting something down on paper still works.

Goal writing is a useful exercise for lots of reasons. Firstly, it channels our motivation and forces us to think carefully about what’s important to us. In the podcast, Richard and Paul talk about how it’s important to identify not just what you want to achieve but also why.

Richard discusses the process of goal writing and how it can help us prioritise. Setting goals and working out why they’re important to us activates our conscious mind and writing them down can help them seep into the subconscious, which means we start to recognise thoughts and actions that contribute towards our goals, even when we are not actively thinking about them.

So what happens when we’re given a goal that we don’t want? It happens all the time in the workplace but if it’s something we don’t want to do, or don’t feel is important, it may never happen. For a goal to be achievable, we need to believe in it.

What if we write down a bad goal and head off in the wrong direction, channelling your energy and motivation towards it? Paul’s got some useful advice on this too and explains how the process of writing goals helps us focus our thoughts and refine our wish list.

How do we make a start? If we have a blank sheet of paper and no goals, where do we begin? As Paul explains, we all have goals, it’s just that they may simply be ideas at the moment that need a bit of development. On a personal level you might know you want to go on holiday next year but you haven’t thought about the detail such as where you’ll go or when.

We all have goals in our head, we just need to get them down on paper and make them happen.

 

The Thinking Focus: The Question Is podcast series is available to download on ITunes.