Podcast Episode 33: A Framework For Goal Setting That Delivers Proven Results

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Goals are vital for moving us forward to what we want in our life but we often set goals without thinking about the higher level goal. Learn this 3 step framework for setting and achieving goals to drive greater change. In this episode:

  • Learn what’s missing in common goal setting
  • Get clear on why you don’t achieve goals
  • Get the proven 3-step framework for goal setting so you can create the change you are seeking.

I approach goals through a lens of the higher level objective you want to create. Meaning, the ultimate goal or higher level objective you want isn’t it’s not about a new job or a raise, it’s about the lifestyle change you want.

Read the Transcript
Hey ya’ll, welcome back to this week’s podcast, I’m your host, Jill Griffin. 

Today I am talking about setting and achieving goals through a new lens. Goals are vital for moving us forward to what we want in our life but we often set goals without thinking about the steps we need to take. 

I approach goals through a lens of the higher level objective you want to create. 

Meaning, the ultimate goal or higher level objective you want isn’t it’s not about a new job or a raise, it’s about the lifestyle change you want. If you are making more money, you change your lifestyle. If you have a new job, you are around new people, new opportunities and, again, you changed your lifestyle. In science and medicine we’d call this the root cause. What’s the root cause of your goal? 

In the workplace, the process for setting and achieving goals was always about the objective and the key result. We tend to speak about OKRs. This concept was created by John Doer of Google fame in his book Measure what Matters and while it’s an insightful book, it’s very Silicon Valley. Very analytical. 

The interpretation of Doer’s work is frequently missing the underlying goal and which is at the heart of goal setting. So many confused the measurement of key results with accomplishing goals. It’s a very different energy. I did it too. was always striving and checking things off my list. Accomplishment! Check. Done. I was striving to get to an Ahhhhhhh destination. 

I thought it was BETTER there, I thought the thing, the tactic, the immediate outcome was what I was seeking. Nope. It all felt empty.

But as I learned, the steps to setting and accomplishing goals is a more connected, almost intuitive process that comes from understanding the higher level objective.  

This is what is missing in goal setting. I needed a higher level objective. 

Once I knew the higher level objective things shifted. I set goals from a place of growth and possibility, and I found it was easier to stay the course. Setting goals from possibility you avoid the crazy treadmill of chasing happiness. 

Happiness comes from our thoughts, from what we are thinking now, achieving a future goal is not going to increase our capacity for happiness. 

Again, it’s not better there. 

It’s why I tell clients you need to know the ultimate reason or the root cause of the goal. In the OKR approach, these are your new Os or objectives. 

I created a 3 step framework goal setting so you can create the change you are seeking. Put your goal creation through this filter. Without this filter you don’t achieve your goals. You lose sight of what it’s going to take to reach your goal and you risk stopping or micro-quitting along the way.

Growth  – what do you need to grow in order to focus and get this goal. What is the growth behind the goal – skills, qualities, resilience, learning, mindset?

What do you need to grow in order to achieve the goal?  

Non-negotiables- what are you going to say yes, no, maybe. What is your personal criteria? What are your non-negotiables? So often we say yes to things that are not our priorities and it knocks us off course. Remember when you are saying yes, you are saying no to something else.

And before we get into the third step, you want to relook at your goals. Are they higher level objectives? Are you clear that those initial higher level objectives are still aligned with your desire?

Knowing your objective is so important because not every goal is going to motivate you every day. Think about it in terms of weight loss. 

The goal isn’t to get a new job. That goal is short-lived. It needs an engine. It needs a root cause. And you need multiple reasons. You need higher level objectives.  Examples of higher level objectives: 

You want to challenge yourself to what’s possible
Other days you want impact a team and make a difference. 
Still other days it’s going to be about provide a better life for yourself and your family. 
Finding a new job can be 3 months away. And that may not motivate you today. You need to be clear in your reasons for the higher level objective. 

Ready for step 3? It’s a specific action plan. All the steps and actions you are going to take each day – even if they are uncomfortable. Action plans should have what, how, who, and why you’re going to do it. They should also have what you are going to do when your brain freaks out and the shitty committee takes over. 

You need to manage what I call the belief and doubt cycle. It’s just high tide and low tide. Happens regularly. No drama. Just knowing that it’s going to happen helps us prepare for it but having contrary thought we want to be working on. 

What I have learned is that setting and action plan helps in two powerful ways: 
It challenges me to remove obstacles and blocks. The more I work through, the more I accomplish as a person. The point of having goals is to grow and evolve as a person, not to be certified in goal-achievement. There’s no graduation. 

Setting and achieving goals Gives me a Focus. I look back on my life and how many years I thought things like I wanted a promotion but then I lost my focus when the current job got busy. If I don’t have focus, my party brain may take over when I have a free hour on my calendar and have me running around chasing dogs and looking for glitter.  

When you first think about a goal it may seem huge or unachievable. That thinking and dreaming process may bring up beliefs that are blocking you from your goal. 

If you make your goals big and ridiculous enough, which I am a huge fan of, you are going to have trade temporary discomfort with long term discomfort. 

Meaning you either experience temporary discomfort now while working on your goals or long term discomfort when you don’t achieve anything and you haven’t moved yourself forward.   

This being uncomfortable is juicy. But this will yield the highest growth. Don’t you want to be free of your shitty committee? Then dig into the work. 

Challenge your beliefs. Ask yourself if it’s true? Can you prove it? What would you do if it wasn’t true? After you do that, check in with yourself. How do you feel about your drama beliefs now? 

Setting goals helps us evolve our thinking and while uncovering and tackling obstacles. 

If you have been listening for a while you know about the think, feel, act cycle. thoughts create our feelings, and from those feelings we either do something to change the feeling or to get more of that feeling. 

Here’s the thing I want to remind all of us of…
If we haven’t achieved your goal in the past, it’s because your feelings were not where they needed to be in order to accomplish the goal.

You don’t get the new job coming from the energy of ‘i have to get away from my current boss because the situation is untenable.’ I need this job. 

Ever interview someone who had the perfect resume but something was off and you couldnt put your figure on it? 

I’m guessing that the person was running from a job vs putting their intention on creating the new reality of what they wanted. 

This is where I remind you that you cant create sustainable growth from being grasphy, needing or from or force. It takes a lot of energy. You’ll burn through your resources or create more of the same. 

A client told me recently that they spent years leaving jobs that they felt were too toxic and within 3-6 months in the new job they realized they were in another toxic situation. 

There’s definitely toxicity out there but when we are running from a fire we dont notice that the stench of smoke is trailing us. 

This is where working with a coach is so helpful. I worked with this client to process their feelings from the opportunity they were leaving. Once they felt like they had some time, space, and a new perspective they were able to be less charged and more neutral about the situation. Eventually they were able to be excited about what’s possible and were curious about the job interview vs the subtle stench of please save me. 

The third step in the framework is the clear action plan. 
So make a commitment to yourself. 
Get good with planning
Get comfort with being uncomfortable.
 
List all the things you can do to take action towards your goal. 

Pay attention to what comes up. The days you are lazy. The micro-quits. The self sabotage. And the days where you were in your flow and the working towards the goal wasn’t really difficult because you chose your thoughts before you got into action. 

Learning to set and achieve higher level goals is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. The other is learning to manage your mind. 

As you think about the next 90 days, what do you want to create and how do you want to feel while creating it? 
As my coach jokes, Winter is coming. How do you want to prepare and what goals do you want to go after now? 
Here’s what I suggest for the next 90 days. 

Think about a career, a lifestyle and a health higher level goal that you want to go after. 
Think about the framework of growth, opportunities, and the action plan. 

Then run your goals through this lens. 

Some ideas – 
A higher level health goal could be to increase your energy so you are more productive. The key results may be building a food and exercise plan to increase your energy and lose weight.

A higher level lifestyle goal where you want to have clearer thinking. The Key Results you’ll measure will be adding in 5 minutes of meditations in the AM & PM and cleaning out the storage space. 

A professional goal where you want to be of service and make an impact. The key result could be that you are going to find 3 new people to Network with over the next 90 days. I just did an episode on networking, check out episode #32 for networking tips. 

Results don’t just happen to you. 

We have to intentionally go after what we want. 

Goals are a way of deciding what you want instead of letting your shitty committee drive the party bus.
So tell me, what are you going to create over the next 90 days? 

Remember growth, non-negotiables, and action plan. 

You could be in a totally different place then you are today. Does that excite you? It totally excites me. I’m in. 
Ok my friends, have a fabulous week and I will see you next time.