The Gift of Goal Setting

Take a moment to think about your goals in life. What goals have you set for yourself in the past and achieved? How did achieving those goals make you feel? Was your goal an easy one that you knew how to achieve? Or was it a big goal that you had no clue how you were going to accomplish? Yet miraculously you were able to pull it off.

Spend a few minutes being grateful for all of the goals you have accomplished in your life so far. You have already achieved so much to this point and you can achieve whatever you truly set your mind to.

What is something that you had to push yourself to learn to do? Something that caused you to change your behaviors to accomplish your goal? In anything worth learning to do it takes
persistent practice to do it.

Think about what you did to achieve any prior goals. When you wanted to learn how to drive a car you had to practice, get help from people who already knew how, study for a test and pass the test. As a 15 or 16 year old this goal seemed a bit scary because you had never done it before. You probably had a few thoughts like, what if I fail, what if I crash, what if I do not pass the test. Guess what even if you do not pass the test you get to go back and do it again, and again, and again until you actually pass. You do this because if you do not persist, you will not ever get to drive a car. Almost every student I have ever taught, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘not good’ they were at school, are able to eventually get their driver’s license because of persistence. Driving a car is a goal people have and most do not stop until they achieve that goal.

Any other goal you have in life can be approached like this. The problem is many people do not actually have goals they have wishes. A goal only becomes a goal when you are actively working to make it a reality. Let me repeat that again! It is only a goal if you are ACTIVELY WORKING TO MAKE IT A REALITY. If you are just daydreaming about it then it is a wish not a goal. Many of us have the habit of wishing and daydreaming, not actually persisting and pursuing. In order to achieve a big goal you need to change the wishing habit.

Bob Proctor talks about genetic conditioning that you have had since birth which is programmed into your subconscious mind. These subconscious habits are passed down from generation to generation. So in a sense you are programmed to think in many of the same ways your parents were and their parents and their parents. We are programmed to learn more and spend time strategizing about how to do it but often those strategies are not carried out to completion. Then because of our programming we fall back into our previous behaviors.

What needs to happen, is for you to change your programming so that you begin to behave differently daily and create a new habit that sticks. Just thinking will not change the results. Many people know what they need to do to achieve their goal and they will do it for a short time. Very few will work on it through to completion. Think about how many people know they drink too much, yet every time they are in a situation that involves drinking they go back into their patterns. I was never a big drinker, but I grew up in a family where alcohol was the center of everything they did. When I decided I wanted a completely different experience for my daughter I decided I was going to not drink but still go out with friends and model to my daughter that you could still be social and have fun without drinking.

I quickly learned that it made many people uncomfortable, that I was not drinking along with them. Being the shy, quiet empath that I am, I started bringing drinks with me that looked like they could contain alcohol and that seemed to ease other people. As long as I also had a ‘drink’ in my hand no one got on my case about not having a drink. My close friends knew I wasn’t drinking alcohol, but no one else did. I was able to still go out and enjoy events with my friends and model to my daughter a completely different habit than the one I grew up with. It seems like an overly simple shift but it stopped people nagging at me for not ‘partying’ with them and allowed me to stick with my goal of being a different kind of role model for my daughter. It also made me realize that the society that I grew up in is programmed to expect certain things as well.

This is a prime example of changing the programing to behave differently. I wanted to stick to my goal. All I had to do was change what I was drinking. I realize this is not as easy for people who have an addiction to alcohol or any other substance. If you have an addiction the behavior change may need to be to completely remove yourself from situations where there are substances and replace that social habit with a completely different one. If you have an
addiction then getting an expert in that area may be your best first step to changing your habits.

I also had a goal of completing a Masters Degree. I knew when I completed my teaching degree that I wanted to go on and do my Masters. I learned that to get into my Masters in Education I had to teach for 2 years. So when I had taught for 2 years, I applied to get into a Masters in Education program. When I got in, I had completed one course then found out I was pregnant. I had no clue how I was going to work full-time, have a baby and complete this degree. I was lucky that I had the option to spread my courses out over 6 years. I slowly worked through my courses, had my baby during the middle of one, skyped in my lectures for 3 weeks and presented online. Which doesn’t seem that strange after the pandemic, but at the time it was more of a newer concept. I even brought my 3 week old baby into class with me so that I could continue my course and complete it. When I was 4 courses away from completing my Masters I removed myself from my toxic marriage. Now I was working full-time, in the middle of a divorce with a toddler. Again I had no clue how I was going to do everything, but I had a goal and I was determined to complete it. I had lots of help from my wonderful aunt who would watch my toddler as I worked on my papers. I even ended up moving in with my aunt and uncle while finishing my Masters while my house was being built so that I had support. I did everything I could to achieve my goal even though I was going through the most turbulent time of my life.

When you really want something nothing will stop you from achieving it. I could have easily given up and made myself a victim of the situation but I didn’t because I wanted to complete my Masters degree so badly that I would not let anything stop me.

After completing that goal I went back to focusing on a goal I had always quietly kept of writing and illustrating children’s books to enhance the written and unwritten curriculum. I had some hang ups on this goal because of one of my experiences in High School. I was always really school smart in school. In grade 11 English, I had over a 90 percent average. Then in grade 12, I had a horrible teacher that I hated and I almost did not pass. I literally went from above 90 to around a 65 just because of a teacher. This really hindered my confidence in my ability to write for years. Even though I had completed a Masters degree, in the back of my mind I still ‘sucked at English,’ so therefore in my head I could not write children’s books. Crazy right!

Many of the things we are taught are not true. Many people believe if they do not have a formal education then they will not succeed in life or if they do not have a business degree then they cannot start a business. This is not true. Many very successful business owners do not have degrees, they had a goal that they were not willing to give up on and they persisted until they made their goal a reality.

When I decided I wanted to write a children’s book I just started. I had no clue what I was doing or how I was going to get my book out to the world. I just knew that I wanted to write one and I wanted to use it in my classroom. I had jotted down an entire book, “It is Okay to Feel,” after a meditation at a retreat and I knew I needed to do the illustrations for it and use it in my classroom. So I started drawing pictures for each emotion. My original plan was to draw the pictures, take photos of it, use my computer to create a photo album version of my book and use my one copy in my classroom.

The universe had a different plan for me once I started. I was connected with a former kindergarten teacher through a friend on a Facebook post. She had self-published books on Amazon so I took a course through here and learned to self-publish. Since then, I have written and illustrated 9 children’s books. When you have a goal and a vision the first step is starting, the second is continuously taking steps to make your goal a reality. The universe will connect you with the right people to make it happen.

Bob Proctor talks about 3 different types of goals. He says people have A, B and C goals. ‘A’ goals are the ones people already know how to achieve, ‘B’ goals are ones that people are pretty sure they can achieve with putting in a little bit of extra effort, ‘C’ goals are ones that they have no clue how they will achieve yet they have a burning desire to make it a reality. He talks about how the ‘C’ goals are the ones that we really want to focus our energy on. They are the ones that are strong enough to make us break our habits and change our paradigms.

Take a moment to think about these 3 types of goals. Do you have one in each category? If you do not have a ‘C’ goal, take some time to really get creative in your imagination. If you knew you could not fail, what would you want to do, what would your goal be?

Now write down your goal. Very few people actually write down their goals and strive to achieve them every day. If you really want to achieve something you need to start doing things each day to make it a reality or it will always be a daydream. Achieving your goal is not about ‘knowing more’ it is about ‘DOING MORE!’ If you change your daily habits to including daily goal achieving tasks you will achieve anything you put your mind to.