In this post, Coach, Trainer and former sufferer of ME/CFS and fibromyalgia Simon Pimenta shares strategies for setting goals in a way that supports your progress, rather than undermine it.
If you set a goal, you could use it as a tool to help you move forward, or a stick to beat yourself with.
However, some people find setting goals challenging.
When they don’t achieve the goal, they beat themselves up.
They feel a failure.
Even setting the goal results in them generating stress.
So perhaps it would be useful to re- think our approach to setting goals.
This is especially important if you have a health challenge like ME/CFS.
Why Set A Goal?
A goal can help you focus on an area that you feel would help you nurture yourself or grow in one direction.
Continuing the shoe analogy, it may lead to taking on a challenge and take you out of your comfort zone., but you can go at a pace that suits.
How do we do this?
6 Steps To Successful Goal Setting
Follow these steps in order to set goals in a way that supports your progress.
1. Ensure that your goal challenges you at a level that suits you.
You may feel ready to be stretched.
If your goal feels like too much of a stretch that you don’t feel ready for, do you need to carry on with it or do you need to stop and pause?
Do you need to think about how you could approach the goal in a more gentle, compassionate way?
Or do you need to let go of that goal?
2. Set Yourself Up For A Win
Setting the bar low and getting some easy wins can help you build confidence in your ability to set goals.
3. Take A Break From Goal Setting
If setting goals is resulting in you generating unhelpful states, consider having a break from setting any goals for a day or a week.
It can be good to have a break from setting goals.
See how it feels.
Did you like not having any goals?
Or were you keen to get back to setting goals, even if they are small ones?
4. Focus On Progress, Not Perfection
No one is perfect.
That includes you. Yes you!
So if you are, stop trying to be perfect, because I hate to break it to you, but you’re not!
Sometimes a client claims that they are not trying to be perfect, but their behaviour towards themselves suggests otherwise.
They beat themselves up when they make mistakes.
So why do you expect yourself to be perfect?
No one is.
Anyone who thinks they are is deluded.
I know someone who is so comfortable with herself, that she just laughs when she makes mistakes.
It is a joy to behold and something that many could learn from.
5. Acknowledge The Achievement
Change is digital.
We either make a positive step or we don’t.
If last week, we did that thing zero times and this week we did it once, that is progress.
So learn to give yourself a pat on the back.
If that is something you find difficult, then I invite you to take the 7 Day Pat On The Back Challenge.
Whilst I created it for people with ME/CFS, I think that anyone who isn’t good at giving themselves a pat on the back can benefit from taking it. You can find the challenge here
If we don’t make progress, re-evaluate.
Do you need to go back to point 2?
Goal Challenge For This Month
What is one thing that you could focus on this month that would help you move forward in your life?
I am going to focus on exercise; doing an hour walk and yoga each day.
Do leave a comment below.
If you found the article useful, feel free to share.
Are you making progress towards your health goals?
Every week I offer 3 FREE coaching sessions.
They are open to anyone who wants one and there is no obligation for you to work with me after the session and I won’t do any hard selling.
That is a promise.
Find out more about these sessions here
Feel free to contact me here for a free consultation** to find out more about how I work, or if you have any questions.
Follow My Blog
Subscribe to my feed (box in the top left corner) to receive future blog articles.
**One session per person.
After working in a demanding job as the Director of a Housing Trust, he went off sick and remained unable to work for the next 8 years.
He discovered a pioneering approach to resolving health issues and got back his health, and now trains others using these same techniques.