You set yourself a goal. You chunk it down into smaller action steps. You take action towards that goal and finally — days, weeks or months later — you achieve your goal. Happy days!
So what do you do next? Most likely, you’ll move on, set yourself another goal and start the cycle all over again. All well and good? Well actually no. It’s great that you’ve achieved your goal, of course, but you’ve missed out on one crucial step. And that is — taking time out to acknowledge and celebrate your achievement. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s a vitally important part of the Goal Setting Cycle.
Focussing on our achievements is crucial, not only for keeping positive and motivated — but also for building confidence.
Before each coaching session, I ask my clients to complete a short Prep Form. The first question on the form is What have I achieved since my last session? Invariably, they report that the act of filling out the form made them realise just how much they HAD achieved. And that’s the point.
Many of us will get to the end of each day feeling frustrated because we’ve been madly busy but feel as if we haven’t really achieved anything. But if we stop to reflect we’ll probably be surprised to realise how much we have actually achieved.
So I recommend getting into the habit of acknowledging and celebrating your achievements. It’s particularly beneficial to do this at the end of the day — either by writing in an Achievement Journal or by simply running through your successes before you go to sleep. Not only does this end the day in a positive manner, but research has shown that thinking positive thoughts releases chemicals in the brain that help us to sleep better.
And next time you’re setting yourself a significant goal, why not choose something as a reward for when you achieve it — not only will it serve as a ‘formal’ acknowledgement of a job well done, but will be a great motivator as well.
Here’s to all your achievements in the month to come.