Short-term goals: Focusing on the now
Recently I listened to my original hypnotherapy teacher Terence Watts in interview. I believe Terence to be approaching 80 years old and whilst the interview was in 2015, he spoke about his most recent professional training and his belief that he had reached the pinnacle point. He feels that he cannot create something that will better it and when he reflects on his life’s work, he recognises that everything he developed came together to the current point. I have not taken the opportunity to speak with Terence and ask how it feels to have reached this point in his career, but I would like to!
How does it feel for you if you take a moment, with me, to appreciate that he reached his peak in his mid-70s? I write training programmes as part of my work, without thought it is easy for me to view Terence as a role model for myself and berate myself for not having written something that is the ultimate. Many of us need to take a moment each day to recognise the point we are at in life. Those with a growth mindset know the process to be more important than the outcome. So, it is important to spend time focusing on the current moment, the process, the journey.
Learn from rather than compare
I only need to use the words chalk and cheese for you to know what I mean. When you use the success of someone else to criticise yourself you are comparing chalk and cheese. You can gain heaps more by learning how they achieved their success and implementing this into your activities. In NLP this is known as modelling.
A few months ago, in a gym class I felt mightily impressed with the structure of the instructor’s bottom. As I pondered on this, as a distraction from the intensity of the exercise, I decided it had to be the leggings. It caught my attention so much that when I returned home, I looked at the online shop - they had to incorporate this special bum sculpting technology - and they did! Now, whether you believe in manifesting or not this is up there for proof (I say light heartedly).
The following day a friend tagged me in an Instagram post. One of the “follow me and 500 other people for the chance to win…” type posts. Some would say coincidentally, the prize was a pair of said leggings. I duly followed the required accounts and added the bum story for affect. Well, whatdyaknow – I won! Yesterday I received the leggings. Sadly, my bottom did not turn into the instructor’s when I put them on. It looks like the theory is true. Bum sculpting leggings do not work!
If I want to achieve the same as someone else, I need to apply myself in the same way they do. In the case of the gym instructor my first step would be to speak with her. Get to know her understanding of fitness and health. Enquire whether she trains alongside anyone or whether all her exercise is self-guided. If so, what does she do, how does she know which muscles are working, how often etc. I also need to know what her diet consists of.
When you learn about the success of another and you instantly compare that to your own achievements, first ask yourself whether you want that success. If you do, go to them, and learn how they achieve it. By applying the same practises, you can achieve the same.
Direct your energy with short term goals
Sometimes the natural, easy option is to remunerate on the “why you have nots”.
- why you have not achieved…
- why you do not have…
- why you are not…
The list goes on. Social media in particular causes so many of us to focus on the things that we do not have, physically and emotionally. Wherever you look there will be someone that has more.
Instead of spending time on this, focus your energy productively. If you find your thoughts turn to negative self-criticism practise thought stopping. Shout (if you can) "stop!". Change the direction of your thoughts to something fruitful. Focus on what you can do right now to take another step on your journey towards a short-term goal.
Long-term goals may be restrictive, as you grow your desires will change. A long-term goal could prevent you from changing. An adaptable goal can grow with you, but you will still not know whether you will find or continue to be happy when you reach it until you get there. At which point it may be too late. A focus on short term goals means that each day is achievable rather than overwhelming and you can create goals that suit the current you.
Life is a journey, regular short-term goals and a focus on achievement rather than lack can help it to be a joyful one. Like Terence, you may achieve great things along the way – each one achieved by short-term goal setting. The result being a combination of your life’s work that changed and adapted as you travelled along a path with many twists, turns and diversions.
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