G.O.A.L.S – A Coaching Approach for Lasting Solutions

by Jan 12, 2023

Change requires action!

What is stopping you from taking the first step towards a lasting solution that may affect positive change in your life?

How it began

This is the question that started me thinking about how a person would make a lasting change in their lives through the goals they set for themselves. The idea of using the word GOALS as an acronym came about as I thought about growth, opportunity, ability and learning and how it all can be sustainable.

The idea of designing a growth goal came from the Growth mindset concept which was coined and studied by Stanford University psychologist Carolyn Dweck, Ph.D. Growth mindset “refers to a person’s belief in his or her own ability to learn and develop skills, regardless of natural ability, through determination and hard work. It is the belief that a person’s capacities and talents can be improved over time”.

I also wondered how many of us miss opportunities that would help us achieve our goals, because we don’t have a clear picture of the objectives of the goal.

Many of us procrastinate or avoid taking the first step because we don’t have the confidence in our ability and/or capability and yet if we realized that we already have the ability and the resources to get started, we would want to take the first step.

Reflecting on what we could and would learn on the journey towards the goal helps us to grow and develop, equipping us to share our learning with others.

Lasting solutions are reached through small doable pieces of work. Taking a moment to celebrate these small wins helps a person stay motivated to persevere until the goal is accomplished. It may also provide the opportunity to recognize that one may need to change direction slightly because something isn’t working the way they planned. These small moments do not overwhelm us and derail us from accomplishing the goal.

And so, the G.O.A.L.S framework was developed, and I would like to share it as a simple thought-provoking approach for anyone who may find it useful. Whether you choose to set goals that may stretch you or for if you prefer to hope for something different, I hope you may find this approach useful.

G.O.A.L.S. (Growth. Opportunity. Ability. Learning. Sustainability)

Growth Goal

With a future-focused growth mindset consider what changes you would like to see in your personal and/or professional life. Think about the benefits these changes may bring and the difference these benefits would make to your personal and/or professional life. If you enjoy setting goals, think about the SMART method to creating a goal (Be Specific. Make it Measurable. Ensure it is Achievable and Realistic. Set yourself a Timeline). If you prefer to design a preferred future outcome, then ask yourself what that might look like.

Remember that growth and comfort do not co-exist.

Objective Opportunities

Imagine the desired outcome, and design milestones needed to achieve it. Objectively explore these milestones and ask yourself what opportunities could help you to attain the desired outcome (goal). These milestones may give you an idea of the opportunities that you could seek, “see” and seize.

Actionable Ability

Take accountability and ownership for achieving the goal, acknowledge your talents, skills and resources and start to design your first actionable steps. Then think about what other resources (new skills, money, people, accountability) you may need that will enable and equip you to attain this goal. Be open to learning new skills and to improving existing skills.

Life-long Learning

Consider what learning experiences might be beneficial to you and your team – lasting solutions invite life-changing learning. Considering your continuous personal growth and development, think about the benefits of the learning experience. Curiously reflect on what you have learned about yourself through improving your skills, acquiring new skills, and gaining fresh perspective.

The understanding and application of knowledge builds wisdom!

Sustainable Success

Measures of success transform who you are and the way you work. Small sustainable steps make for big changes as they develop lasting solutions. Design small attainable steps that could bring about the desired outcome of the goal. Continuously reassess to trigger further action until the milestones and finally the goal has been achieved. Celebrate the positive changes accomplished at each small step to encourage continuity towards a sustainable life-changing habit.

It is in the simplicity of the design that there are lasting outcomes as this framework can be easily adapted and changed to ensure that it is always relevant and provides continuous learning for the person using it. It would do well for you to remember to apply the 3 D’s to success: Dedication. Discipline. Determination.

Longer version Published in HR Future

What Next?

Nothing beats walking through this process with a coach. I have adapted the approach to develop bespoke tools for clients in the corporate world. When coupled with other goal setting methods and used as an evaluation tool this approach adds greater success to the desired results.

However, if this simple process can assist even one person to make a much-needed change in their life towards a better future then it will have achieved my heart’s desire to make a difference, one small step at a time.

If you would like to know more about how I could partner with you to help you design these goals and small steps please feel free to contact me at debra@simplygoingbeyond.co.za

#simplicity #purpose #unity