My relationship with goal-setting hasn’t always been easy. I used to hate this topic and would get frustrated with my coach for wanting me to set big goals. I never hit them, so why set them in the first place? I was resistant and disinterested. Sound familiar?
Join me on the podcast this week where I’ll explain how goal-setting works and why it’s such an effective activity in landing your dream job. I’ll share some valuable tips as to why people don’t achieve their goals and help you think and feel differently about your own. You’re one step closer to your dream job and you are capable of achieving any goal you set for yourself – get ready to blow your own mind!
Welcome to the Get a Better Job in 30 Days podcast. This is episode 4: What it takes to Actually Achieve your Goals.
Welcome to the Get a Better Job in 30 Days podcast. I’m your host Natalie Fisher. I’m a certified career mindset coach who also happens to love dogs, lattes, and most importantly skipping the small talk and getting right to the conversations that matter. On this podcast, I will coach you on how to use your brain to build a wildly successful career and make a real impact in your industry. If you want to do more than just work for a living, you’ve got to start by making the right decisions now. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello everyone. And today I’m talking about goals. So this used to be a topic that I hated. And I even got frustrated talking about goal setting with my coach who was wanting me to set goals, shock her, and stretch myself and set big goals. And I was resistant because I’m like, I don’t want to set goals, I never hit them, I’m not interested in setting goals. So my relationship with goal setting for most of my life has been pretty on and off. I would get very motivated and very gung-ho and be like, “Okay, I’m going to set a goal.”
And back in school, and back in the day they would say, “You need to set SMART goals.” And well, I think you probably remember what SMART goals are. And the truth be told is that SMART goals thing didn’t help me at all. So if you don’t remember what it meant it stood for, it must be specific, it must be measurable, it must be attainable, it must be relevant, and it must be time bound.
So, yes, while all those things are useful and we should have a specific goal that we can measure how we can know whether or not we’ve achieved it or not, that is important, yes. Attainable, now I don’t really think that’s so important because I have achieved some goals that when I started I didn’t really think they were going to be attainable. So that’s one of the lessons that I’ve learned is we want to have an impossible goal, one that maybe scares us a little bit. Relevant, I don’t even know what that means, if it wasn’t relevant why would I set it?
And time bound, yeah, we want to have an idea of how long we think it’s going to take us. But really when it comes down to it, and I’m going to expand in this podcast, we can’t know until we know what it’s going to take to actually achieve this goal. So while that acronym is something that I used when I was younger and in my on and off relationship with goals, it never really was the answer to me achieving any goal. So, it’s like, yeah, it’s nice information, it’s helpful, it sounds good, but it didn’t actually help me achieve a goal. So maybe it has for some people.
But in this podcast I want to dive into what it really takes to achieve a goal and more than that, how to become the person that achieves every goal you set for yourself. And that my friend is a bigger conversation than the SMART goals and just the strategies and the little tactics that people will give you on here’s how you set goals. Because it’s very easy to set a goal, lots of people set goals, but it’s very difficult to actually achieve those goals over, and over, and over and actually lead a life where you know that when you set a goal you’re somebody who’s going to hit it.
So that’s what I want to talk about, because I’ve had an on and off relationship with goals, like I mentioned, I hated talking about them. I was not interested in setting them because I just got depressed thinking about it because I was like, “Oh, I’ll set that goal again and then I just won’t do it.” So for years, years I repeatedly set weight loss goals. I’ve had the same goal to lose 20 pounds for 10 years and never achieved it, and that’s very de-motivating. That is enough to make almost anybody give up.
So with the coaching work and with all the tools that I’ve learned as a coach, I’ve learned how to actually achieve goals. And so I’ve recently achieved my weight loss goal and I’ve set a new one. And I’ve achieved my business goals and I keep setting them. And now I’m pretty excited and pretty fired up about talking about them, because I know that when I say I’m going to hit a goal, I will hit it. And I’m not afraid of not hitting it because I know that the point is much deeper than the actual goal itself.
So I’m excited to bring this information to you today. And by the end of this podcast my goal is to have you feel differently about your goals, understand how goal setting works and have a new understanding of the goals that maybe you’ve been trying to achieve and haven’t been able to yet, and why you haven’t been able to.
So that’s what I want to get to the bottom of today and that’s what I want you to understand is have a really clear understanding of why you haven’t achieved goals you set for yourself. And how you can start thinking in a new way and become that person who when you say you’re setting a goal there is a very high chance you’re going to hit it. And even if it’s not in the timeline that you originally planned, you do hit your goals. So let’s dive in.
So if you’re someone who’s struggled with goals like me for years, you’ve set them and never achieved them. That’s how I was. Then I’m going to start with explaining what the purpose of them is. So do we even have to set them? No. They are there for a reason. The reason is because we desire something because we want to grow and evolve. We want to get farther than where we are right now. And that is why we’re here. We don’t have to, there’s nothing that says we really have to do anything.
So if you’re somebody who is here, wants to learn about goals, wants to learn how to hit them, then you’re somebody who cares about achieving more in your life and becoming more, and reaching your full potential.
So what is a goal for? It is to allow us to live our life to the fullest. It is to change and evolve our brain and how it’s wired. It is to create our before and after of who we are, because the person right now that you are, is the before you’ve achieved your goal. And that person and the way that you think is different from who you’re going to be after you achieve it. Your brain is going to change; you’re going to be a completely different person after you achieve this big goal.
The purpose of goals is to reach your full potential as a human, it’s to reach the next level of your life and keep up-leveling. It’s to find out what you’re capable of. It’s to give you a container for how to make decisions, to keep you on track. It’s a container in which you now base your decisions on, every day you want to align yourself with that goal that you want. And that’s how you decide how you live your life out.
It gives you a clear way to make decisions based on what you’re working towards. It’s like your compass, your map for learning how to direct your mind to think, feel and act, to get that goal that you are going for. So that is how I have seen goal setting and why we do it. It’s not for everybody.
So the people who really take the time to learn how to set goals take them very seriously, either evaluate why they didn’t hit them or hit them. Those are different people than people who don’t set goals, are not interested in growing; they’re just trying to get through the day. So I’m assuming if that’s you you’re not listening to this podcast. But taking goal setting very seriously and taking the time to learn about goals is not something that everybody’s going to do.
So why most people don’t hit their goals, so it’s not because they can’t do it. It’s because they underestimate the amount of effort it really takes to hit a goal. They underestimate what they’re going to need to do. They think they’re running a five kilometer, or a five mile race. I’m in Canada, we use kilometers, if you’re somewhere else in the world you might use miles.
They think they’re running a five mile race, but really it’s more like a marathon and they were not ready for it, they were not prepared. So because they set a goal maybe too big, or they’ve been trying to hit the same goal for a long time and they haven’t been able to make it. And they really haven’t surpassed that five mile point, because it’s really 20 miles and they just didn’t know that.
So for example, let’s say your goal is to get a dream job at a 100k per year, that’s your final goal. And if you’ve been trying to hit that goal for three years and you keep failing, and failing, and failing at it, your confidence is going to be pretty low and you’re probably going to not want to keep working towards that goal because you’re going to get very de-motivated when you continually don’t hit it and you continually fail. But this is why.
You think you should know how to do it right away, you’re expecting the wins to come very, very quickly. So what I find is most of my clients they think that they should just have one interview and get the job. That should be it, they should get the job offer first try, they should know. And if they don’t they’re like, “Okay, I have to network, got it.”
They should know exactly where to meet people, where to find them and they should just hire you immediately once you have one meeting. And your first go around should just be, “Here’s your job offer.” Or a certain amount of meetings will materialize into interest from people and job offers coming in. But this is misunderstanding the process, it’s meant to be difficult. It’s meant to be hard, so, using failure to come back stronger.
So failure is the key to meeting your goals, understanding failure and knowing how to manage it in a way that actually helps you. So you need to take a step back and recognize that if you are continually trying to meet your goal and you keep failing, that your current thinking or your current strategy isn’t working, and what you’re doing isn’t working. And that’s okay, because it’s just going to take more than you thought. As I mentioned, we always underestimate what it takes to meet our goals. And that is the whole reason why most people give up.
So when you understand failure and that you understand that it’s going to take more fails then that’s the first step. You can be like, “Okay, I’m prepared for this.” Because it’s just going to take more than you thought, more creativity, more resourcefulness on your part. You’ve been trying this for a while and it hasn’t worked, you’ve been maybe even going on interviews and it hasn’t worked. So if it was easy, everyone would have their dream job already, everybody would be getting paid exactly what they want already.
So it’s meant to make you think, it’s meant to get you to be creative, to stretch your brain further than you ever have before. You’re meant to go well beyond the first few attempts into massive action, and critical thinking, and idea producing. You’re meant to access all those areas of your brain that you haven’t been accessing yet because you’ve probably been doing the same thing over and over again, that hasn’t been working. You know who you are.
You’re meant to come up with hundreds of things that you can do. You’re meant to come up with lots of ideas, lots of people to talk to, lots of ways to ask people questions, lots of ways to have connective meaningful conversations. And check out my podcast on niche networking if you want some more ideas on that. But you’re meant to fail a lot. You’re meant to get disinterest from people. You’re meant to get no responses. You’re meant to get people saying no to you.
You’re meant to get recruiters who are going to say things that maybe trigger you or make you feel bad in the moment. This happens a lot with my clients. Recruiters will say things to them that de-motivate them. So you’re meant to have all that stuff happen and that’s part of the process, it’s normal.
You’re meant to have people say, “No, we went with somebody else. You were great but we went with someone else and we’re not giving you feedback.” This is how you create resilience, the resilience that you need. This is how you learn to solve problems. This is how you learn resourcefulness. This is how you learn to connect with other people, to build the skill so that you have the ability to interview for your dream job when the time comes and you know how to do it when it comes up.
This is how you’re meant to learn to have maximum impact in your career and your life. And you can only get to this point when you understand that the process is going to be more than what you thought. And you’re going to be ready when it’s your time. This is how you build your relationship with yourself on such a deeper level, that you learn to trust yourself to go through with things even when you hear no’s. This will give you so much more in the long run than an immediate yes.
You’re meant to get guidance through this process, whether that’s from me or from someone else. You’re meant to come out the other side with these meta skills that you can use to create your next career goal and your next career goal and become somebody in your industry that is well known, and even sought out and headhunted. You’re meant to become the person who sets goals and knows when you set a goal you’re going to make that happen.
The journey of a thought leader in your chosen industry, the journey of someone who’s truly great at what they do, they’re a sought after person, they’re headhunted from their current position, is meant to take your understanding of goal setting to the next level. So that you have this meta skill to hit whatever goal you set, you want to be able to hit. And that’s how you become that person is by going through this process and coming out the other side.
You’re meant to have to apply every single last tool that you learn so that you can use them again when you need them to up-level. And the tools that you learn through this process, the resilience, the massive action, the failure, all that is going to be applied when you get into your dream role and you set a big goal to create a massive amount of value. That’s all going to come into play when you need it for your next goal.
And I’m all about setting big goals and blowing your own mind as my mentor says, because I’ve done it, and it’s pretty freaking awesome. So you’re meant to come out of this process with an unwavering mastery of your mind, and the ability to even help others who come after you. So networking isn’t just about getting your next job, it’s about helping others after you do get into your dream role, then you can be the person who helps somebody else through this process and tells them, “It’s not supposed to be easy.”
There’s going to be lots of people behind you who are having the same struggle that you’re having right now and you are meant to help them. Again, refer to my podcast on niche networking for a big picture on how networking works to get your dream job. So you’re going to know because you’ve been through it and you’ve done all the things and you understand that this process is not easy. So if there’s a new graduate and he gets frustrated because he’s not getting the job right away, you’re like, “Yes, I know, it’s not supposed to be easy.”
You’re meant to only succeed when you’ve fallen down enough times to know that it doesn’t matter anymore, because you will just get back up until you win. And that is the meta skill, only when your failure starts to make you believe harder, instead of de-motivating you, when it starts you questioning instead of doubting yourself. You question, why didn’t that work, you evaluate it instead of doubt yourself and go into a spiral of it’s not working.
That’s when you’re ready, when you finally start to understand the process to collect your data. So I like to call it a data collection process, so when we are out there having these conversations, gathering information, we are gathering information for our career. What is it going to take to make my career successful, to get the dream job I want and then to make maximum impact in my industry? That is the goal of those conversations for me. And when we look at it from that lens we need to do some data collection, and that means we need to have some conversations.
And when we can start to enjoy that process and really sink into it and understand it fully is when we really start to see those results coming in. So when you are not there yet, when you’re failing, you’re believing less, you’re making the failure mean, stop, I can’t do it. The more that that happens, the universe protects you and your future job offers by not bringing you together. And you can’t fake it. You can’t fake the universe into believing that you’re ready. Your energy never lies, it either sells or repels. So you either get what you want or you push what you want away.
So this happens a lot too, if you are acting needy and graspy because you need to make your goal happen in a certain amount of time, there’s no way you can achieve your goal from a needy, graspy, desperate energy.
No matter how much action you take from that place you are repelling what you want because your energy doesn’t lie. And what you have to understand is that that is part of the process is, understanding that. And that is a deep level of learning that is a tough pill to swallow, so you can’t approach it from that way.
And you might say to me, “But I have to do it in two months or I’m going to get sent back to my home country.” This happens a lot, people have a visa or they have a timeline, they really need to get this goal achieved. I understand that, that might be true. But if you are coming from that needy, graspy, desperate energy with that thought, it absolutely has to happen before this time; otherwise I’m going to have to go back to my home country. That thought and that energy is pushing what you want away.
And so you can keep that but it won’t help you. There’s no way you can produce a result like that. So all this is a good thing because the only thing that keeps you from seeing that this is a good thing is your misunderstanding of the process. Your thought that something has gone wrong, it’s not working, it doesn’t happen fast enough, when really it’s going exactly the way that it’s supposed to go.
And here’s the most important thing, you can’t skip the process by learning more or consuming more information. You can’t avoid it by learning another formula or getting somebody else to perfect your résumé, getting someone to look at your résumé, or learning how to write a perfect LinkedIn profile. You can’t skip the process by rehearing your stories over, and over, and over, and over-preparing for interviews, and going on one interview and hoping that that’s going to be the one, and then getting very disappointed when it’s not.
That is not how it works, that is not how the process works. You can’t fast forward it without doing the deeper work. You can’t hide from it and hope that one day a job offer will magically show up. You have to work it all the way through. And the only way that you will ever do it is if you learn to find thoughts that allow you to enjoy this process, the process of trying things that you’ve never tried before and failing, and creating new ideas and failing some more.
Finally getting interviews and then failing to close them, then you’re at a new level of the process with a new problem, then failing some more and then some more, getting back up every time with more commitment, more enthusiasm, more dedication, and more education of the best kind. Because that is actually the best education you can get, is going to an interview, not closing it and doing a really good evaluation about it.
That is going to give you way more steps towards your goal, that’s a big giant step towards your goal, way more than rehearing your stories over, and over, and over in your room. You have to find a way to enjoy it all, you have to find a way to be all in for all of it, because this is the process of achieving a big goal, of getting your dream job at your dream pay, and giving massive value, and becoming a leader in your industry. This is the process.
And I mean a dream job, not just a job that anyone gets, a dream job where you change the future of your industry, where you have the opportunity to make a huge impact, where you become someone who is highly sought after by other companies, someone that they hear about and they want to recruit, and they want to offer you more money.
The ones who learn to love this process become the industry leaders, become thought leaders in their space, and they become the go to people. So if you’re thinking this is a bit big for you right now, I just want you to start thinking bigger for yourself.
Because a lot of my clients, they are already successful, they are already brilliant at what they do and they are only utilizing a fraction of what they could do. They are only earning a fraction of what they could be earning. And that’s why I want to stretch your brain to think bigger, and when you learn the process of setting and achieving goals then you become unstoppable, my friend.
So, next thing that’s necessary for achieving any goal is trusting yourself to do what you say you will do. So do you trust yourself to keep in it even once you understand all of this, even once you understand the process, do you trust yourself to follow through until you get the dream job offer? And if so, what percentage of the time are you in integrity with yourself as far as doing what you say you will do? So self-trust and building it up with yourself is a skill that not many people have.
Doing the work to trust yourself that you will do exactly what you say you will do, very close to a 100% of the time, if not, a 100% of the time, that’s what will get you there. So ask yourself now, are you in integrity with yourself?
This is a skill that will make you the most money and build you the best life if you master it. Because I can guarantee you that if your boss sets a goal for you, for example, your boss gives you a task and says, “You have to get this done, you have to figure this out,” you will do it. You will do what it takes and you will go through the discomfort, you will not want to do it, but you will figure it out and you will go to great lengths, and you will go through great discomfort to get that work done for your boss, for the organization, for someone else. Even when you don’t want to, you will figure it out.
I have seen this so many times, so I work with clients every day and they’ve got a lot of stories about what they’ve achieved in the past. And most of them have achieved such amazing things that they did because they were assigned that goal, or that task, or that project, and they followed it through. So when it comes to yourself though, and what you want the most, most of us are not willing to work that hard for those goals, we’re just not. We give up on ourselves, we quit. We’re just like, “Oh, it’s too hard, I can’t do it.”
So it breaks my heart that you are capable, because you’ve proven it over and over again for somebody else, but when it comes to yourself, that’s when you’re not putting in the effort. So let’s be honest, is that you? I know it was me for a long time.
Alright, so what happens if you don’t hit your goal in the time that you anticipated, but you think you did everything right? So, sometimes, let’s for argument’s sake say that sometimes you have done everything, you’ve shown up consistently, you’ve been in integrity with yourself. You’ve taken the actions, you haven’t been coming from a needy, graspy place, you showed up daily, you wrote down your goal every day. And you didn’t hit it at the timeline that you expected to hit it, what does that mean?
So most people will make it mean that they couldn’t do it, that they failed, that it’s terrible. Most people will be very deflated by this and they will either give up, or take a break, decide to take a break or they will somehow get very de-motivated in whatever way they tell themselves. And it might be like a micro quit, which is they say, “I’m going to stop doing it for now.” Or they’ll quit, forget about it, not want to think about it, stay where they are and just be depressed about it.
But really this is what I want to offer you; it’s just an opportunity to dive deeper on why you didn’t hit it. So there is something to be learned here, to learn another layer of growth from yourself, to ask more from yourself even when you thought you didn’t have any more to give.
So I found this interesting, somebody told me one time that the US Marines, the way that they train is that they are always told that 40% of their effort, let me see if I can explain this properly.
They’re always kind of tricked repeatedly into how much effort they’re going to need to expend. So let’s say it’s for physical activities for example. They are told that they need to do 40 pull-ups, let’s say for argument’s sake. They’re always told they need to do 40 pull-ups, but really they always need to do a 100. So they’re always told that their goal is 40 and then when they reach 40 they’re always told, “Just kidding, you actually have 60 more.” And that’s just how they train with everything, is that’s the mentality that they want to cultivate. And that builds resilience, my friend.
So let’s say that this is how we look at our goal, you say, “But I did everything, I did all the things that I was supposed to and my mindset was in line.” And you think you’ve done a 100%, but really you only did 40%. And maybe you did nothing wrong, maybe you did show up and do all the work that you believed was necessary.
There is something that was missing, there is something that hasn’t been uncovered, there is a deeper level of learning that you need. There is something that you missed, but nothing has gone wrong, because yes, you cannot hit your goal in the time that you had planned, but that’s when you have a choice. You can say, “Well, that sucks, I’m never going to hit it, I’m not good enough, I wasn’t meant to do it. I suck. No one’s helping me, it’s not working anyway. I’ve done everything I was supposed to, it still doesn’t work, nothing works.”
You could go that route, which is where normally our brain’s going to default to; everyone’s going to say that. Or you can say, “Okay, I didn’t hit it in the time that I had planned, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not giving up until I do hit it.” And you always knew that, it’s just going to take a bit longer than I originally thought, so what’s my next level of growth? What is my next step? What is my next resource? Where am I going next? Where am I going to look for the answers next?
Successful people always stay hungry for the answers, they stay curious. Why didn’t I hit it? Did I really do everything? What was I thinking? Something didn’t work, I wonder what it was. Who can help me? So that’s where I come in, I help you get to the bottom of this and help you figure out exactly why you’re not hitting your goals, exactly what you’re thinking and what’s not working.
So you always have a choice because the alternative is you don’t try anymore, and you never have the possibility of reaching your goal because you’ve decided that it’s too hard and it sucks and you’re not going to be able to do it. And you can decide that, but you’re not going to be happy in the end, because if you’re anything like me you’re going to want to come back to it. You’re going to want to keep trying.
And every time you go into the mud, as I call it, or you start thinking nothing’s working, it’s not working, you slow yourself down. The faster you can see that you’re going to keep going no matter what, and you stay in it, even if the timeline needs to be adjusted, the faster you’re going to learn the process of reaching your goals. And the first few goals that you hit are going to be the hardest because you’re still building that self-confidence and that self-concept in yourself to be able to be somebody who hits your goals.
And so that’s why I said when I said earlier about what it’s going to take, because in the beginning it really does take a lot from you. And then when you set bigger goals, and bigger goals, and you understand the process of how you’re going to hit these bigger goals and what it’s going to take, what that effort and cost and time. And cost, I mean energy cost, maybe money cost if you’re going to invest in a coach as well, what it’s going to take to achieve a goal.
Then you’re going to have a full understanding of what it takes to live a bigger life, with a bigger career, with more value, where you can earn more money.
So I want to end this podcast with some concrete actions to take that will scientifically increase your chances of achieving your goals. And so if you do all of these you will have a higher probability of achieving your goals. And I didn’t always do all of these, so you don’t have to, but I am doing them now, that I’ve recently learned about them. And I believe these actions will be very, very helpful for you.
So the first one, writing down the goal every single day, so having a morning practice or an evening practice, or whatever helps you focus on the goal. Visualizing how you will feel when you achieve the goal. Asking yourself questions each day that you get your brain to answer. What will you be thinking when you achieve the goal? Who is the person in that dream role and what are they thinking, who are they being? What will they be thinking about when they’re working in the dream role? And how will their thoughts be different than they are now?
What do people who are in this type of role, focus on, what are they thinking about? What types of problems are they solving? Writing down your goal every day makes it 40% more likely that you’re going to achieve it. And I keep hearing the most successful people talk about this every time I listen to somebody that I admire, they will talk about this at some point, and how powerful it is to write down your goals. And so I have achieved and surpassed many goals now, which I am so proud of. But I do think that writing it down every day is very, very powerful.
And I always had my planner and my focus in the direction of the goal and I always had it on my whiteboard, that’s where I write my stuff down. I didn’t always write it down every day, but I am going to start doing it now for sure, and I have been for the last couple of months. Because when you write it down then you ask yourself follow-up questions. Like today I will need to do these things to get to this goal. Today I will need to show up in this way.
And then at the end of the day you can ask yourself, did I show up as the person who lands this role? Did I show up as the person who gets this promotion today? Did I show up as the person who is a thought leader in this space today? Did I push my brain today to think creatively, to get to where I’m going today?
When you program yourself every day for the goal that you are going for, your brain will start moving towards it by making the decisions needed to go towards the goal. And this is you intentionally focusing on your brain on your goal, however it is you do it. And there’s several ways, so writing it down, asking yourself the questions of your future self and what you’ll be thinking and feeling, visualizing yourself there. And there you have it.
If you want to dive deeper and work more with me on this, head on over to www.nataliefisher.ca/getstarted where I have lots more to offer you and lots more value to give. See you soon. And leave me a review, because I love reading the reviews and that means I get to hear from you. Thank you so much for listening. And I will talk to you next week. Bye.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Get a Better Job in 30 Days. If you’re ready to dive deeper into your career mindset and start making a serious impact in your industry, join me at nataliefisher.ca/getstarted. I will see you over there.