A Goal Setting Reset: Appreciative Inquiry
"The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
Usually when we see a problem we approach the problem by looking at what caused it. Then we figure out possible fixes and go with the best one. If we do this in goal setting we often become the problem. And being the problem is not a particular empowering starting point to create positive shift.
Thankfully there’s another way to look at problem solving. To look at goal setting. That approach is Appreciative Inquiry (AI).
AI focuses on seeing things differently. AI is a process of problem solving and goal setting that focuses on what’s working rather than what isn’t. AI builds a path forward based on the strengths a person currently brings to the table rather than focusing on perceived weaknesses. AI is about focusing on abundance versus lack.
So if you’re still pondering possible resolutions or you’ve got a goal in mind —that’s fantastic. Maybe you’ve begun defining or have already defined your goal. Either way you’re off to a fine start.
Maybe you’ve thought about losing weight or becoming more fit or spending less or getting organized or reading more books or something else that matters to you. Why not run your possible resolution or decided on goal through the AI approach to see it, and you, with new eyes?
Then start discovering all that you bring to the table and take stock of what’s working in your life — right here, right now. All the abilities and resources you have available to support you in realizing your goal.
And please know, no matter what your current life circumstances are — you bring gifts and strengths to the process that are wondrously unique to you. You’re still on the path to becoming. And that is more than enough.
Now look at your Highlight Reel and allow yourself to be inspired by what you’ve already accomplished in life.
Take it all in. Discover and connect to the awesomeness in you that makes awesome happen. Embrace the you that makes positive shift happen.
And now that you’ve given some definition to your resolution(s) and have (re)discovered all the goodness you bring to the table — its time to dream.
Dream up what the most excellent results of your goal(s) might be. Dream in living color. Engage all your senses. Breathe it all in.
By defining and discovering and dreaming you’ve built the foundation on which you can design your goal path. You can give structure to your dream(s).
Now it’s time to design your plan of how you’ll get from point a (where you’re at— right here, right now and focused on your strengths) to point b (your big phat, audacious goal).
You might even employ the SMART goal strategy. It can be very helpful.
And remember, the path is the goal and the goal is the path. Plan for a journey to your goal that you’ll, more often than not, enjoy. That’s right — enjoy. Because while it requires getting out of your comfort zone to work towards a goal that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Your efforts to complete your goal should energize you and not deplete you.
Take into account how long it will realistically take you and give yourself adequate time to complete the trip. This will allow you to pace yourself.
Once you’ve created your plan and have your roadmap it’s time to show up, set out, and deliver.
And please know that you’re not the same you who began this process. Nor will you be the same you once you realize your goal. That’s because you’re unfolding and becoming. You’re changing as you take an active part in your destiny.
Also please remember, this whole resolution/goal business is a process. It happens in stages. And it has a way of circling back.
Because you may lose your way from time to time or get distracted off your path. You may decide you want to take a different route. And that’s more than ok. Just circle back and rework the process again.
Because it’s your destiny. You get to choose for you. And each moment is a chance to choose again. Ask yourself: What do I want to be? What do I want to achieve?
It’s a process. The goal is the path and the path is the goal. Enjoy the journey.