Want an easy goal setting challenge that will change your life?
Goal setting challenges come in all shapes and sizes. The focus of this one – is to show how easy they can be. But, I also want to show you – how life-changing they can be.
The key to a goal setting challenge is to get the ball rolling. Or, to say it another way – to create self-efficacy. In a nutshell. This is the process of gathering momentum in your goal journey – by proving to yourself you can achieve what you want. Research has shown this will contribute to the likelihood you will achieve your goals.
So, rather than setting yourself big goals that you plan to achieve in the future. Utilise self-efficacy by chunking down your goals and start getting things done today.
Let’s get started!
Choose a goal that you want to achieve over the next 6 weeks.
For this challenge, I recommending a 6-week timeframe. This will give you lots of time to achieve your desired goal.
(Note – you can apply these principles to whatever timeframe you want.)
The first step is to chunk your 6-week goal into smaller action items that you can complete over the 6-week period.
Besides the advantage of creating self-efficacy. Chunking your goals into smaller actions will also help you to keep yourself positive, motivated and on track.
(Plus – even if you leave things to the last minute – you only have to catch up on a small chunk of action.)
To make life easier for you. I am sharing my quick 6-week goal setting template with you (see above).
This template chunks the 6-week goal into 7 milestones.
This will help get you started today (which will give your a positive brain boost to kick things off) and has an action/milestone at the end of every week.
Remember, each week’s milestone can be small. The focus is not how much you achieve but the fact that you are continually achieving.
(Note – For those of you that are serious about their goal setting methods. It is good practice to have every milestone as a SMART goal. But I tend to go easy on myself method-wise if I am tracking myself on a weekly basis.)
How a 6-week goal setting challenge transformed my life
In the not too distant past – two people asked me to name something I loved about myself.
One was my good friend Adriene from “Yoga with Adriene” on Youtube (I assume we are good friends because we hang out most days on the yoga mat). The other was a website trying to sell me stuff.
The former assumed that it might take a moment to find something – the latter assumed I had something locked and loaded ready to go.
What this made me realise was – I can’t do it. I find myself being able to love relationships and choices – but not something that results in a flat-out compliment about myself.
It reminds me of a coaching session I once had where the coach asked me to name something about myself I was proud of. Just thinking about things that I am proud of makes me feel uncomfortable.
So, my question to myself was this:
Why can’t I name something that I love about myself?
What’s that you say? Yes, I agree with you.
This would make a perfect area to exercise a bit of personal growth.
So, as a result, I set myself a 6-week goal challenge.
(This had the added advantage of building a tool that I could share with you too. That’s right – everyone wins.)
My 6-week goal setting challenge:Name one thing that I love about myself.
Interesting discovery #1
Following on from my 6 weeks of journaling and chatting I can tell you:
I love that I am proactive and try and make things better when they are getting me down.
Interesting discovery #2
This process of self-reflection uncovered something more important for me.
The discovery that I only accept praise and recognition from people if I agree with what they are saying, ie. their comments relate to something above the personal achievement benchmark I hold myself to.
As a result, I rarely accept compliments and believe people’s positive feedback.
I also realised that I hold myself to a different achievement benchmark than I do everyone else.
Interesting discovery #3
Now, through this exercise, there was one thing that I kept coming back to:
Does it really matter if I can’t name something I love about myself?
Because it feels silly, unnatural and unnecessary. I continuously wondered – what is the value in it? Why do people ask me this question?
After some vigorous journaling – I believe there is a link between:
Naming things I love about myself
Lowering my personal judging benchmark
Feelings of self-worth
Being comfortable with vulnerably and connection
Not caring what people think about me
At first, this does seem strange to me because I am not unhappy with myself generally. But, I can appreciate how my inability to get all gooey with loving feelings for myself would be indicative of deeper issues. And I can see how these issues would naturally link to my problems with vulnerability & sharing (hangovers).
So – a new personal growth journey starts here.
Why have I shared (slash overshared) this personal detail with you?
I have taken you on this personal journey because I wanted to demonstrate how much I got from a 6-week goal challenge, which was essentially:
3 journal entries &
And as a result, I feel motivated, informed and positive about a new direction in my personal growth. So, now:
I want to implore you to do a personal goal setting challenge – so you can have a big payoff from your bite-sized goals.
(Then pop a comment below – because I would love to know how you went!)
A Wellness Wheel Activity (also known as an 8 Dimensions of Wellness Activity) can provide important guidance when you are ready to change your life for the better and design personal goals.
It also answers an important question:
Does your ideal life look like an uneaten pizza? (In my mind – yes. Mmm… pizza…)
Wellness Wheel Activity Benefits
If you are looking to make positive changes in your life. A wellness wheel activity is a great way to investigate the areas of your life that could benefit from some TLC.
This exercise gives the opportunity to take a holistic look at your life and discover areas you could focus on to feel happier and more fulfilled.(1)
The 8 Dimensions of Wellness (or 8 slices of Pizza)
Dimensions of Wellness (or Wellness Wheel) was a concept that originated from B. Hettler in the 70s.(2)
Personally, I like to think of the concept as less of a wheel and more of a Pizza. (Stay with me)
Picture a pizza with 8 pieces.
Each piece of the pizza represents an area of your life. So, one is financial stuff, one is job stuff, one is emotional stuff etc
In the ideal world – you may have one full perfectly round pizza – but unfortunately, you have a rat problem (or live with me). So, when you open your pizza box to check out your delicious pizza – all your pieces are different sizes – because of the chunks that have been eaten (probably by me).
This activity provides you with a holistic picture of the important segments in your life. The fuller pieces of pizza are the ones that you feel are going well. The smaller slices of pizza are the dimensions of your life you may be neglecting or have issues you could benefit from tending to.
It is important to note – that maybe in an ideal world your pizza is full. But this activity is about striking the right balance for your life – so maybe a few smaller pieces work in your life.
Why you need to try a wellness wheel activity TODAY
The first time I completed a wellness wheel activity – I was feeling pretty low. I could tell things weren’t good – but I couldn’t pinpoint anything specific in my life that was letting me down. I had no real issues – everything just felt a bit… meh.
To be honest, I felt like I was at the bottom of a deep dark hole and I couldn’t work out how to start clawing myself out.
At this time, it was recommended to me by a Psychologist to give a wellness wheel activity a go. So, I went through the dimensions – reflecting on what was happening in each and what I honestly wanted.
My scores were very surprising to me.
At that moment in time, I wouldn’t have said that I had a problem with my relationships. It never occurred to me that area of my life could have been contributing to my low feelings. But my scores in this area were way down low in comparison to all the other areas in my life.
I realised when I asked myself what my ideal scenario was for my close relationships – the reality didn’t look anything like it. Far, far from it. I also realised I didn’t have the “skills” (or rather emotional abilities) I needed to improve my life in this area.
So, for me, this kicked off my goal-setting & personal development journey that started with Brené Brown and serious work on vulnerability and sharing. Eventually, I started to explore these concepts in a blog.
Fast forward to today. The fact that I am writing and sharing with you right now is because of that wellness wheel activity.
So my recommendation to you is: “get stuck in”! Who knows what amazing journey this activity might kick off for you?
Who knows what you might learn about yourself? And who knows how great your life can be? (I do actually – it can be fabulous!)
Wellness Wheel Activity – “How to”
Wellness Wheel Activity Step #1: See your Pizza
If you don’t have a wellness wheel template to work with – grab one from the above. There is both a workbook and a spreadsheet option (In case you didn’t know – I LOVE SPREADSHEETS).
This exercise (in the gorgeous spreadsheet or workbook) will ask you to reflect on 8 wellness dimensions:
For each one you ask yourself honestly things like “What do I wish was happening here?” and “What do I need to change in this area?”. Once you have reflected on each dimension (there are examples & questions to help you if you need) you will allocate a score to them.
There is no right or wrong here. You just want to get a sense of how these things compare in your life.
Once you have completed the exercise you will be able to compare each of the eight dimensions and see how things stack up (there is a pretty bar & radar chart if you like to see things visually [like me]).
Now – you will probably find one or two of the dimensions might score a little lower than the others. Or, you might realise you would like to work on one or two in particular.
This is where goal-setting starts!
Wellness Wheel Activity Step #2: Goal setting time (increasing the pizza slices where it matters)
So – at this time – I invite you to choose one of these dimensions. And pick a goal you want to achieve in the next 6-weeks. This will get the ball rolling on improving your pizza…I mean… life.
If you need a hand with this – check out this (6-week goal setting challenge & free template)
In summary – Pizza can be hard worthwhile work
If you are looking to make positive changes in your life – this wellness wheel activity is a perfect place to start.
The ultimate goal being – when you open your pizza box – each piece of pizza is as full as you would like it to be.
Now – don’t be mistaken. As with most worthwhile things in life, improving the size of your pizza slices may take a lot of work. But, the result will be fantastic when you have increased feelings of well-being and the right balance in your life.(3)
So, with these apparent advantages and flexibility – why can it be hard to do?
As someone that continuously coaches people on the importance of self-reflection – so they can achieve their personal goals. It is shameful how much I do not walk the (self-reflection) walk.
Even though I am constantly reminding my clients of the importance of self-reflection for:
Discovering what brings meaning to their lives
Discovering how they can live aligned to their meaning
Defining perfect life goals that will increase general well-being
Working out the hurdles that need to be overcome
Working out the best way to live their best life day-to-day
When I think about self-reflecting myself – I feel like I am making the choice to floss my teeth instead of eating some delicious dark chocolate.
So, in case you feel the same way. Today, I want to give you some personal examples of why self-reflection is important. (And provide me with a reminder).
Why self-reflection is important to me
You won’t find me keeping a regular self-reflection or gratitude journal. You won’t find me responding to “journal prompts”. To be honest, I’d rather get a tooth pulled out.
Actually, for me, self-reflection is like my approach to dental care. Flossing in particular.
I know I should be flossing regularly. I love how it feels after I do. I know it is the best way to look after my teeth. But as much as I try to get in a good routine – after I while – the routine slowly fades into nothingness.
I know – self-reflection has many benefits for well-being – but…
Self-reflection can involve delving into uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and digging around in areas I would prefer to ignore.
I find this annoyance similar to my flossing routine, which involves me struggling to find the right angles to navigate my tightly packed teeth.
So – instead of self-reflection or flossing – I’d prefer to do something more enjoyable… like eating chocolate…
But – in spite of this – I have to admit – that self-reflection has allowed me to change my life for the better.
Why self-reflection is important: To make sure your personal goals stay on track
I’m not one of those people that consume never-ending self-help books and never puts things into motion. Or, someone that constantly talks about their goals but never puts a plan in place to achieve them. (I am sure you know these people).
I am the kind of person that builds a perfect plan for my goals – but – then lets things end up in the too-hard basket.
In these times – when things seem too tough – I have realised self-reflection is really important.
I have always advocated self-reflection as the starting point for great goals. This is because to discover your perfect personal goals – you need an in-depth knowledge of your values, strengths and what gives you meaning.
But I have only realised recently – how important self-reflection is for me – when I am trying to stick to my goals. Primarily, because of its assists me to get to the bottom of why things have ended up in the too-hard basket.
Why self-reflection is important: So you can truly know yourself
Self-reflection taught me that I am a perfectionist – with a dash of fear of failure & a super negative mindset – that wants to encourage others to improve their lives.
Until I started regular self-reflection – I didn’t know any of this about myself.
But now this information is now fundamental to how I approach my life and plan my goals – so I can facilitate meaning and well-being in my day-to-day.
Why self-reflection is important: So you can grow
Once the uncomfortable work to understand yourself is done – you can do the uncomfortable work to grow.
For example, once I discovered what a true Negative Nellie I was – swimming in a world of limiting beliefs – I could work to address this.
Although, I won’t be winning any awards for my rate of progress. Self-reflection allows me to get better and better at catching myself buy into negative thoughts and beliefs.
This allows me to call them out for what they are – and focus on a more positive and productive mindset.
So, why is self-reflection important? (The recap)
As great as chocolate is – ultimately, eating it is not going to help you improve your life (even if it is divine).
Self-reflection on the other hand – can open up your world for positive change.
In my experience – self-reflection has helped me improve my life – regardless of how much I didn’t want to do it.
(Note to self – put down the chocolate and self-reflect more!)
I feel it would be remiss of me to not mention something that pops up in research.
Yes, there are many great things about self-reflection (eg. points above). But for those of you that like to double down on personal growth activities (not people like me that only double down on chocolate intake) – beware.
Self-reflection is great to a point – but it shouldn’t detract from spontaneous living. All good things in moderation (says the person that has never been able to eat chocolate in moderation).
Being a good friend can be deceivingly complicated.
Being a good friend can be tough in our busy lives with limited time for connection. We can end up focusing on what we need from our friends and not how we can be a good friend ourselves.
We can play an integral part in our friends’ journeys to make their lives better. We can support our friends to self-reflect and grow.
All we need to do is – shut up and listen.
Sounds easy, right? But in fact – it isn’t straightforward.
When our friends need to work through their issues with us. There are unconscious things we do that aren’t going to win us any Friend of the Year awards.
So, if you want to focus on being a good friend (or hoping to get a nomination for a Friend of the Year award). Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
Being a good friend – tips for when you need to shut up and listen
Being a good friend – Tip #1: Offer the benefits of venting
Allowing our friends the opportunity to vent – supports them to unpack and process their issues. Venting our issues is not only good for our brain but for our body too. Venting allows us to feel better about our problems but can also relieve harmful stress and anxiety from the body.
Being a good friend – Tip #2: Offer a safe space
When I trained to be an executive coach, one of the most interesting things that I learnt was the importance of offering silence when someone is discussing a problem. For me this a) was super hard (to shut up and not interrupt with my “valuable” input) and b) amazing to see how much power there is in silence. If you offer a silent safe space, your friends can find their own answers and relief, through their own exploration of the problem.
Being a good friend – Tip #3: Beat your unconscious bias
Now, listening to our nearest and dearest is not actually easy. Research has shown that the closer people are to us – the less carefully we listen to them (it’s called closeness-communication bias). This is because unconsciously we think that we already know what they are going to say. This phenomenon can mean for our closest friends (and partners) – strangers can be better listeners for their problems. (And your friends may prefer to vent to strangers rather than you too).
Being a good friend – Tip #4: Don’t troubleshoot
Many of us have heard the stereotype that a male in the relationship will troubleshoot when the female just wants to be heard and have their feelings validated. We can be the same with our friends. We kick into troubleshooting mode because we want to help our friends. They may ask you for help. But – if they don’t – just shut up and listen (& offer the chance to vent).
Being a good friend – Tip #5: Don’t wallow together
If your friend shares a relatable story when venting to you. Do you share yours too? This can result in you both wallowing in negative emotions. Then, both of you can leave the conversation feeling worse than when you started. When helping a friend vent, the more you can keep your negative emotions out of it, the easier it will be for them to process their issues (and not complicate them with yours).
Being a good friend – Tip #6: Don’t look bored
One important tip if you want to be a supportive friend – is to make sure you are utilising your active listening skills. If we sit quietly (trying our hardest not to interrupt with our stories, opinions and helpful tips) our friend might think we are not listening (or bored). So make sure you brush up on Active Listening 101 if you need to.
Being a good friend – Tip #7: In return – don’t be boring
Being a good friend goes both ways. As much as shutting up and listening will make you a good friend. Don’t forget – not venting all the time also makes you a good friend. We all need the chance to unpack our problems. But no one wants a friend that drags them down with a constant barrage of negative feelings.
So – good luck if you want to master the art of being a good friend.
(And – remember to mention me when you are receiving your Friend of the Year award.)