This is something I have known for a long time; that goals in themselves are pretty meaningless and the more you focus on them the less you are able to live a fulfilling life; and yet I still get had by them.

When you focus on a goal, you are aware of the distance between where you are now and where that goal line is. You are less in the present moment and more focused on what is lacking. I know this inside and out as I have spent the majority of the past 5 years trying to reach goals and failing miserably.

Goals are useful only when you use them as a guide to the direction you want to head in; the moment you take them too seriously and start believing that you need to “get” there, then they have lost their effectiveness and can start sapping you of energy. The more you think about it the more you realise that you aren’t there yet, wherever “there” is.

I know this and I still catch myself getting lost in an imaginary future that I will arrive in one day.

I was coaching someone the other day and he had so many goals. He was confused as to which direction to head in and found himself stuck, unable to take any action because he didn’t know which way to go. I found myself getting caught up in his story and started coaching him on which goal he should choose. At the end of the call he had a direction to head in, that he chose based on his immediate need and he was excited to be able to take decisive action.

This was a big change for him and yet I screwed up big time! 

I got sucked in, I started believing that his problem was that he didn’t know which goal he should go for and so I helped him at that level, but I missed something huge.

His goals are not the problem, he is the problem. He is stopping himself from doing these things because of a belief he has or a fear he has. What I should have done is coached him on that.

When he realises, at a deep level, that there is nothing he can’t do if he is willing to take one small step each day, then he can do anything!

Often, with a big goal it can seem so overwhelming; the mountain is too large to climb and yet no matter what you want to do or how immense the task, it always starts with a single step; and then another. If he isn’t taking one step at a time it is because he is thinking about the mountain and not the ground under his feet.

I am going to arrange another coaching call with him so I can tell him of my screw up and really find out what he is doing to stop himself.

Everything you want is within your reach. What are you doing to stop yourself grabbing hold of it?