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What Do You Want?


What does success mean to you? In Episode 20, Rhiannon talks about goal-setting, defining success and going after what you want - firstly by discovering it and secondly, by mapping it out.  For those who are new to or rediscovering goal setting as a personal success strategy, to those thriving and are more experienced goal-setters, by the end of this episode you will have written your goal well, emotionally experience and felt your goal, and committed to action steps to immediately set you on the path to successfully achieving your goal and moving onto bigger things for you and your life.

You'll Learn

  • SMARTER-C Goals

  • Defining Success

  • The neuroscience of goal-attainment

  • Your WHY

  • Tailoring your goal for YOU


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Episode Transcript


EP #20

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 20, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

I recently realised a few things about myself that were interesting to me. I’m going to share them with you because you may recognise them within yourself and I think they’re a valuable thing to know.

I’ve often questioned whether the level of success I’ve had is as good as I think it ‘should be’. Lesson number 1 – as soon as you say ‘should’ to yourself, you need to stop and take a closer look. Why? Because ‘should’ sets an expectation and often only focuses on one or two variables. It’s often superficial, it’s often aligned with somebody else’s expectations and not our own, and it’s also not something that usually makes us feel good about ourselves or what we’ve achieved. When we say ‘should’ we are focusing on the lack of. The things we aren’t. The things we don’t have. The things we haven’t or didn’t do. They take the energy away from all the great things, the positive things, the amazing things we have done and point right back to what’s missing. I wouldn’t call this healthy. While we don’t want to lull ourselves into a false sense of feeling good if we have work to do, the superficial things we own and the way we appear to the world are important if we make them, but never come close to our self-worth or the amazingness that we are and contribute to those around us. And what’s more, what we contribute to those around us cannot and should not be determined by the superficial things.

Superficial things are great for offering the means, and helping support others in need, definitely. And who doesn’t love money?! But bringing it back to you, the way you feel about yourself, the way you show up and shine in the world… it’s not going to help when we keep telling ourselves we ‘must’ or we ‘should’ or we ‘need to’.

Goal setting and achievement is something to break-down according to your bigger aspirations and how you define success for yourself. Once you’ve addressed this and identified areas you need to focus on and go to work, then you can ‘should’ all over yourself to get that done. Calmly, kindly and in an orderly fashion. Not from a place of no direction, action, and wishing you or what you had was different ok?

Tony Robbins is quoted saying “setting goals is the first step from turning the invisible into the visible” so on that note, we’re going to discuss goal setting and more importantly, goal attainment. Are you a goal setter? Do you bother or is it something you avoid? Have you done it in the past and not stayed with it or achieved it and therefore you no longer do it? Do you thrive goal-setting? If you set goals, do you thrive?

I’m going to take you through an exercise I do with my clients that really gets your mind into the details of your goal, the emotions and sensations of that goal and that enables us to identify the gap – from A (where you are now) to B (where you want to be and why you may not be there yet.

I love to consider my future. All the things. I have a bookcase I love. Books I’m yet to read most of haha, but those books give me hope and excitement and I don’t know about you, but when I go into a library I’ve always felt this sense of wonder. Like anything’s possible, and like I can write my own story in whatever direction I choose to. I love it.

My first question for you is when you think about what you want, and back track it to where you are now, how does it feel? Some clients have told me it feels exciting and motivating. Other clients have told me it feels terrible. Daunting, impossible. What is it for you? Do you know what you want?

The second part of this question, is how do you define success? And stop, don’t google it. Googling the answers in this instance is cheating and not allowed. Success can only ever be defined by you. What you want. What you need. How you want to fill you days, weeks, months, years and life. I know that sounds massive and dramatic when I say it like that, but it’s true. Nobody can define success for you. You must define it for yourself. My definition of success is loving what I have now, today, in this moment and showing appreciation for that; while also chasing the possibility of tomorrow and what could be. See how waify and loose it is. Vague right?! But it feels great when I say it to myself. I adapted my definition after a good friend of mine told me hers because I’ve always been very, sometimes too, future-focused. I needed to incorporate something about today and being grateful and basking in what I have now, because it’s a lot. I’m thrilled with the life I have and the life I’ve lived. It doesn’t mean I don’t want more in the future – more money, more freedom, more time, more travel, more love… just more. But I wanted to have a reminder that I am already successful and for that I’m very thankful to myself, the opportunities I’ve had and the work I’ve already done to get me to this point.

If you don’t ever define success for yourself, you won’t know what it is when you get there, or what you’re working towards. I hear people say it all the time “I just want to be successful”. Yes well great, but what is success? Everybody’s definitions are or will be completely different because it’s got to come intrinsically, from you.

So spend some time defining success by actually writing something down, and revisiting it as the definition changes and develops for you and your life.

If we don’t set a goal, we through life fairly aimlessly. Which is fun, and fine, but from the time we’re born we always have some kind of focus – walking, talking, schooling, qualifications, jobs, income, partnering up, kids… there are all these pre-defined stages of life where we… here we go, here’s that word again, are you ready… “should” be working towards looking for or achieving particular things. Until a certain time in our lives where we have a little independence, whether that’s determined by age or money, we are somewhat subject to those constrains put around us. Now, you get to decide for yourself. You get to write your story. You get to determine where you’re going and what you make your life mean. So let’s go!

One exercise I think is so valuable to do before you begin goal-setting is to listen to Frank Kern’s perfect average day. The crux of it is that if you were to live one day over and over and over again, and that day was nothing super special or extraordinary, it was the perfect average day, what would happen for you? If you knew tomorrow was going to be exactly the same, and yesterday was exactly the same, what would happen. Write it down from the time you wake up, to the time you go to sleep all the events of the day. What you eat. What you do. Where you go. Who you see. Your environment. It really puts things into perspective and gives you an idea of what you may be craving, or how you may choose to live the same or completely differently. I’ll pop the link in the show notes. It's definitely worth doing.

It can be challenging when we don’t know what we don’t know, when we can’t see outside the limits of our own experience! Our brains are efficient goal-achieving machines. With the right information, our unconscious can help us achieve new heights that we can barely imagine. But without this information, we just stay cycling around and around, stuck in what we "know” (saying: "Better the devil we know".) For many people, a lack of skill in building a strong, meaningful, detailed picture of what they DO want is the biggest barrier to achieving their dreams. Let's be clear - so often the problem is not that we "can't" take the necessary steps to get what we want - it's that we don't know which steps to take because we don't actually know where we're going or why!

One simple and effective way to get started is with a big brainstorming session, where you write down ALL the things you think you want, even if you’re not sure, and even if they seem absolutely crazy and impossible right now. Why not just write it down?

Now pick one to focus on. The big, overarching one that seems impossible but exciting right now.

Let’s start to make it SMARTER-C and write it down. Start with “I have…”, “I am…” or “It’s [date] and…”

Specific – be specific with your language, Make the goal present tense, like it’s already happened.

Measureable - make it measurable – something that you will be able to test and measure to know whether you have to have not yet achieved it

Achievable – Is it something that has a definite end point? What will the trigger be when you KNOW you have achieved it? Make it concrete.

Realistic – Ensure your goal is something that can be achieved and is realistic for you and your life. It has to be a stretch and it can be a huge leap that feels impossible and that will just be a much longer-term goal (like 10/20 years maybe – whatever is right for you). So if you’ve brain stormed a really big goal that feels impossible, let’s break that down into smaller steps. What’s a smaller step that is possible and realistic, that you can put a time frame on and make SMARTER to begin the steps to achieving it?

Timely – Put an approximate end date on all your goals. Remember that this can be loose – and it’s more important to use the next step to redefine your timelines instead of giving up because you didn’t meet one deadline.

Evaluate – Break the goal down into smaller steps, also make them SMARTER and then put in evaluation markers along the way to recalibrate as you go.

Revise or Review – Make sure you review your goal by the markers you’ve set, whether you have or have not made it. Our unconscious mind needs a ceremony to know we’ve achieved something so keep reviewing your progress and changing track as required to stay on target and keep working towards your goal.

Celebrate – you must have a celebration in mind that is worthy of the goal achievement and something you truly want. It can be a gift, or time, or a ceremony but you must take time to celebrate and congratulate yourself when you achieve your goal.

Now, as I was saying in Episode 19, break it down into smaller chunks. You can do this on a school term, financial quarters, months of a year, years themselves. Whatever is right for you but allow yourself the space to realistically appreciate the amount of time it will take to achieve your goal. So often we rush and become impatient, but if we are more realistic upfront about the time we will need to build up to achieving our dreams, then we give ourselves that much bigger chance of actually doing it. What’s the rush? When you set a 20-year goal, you realise there is no rush. It’s consistent, calm, staggered. I believe smaller goals should also be the same. Be kind to yourself by allowing the time it takes to achieve your goal. There’s no rush.

Let’s play devil’s advocate:

What could stop you achieving this? Brainstorm all the possibilities. It may be people, resources like money, time. What could stop you?

How will you respond if you start to miss your targets?

Is there anything missing with this plan?

These three tips will help you achieve your goals and overcome challenges even faster.

Visualise the outcome

As a coach, I hear a lot of people say ‘but I can’t visualise’. Here’s a little secret – not a lot of people visualise easily. After all, we can only see the outcome of what we’re hoping to achieve through our current minds-eye because we haven’t lived or experienced beyond where we are right now in time. Make sense?

The key is to do your best, again… slow down and be patient and allow whatever appears in your mind to just be. It is important to set aside uninterrupted, focused time to visualise you achieving your goals because visualisations help our brain experience the reality of our goal coming into fruition through all of our senses. It gets us focused on what we want. Use all your senses:

When you’ve achieved this goal, what will you see?






Stick it up

Closely linked to what visualisation does for our brains, vision boards help our Reticular Activation System (RAS) focus. Ever purchased a car? Once you decided which car you wanted, did you start seeing it everywhere? This is our ‘RAS’ at work. As part of the powerful goal-achieving brain power we possess, a vision board will get our RAS working overtime to help us zone in to achieve what we want. By literally ‘sticking up’ visual representations of our desires on the refrigerator, in the office or wherever we see it frequently, we’re gearing our brain in the strongest way (which is visual) to nail our results.

Bite Size Chunks

Goals are often big-picture achievements, especially if we’re looking at goals that may take us a long time to achieve. To successfully achieve our goals, balancing the inspiration that we get from the high-level goals and the motivation to maintain the bite-size steps is sometimes difficult. So as we’ve discussed, it’s important to break down your goal into bite-size chunks. Break each SMARTER-C goal into 10 steps, no more. Start at Step 9 – the thing that happens right before you achieve your goal. Then fill in Step 4 or 5 around the mid-way point – the thing that happens when you’re half-way to achieving your goal. Define how you will you measure, evaluate and refine along the way? Then fill in the rest as needed.

The final piece is to write a sentence or two on WHY this goal is important to you. Make sure these reasons are intrinsic – they make you FEEL something you don’t currently feel. And remember, whatever that feeling is, is right for YOU. This is why only YOU can define success. Take a minute to drop-in. What will this goal give you? Why does that matter? Why is it important?

Then we ask ourselves:

What action or commitment can you make to yourself now, today?

By when? When will you do this one action step? Or two? Or three? Schedule it in your diary.

What may stop you? What’s the path of least resistance? Who can help?

What do you need?

In my shorter bursts of working periods – the school terms I speak about, every Monday I write down what I want to have achieved by Friday and I schedule time in to do it. I set boundaries around it – that time is precious and valuable to me. And weekly, I reward myself for getting it done by having a bath, or going for a walk, usually because they’re smaller weekly goals the celebrations are matching that in size but they’re little things I do for me to remind myself of the fact that I’ve made some, even if it’s a little, progress.

Now, depending on where you are, close your eyes. Pause this now if you’er driving or operating heavy machinery and come back to it later. Take a deep breath. (Elicit.)

Step into that feeling right now and turn it up even more. Picture yourself standing in that moment and knowing that you have made it. YES! Turn up those feelings of joy and pride and achievement even more, make them bigger, brighter, even more incredible. Right now, I want you to step outside of the feeling and see it clearly in front of you, glowing brightly, floating right in front of you, and you can see yourself having those great feelings. Now with me, take four deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth – and with each breath, I want you to blow even more energy, light, focus into that vision you are creating. Put everything you’ve got into it. Do it now. (BREATHE TOGETHER X 4). And when you’re ready, float back to now, feeling energised and excited, and when you’re ready, open your eyes.

Write down anything you need or that came up for you during that visualisation and I’ll see you next week.

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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