Goal Freeze and 5 Easy Tips On How To Thaw It
I’m sitting at my desk stuck in my chair. Not in the way you think, but just stuck trying to tackle a big project that has been on my 'to do' list for ages. I’m staring at the screen wondering how I can progress this one line project goal into something that is easier to digest and then implement.
It is time to unfreeze this goal and here are 5 easy tips on how to thaw it:
1. Split it into smaller chunks
The one line task is too big and too intimidating, so it needs to be split into a series of smaller digestible goals or mini steps. Each one in isolation is much more accessible and achievable but in total they represent the major task. So, instead of staring at a big one line goal like I am, you are faced with a series of mini headlines and reference points.
This split changes the big project goal into to a series of smaller process goals which are always more achievable - read my recent post Why Process Goals Are The Best Goals
2. Go for a walk
This is relevant anytime when you are seeking some creative thought or have hit a mental brick wall, sometimes you just can't produce the answer no matter how long you address the problem. If nothing changes nothing changes, so make some changes in your surroundings by doing something else for 10 minutes or so – preferably going for a walk and getting some fresh air. You may think of something from a different perspective whilst you’re away or when you return .
3. Keep it simple
Sometimes you can overthink the big goal or its mini steps, making it too complex and involved adds to the size of the task in front of you. By distilling everything down into one line and related mini goals to its most simplest form makes the goal more accessible. Cut out the clutter and come back to it at the final review. This differs from just splitting into smaller chunks – it's about keeping the goal and mini steps accessible and understandable to everyone involved. In my case it's just me but nevertheless it must remain simple.
4. Get started - near enough is good enough
Since I have started writing regularly I accept that I won’t achieve perfection in one go. In fact I don't even try. The hardest thing, like today, is just to get started and make some progress, however small that progress may be. In the first draft I’m trying to get the bare essentials of structure and meaning right and so it tends to be pretty rough, complete with multiple spelling and grammatical mistakes, often the wrong words, out of order and lacking context. Initially it may be no more than 50% accurate.
If you start with perfection as your goal you just won’t get started.
5. Two heads are better than one
'Two heads are better than one' is a proverb meaning that two people working together have a better chance of solving a problem than just one person working alone. Different people have different ideas and so get help if you need to. Talk through the problem you are having with a friend or colleague, their views can be the catalsyt to a change in thinking and to getting you started . If there isn't someone on hand, researching online can bring you help via posts or You Tube instruction videos.
These are basic goals setting techniques but they work. I have been able to get moving on the project through using all of these techniques.
Paul Lyons is an experienced CEO who coaches leaders to improve their performance and wellbeing by developing their mindset. To learn more about building your mental toughness contact Paul or Mental Toughness Partners
As CEO of Mental Toughness Partners, he assists individuals and organisations to develop their mental toughness to improve performance, behaviour and wellbeing. You can find him at paullyons.com and Mental Toughness Partners