Balanced Goal Setting - Lawyers Assistance Program of British

Balanced Goal Setting
Lawyers Assistance Program
Facilitated by Robert Bircher
Effectiveness of Goal Setting
• Most Lawyers know goal setting is important but
few actually use goals effectively
• This is due to the fact many classic goal setting
methods rely on will power and don’t take into
account that people resist change-often vigorously
• I belong to a goal setting group that has done goal
setting for 20 years and this method seems to
work the best-because it doesn’t fight human
Multidimensional Goal Setting
• Life has many dimensions and many people
want balance in their life-thus setting goals in
all areas of life is necessary
• However since you can only complete a few
things at once what seems to work is to focus
on 1 or 2 dimensions at a time-then move on to
the next one-or drop one and move on to one
you are more motivated to do
Wheel of Life
• You will find a wheel of life attached-filling this
in shows where you are in or out of balance
• On each dimension mark an ark where you are
now-then one where you would like to be-there
may be no difference in some areas or a large gap
in others-color the areas differently so the
differences are clear
• The gap is the space between the two lines and
you put down what would need to change for you
to achieve your goal
Wheel of life
• For example you may believe you need to lose
10 pounds to achieve your health outcome-you
would write that in the gap area
• Basically you do this for all dimensions-some
may need a lot of change-some none at all
• We have found out many things about goal
setting that you won’t see in the textbook
methods-mainly because the authors haven’t
actually followed these methods!!
Goal Chart
• Your goal does not have to be precise, in fact a
vision or wish works better-ie “I want to look
good for my age”-is vague but will work at
this point-in fact a general dream may be the
most effective goal you can write!
• You can even simply put a direction in here-”I
want more peace in my life”
• This puts into motion an intention or direction
to your life
• This is the part where you put the experience you
are looking for-this is best described as a feeling –
not a fact-ie- “I look good in my clothes and am
not self conscious about my weight’ is a feeling
statement rather than- “I will weigh 190 pounds
by x date”
• Feeling statements are more effective than fact
statements-in fact you can use only feeling words
or visions and they seem to work better than
• Goals are dreams with deadlines-a date is useful
but some flexibility is useful here as well-ie by
the end of the summer
• We have found that some goals are not achieved
in the timeline we predicted-but over time they
often are
• We used to have a rule that a goal could only be
put down twice-if it wasn’t achieved we thought it
wasn’t important enough-but over time they
tended to happen
Miracles Never Cease
• We found over time that many goals seemed to
be achieved without much or any effort at allwe call these effortless goals
• Some goals are the opposite-very effortful!
• In some cases great achievements were made
when no goal at all was made
• In some cases a goal was repeated for many
years with little success –in some cases was
never ever achieved
Miracles Never Cease
• It seems that the reason for these anomalies was
that intention-if strong and genuine enoughseems to manifest with or without you!!
• Also we began to realize that serendipity played a
large role-there are so many unforeseen events in
life, goals can manifest in minutes(You meet the
person of your dreams)or life can change in
minutes ( someone dies unexpectedly )
• It helps to review your goals to make sure you are
conscious of them-also to look at ways you could
manifest them
Goal Setting Tips
• Your intention is more important than what you say
you will do-great precision is unnecessary and may
actually get in your way
• Striving, stressing your self and focusing on
achievement is somewhat useful in “effortful goals” but
in general is useless or actually makes things worse
• It works to focus on only one or two goals at once and
it does work to make goals easy and achievable
• Our group has tried dozens of methods and systems and
over 20 years this is the most effective method

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