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5 Ways To Settle For More With Transformative Goals

Written by: Maureen Adams, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


What do people look for in a happy and fulfilled life?

Good friends, a supportive family, a fulfilling career, and time to enjoy the benefits? Or the ability to reach one’s potential in life?

We all know the disappointment in settling for less than we feel we deserve. This does not necessarily mean wealth or material things (though they may be a by-product of our choices). It may mean a positive state of being, which could equate to happiness, personal growth, intellectual stimulation, physical fitness, good health, or emotional balance.

It can be tempting to establish a set of achievable goals which help us on our way, but they may not necessarily be the goals that will transform our lives. This is where coaching has the power to move us beyond our self-imposed limitations.

Here are five ways to have truly transformative goals and settle for more, not less.

1. Imagine the person you would like to be in three years.

Not the job, not the role, not the income, but the person. You are building your self-worth as well as a valued life. People no longer respond to wealth-alone goals—health and well-being matter. Knowing your strengths and values is the key to this so that whatever career or path you take aligns with who you are.

Undertake a self-assessment or find a coach that works with your strengths and values.

What would it feel like to be that person you have imagined in three years?

In coaching, we use techniques to help people imagine in full vision the new life. How do we start the day? Who is with us? What do we see when we look out of our windows? What does the day ahead look like?

Importantly how do we feel in our heart, head, and body?

This powerful technique helps us tap into our deeper desires and ambition. It is valuable to experience the feelings and notice what your body tells you.

The deeper the connection with who we are, the more embedded the dreams and goals that we decide to set can become.

2. Broaden your vision as well as your skill set.

Whether in a corporate role, freelancer, or entrepreneur, learning and development are essential to our growth. Courses can help us be relevant and productive in the workplace.

But to stand out, you need to look beyond skills to be clear about your vision. What do you see as the future in your industry, and why? Would everyone else say the same? Do you have a unique perspective honed by experience across the sectors or developed through strong working relationships?

To stand apart, you must step up and use your voice, feel confident being heard, and challenge what you think is unjust. It’s not about going along to get along but knowing where your boundaries are and what drives you and excites you.

When were you last excited about your career?

3. Refresh your unhelpful thinking.

We all have goals and dreams that can be derailed by the inner voice that brings negativity and self-doubt. As you notice negative thoughts emerging, think about where that comes of negative thinking comes from. The chances are it has its roots in early life. How true is it now? Probably not true at all.

Self-doubt is natural and can function as a proper risk management technique to ensure you are at the top of your game. But if it takes over, you have a problem. So, stop that thought and call it out. Is it true now? No. Why not? Because people know you negotiate/listen/write/problem-solve well. If necessary, pull out the evidence. Better still, keep an evidence log of what you achieve and how.

Put that current version of the truth in your mind instead. Write it down and look at it daily until your mindset changes and your inner voice quietens. Besides, it’s exhausting revisiting a tired old script. Your psyche needs a break!

4. Guard your time wisely

The critical issue here is conscious decision-making. There are so many opportunities and positive ways to make an impact that we can inadvertently reduce our impact by covering too much ground. As a younger executive, I kept my career focused on all my micro-decisions, but this was more challenging when I became more senior.

I decided to think more clearly about what I was sacrificing to take on something new. Trade-offs happen, and as long as you recognize your sacrifices as temporary, you may decide they can be accommodated for the greater good. But not forever. Always look at ways to recover the lost leisure or thinking time. Just because you attended a meeting once or twice does not mean you need to be a permanent fixture.

I often refer to Anna Wintour on this issue in coaching and her 4-time-management-tips. She famously turns up at public events for half an hour or less. She has been visible but is not needed for the whole event. We all know the feeling of the red line being crossed—unnecessary weekend meetings. Or, missing the last train because of a runover meeting. Remember. Your time matters to you.

Refresh your boundaries as well as your goals.

5. Take your best self with you

Given hybrid working, we have more scope to develop our working style in a way that feels congruent. Companies are expanding their corporate approach by giving their workers more scheduling freedom. This newfound freedom is a double-edged sword. More personal discipline may be needed to achieve the freedom to work from home. Results still matter. However, we can often plan our days differently.

If you work better at night, you have more time in the morning to get online slowly. If you are an early bird, school picks ups may be more accessible. The key is transparency and negotiation. Whether you are leading teams or not, giving people the power to find their best selves will make them more productive. It can break the boredom and manage the risk of losing good people.

Gartner suggests preparing ‘for the uneven.’ The next generation of workers will be different for everybody when the 9-to-5, 40-hour-a-week job is gone. Companies will have people with ‘no common employee experience.’

So, work those relationships as much as your deliverables. No man/woman is an island, and many a promising career has foundered on the rocks of a damaged work relationship.

Collaboration is the name of the game. This can enhance your brand.

Settle for more.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Maureen Adams, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Maureen Adams is an Executive Career Coach based in the UK. She works with ambitious senior professionals and leaders, facing complex challenges, to have impact at personal and organisational level. As an experienced director herself, she has walked the path and helps others not only realise their potential through growth and change but to find their zest and redesign their lives. Maureen is Founder of Cumulus Coaching UK.



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