Goal Planning Heads Up vs. Heads Down

As a life coach, I work with clients a lot on goal planning. Goals are gold. Good coaches have a toolbox full of strategies to create powerful, driving goals in alignment with their clients' true selves.

I'd like to share with you a couple of approaches to goal setting and planning. Each one is important in the process.

Your brain has areas which have different strengths. Let's capitalize on that.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
~ Zig Ziglar

Heads up goal planning

Heads up goal planning is where you create your vision. Literally.

What's the big picture? What motivates and drives you? What's it going to look like, sound like, and feel like when you've created your goal?

Physically looking up can help you access the visual cortex of your brain.

You've got to start with the big picture. What's the big picture?

It could be something like, "I see myself in that corner office with my name on the door. I'm a vice president of my company, and it feels like a powerful achievement."

Really allow yourself to get into your senses. We're accessing our neurology here.

This is not the time for planning. We're not figuring out how to get there yet.

If you find yourself getting bogged down in details right now stop and yell, "silence critic!" in your best royal tone.

Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself at this phase:

  1. What does achieving this goal give me?
  2. Why is it important?

These are big chunk visionary questions. Anything is OK - you don't need a lot of detail.

Heads down goal planning

OK - now that you've got a vision for what you want to create, it's time to chunk down a little.

Still not time for the critic. Keep that jerk out of your head for now.

Practice your yelling if you must.

It's time for heads-down planning.

Now that you have a visionary goal, it's cool to chunk down into smaller pieces.

Sometimes, with large goals, it can be hard to imagine what it's going to take to get to where you're going. That's fine.

Here's a secret technique (shhhh) to make a plan:

Work backwards.

Imagine you have your goal. What were you doing right before you got it? And what were you doing right before that.

Keep going until you get to today. Write down your chunks.

Now you even have a tool to estimate how long it's going to take to get your goal. Just look at your chunks and figure out how long each one of them is going to take.

You can also ask yourself what skills and resources you need to acquire for each chunk.

Now your goal is essentially planned.

If you'd like help with this process, access to other powerful goal planning tools, or someone to keep you on track - let's talk.

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