Grow Your Own Carrot
Motivate Yourself to Success!
by Bob Griffiths and Chris Kaday
RGA Services 2007
Griffiths and Kaday are both life coaches who use a technique to help people think through their own problems, sometimes with the help of others, and arrive at their own solutions. It is straightforward and uncomplicated and in this clearly set out and easy to read guide they show how to stop struggling and start succeeding.
Please note: I have included the Table of Contents for this book below, as it was not available on Amazon.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The GROW Test Team
- GROW express: the short cut to success
- Stopping the struggle
- Preparing the ground
- Goal types and topics
- Creating your Goal statement
- Creating your Reality statement
- How are you doing?
- The Way Forward
- Staying motivated
- GROWing further
Motivational carrots come in various shapes and sizes and they can be offered to us in numerous ways. While our motivation sometimes comes from the outside, there is no doubt that the best carrots are those you grow yourself. When you are not dependent on others to provide your motivation, you are capable of achieving almost anything.
In theory, when we want to achieve a goal the ideal way is to sit down and map out the steps, organize ourselves to carry out our plan, put the required effort and enjoy the reward. In practice, we are human beings, full of contradictions and counter-intentions. So, instead of moving swiftly towards our goals, we often end up ‘struggling’ with ourselves.
Fear of Failure
The fear of failure can control us in very insidious ways. Often we are simply not aware of how our fears are holding us back. We find ourselves avoiding starting our goals, or feeling that they are just too much effort or trouble.
Lack of Support
Whether we like it or not, our close friends and family often have a vested interest in us staying just the way we are. If we start to change it is only human nature for them to worry about the effect it will have on them. Unconsciously they might even sabotage or hinder your progress because they feel threatened.
Acknowledge the benefits
Sometimes we do not set or achieve goals because we are not clear what difference achieving the goal would really make. This is particularly true for goals of obligation or duty, where we feel that we should achieve something rather than that we want to achieve it. Goals which can be expressed very simply, such as weight loss or becoming calmer, can dramatically change many aspects of our lives. By recognizing this before you start, you increase the potential impact of the goal and your motivation to achieve it.
Lack of Planning
A common reason for not achieving a specific goal is that it was not particularly well thought through in the first place. As the saying goes, if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Achieving anything worthwhile takes a lot of planning and you need a good structure.
Create milestones that will mark your progress towards your goal. We all need some reference points to demonstrate our successes along the way… To create milestones, your goal also has to be easily measured, with definite start and finish points. Ongoing, open-ended goals with no strong indicators of success are far more likely to fail, as there is nothing to aim for and no way of knowing when you get there.
Make a start
If we continually fail to take charge of our lives in a positive way we feel frustrated and dissatisfied. These feelings are like barnacles on a ship’s hull, draining our energy and slowing our progress. Simply by starting out on our goal we release pent-up energy that can be used to propel us forward.
Tools for Motivation
• Properly written goal – with defining moment – written – specific – etc
• Visualization script for achieving goal (what it will look/feel/sound like)
• Vision board – pictures that symbolize your goal
• Inspirational quotations
• Support group or buddy
• Calendar or monthly planner
• Milestones acknowledged
• Progress charts or graphs
• Rewards written down
• S/W tools to motivate you
• To-do diary
• Website support
• On-gong journal to keep track of process
When we have become exasperated with an individual or a situation, it is very human to keep emphasizing how bad the situation is and how frustrated we feel. But by focusing on the negatives we keep the situation frozen in the problem state. This leads us to react to them in the same way each time, which gets the same response. We then become more frustrated and the vicious circle goes on.
If you are afraid of making a change then it might help to remember that life is changing all the time, whether we want it to or not. Why not take control and make some changes that you really want?
The idea of a defining moment is not only to visualize but also plan an event around the precise time and situation when your goal will be achieved, and incorporate this into your goal statement. In creating a defining moment, the key question is: what is the precise moment when you will know you have achieved your goal? What will be happening? How will it look and feel, what will you hear?
By visualizing the goal as clearly as you can, you can experience whether it will really give you what you want. You might well feel yourself getting hotter or your lips starting to form a smile. This is the “warm soup glow” of a worthwhile goal. If you have it then it is a sure sign that this goal is for you. As you push on with the GROW process you can recreate this experience any time you want, to remind yourself why you are making all this effort.
Goal Statement Wording
Watch those verbs. ‘Find’, ’identify’, ‘develop’ all sound like good words to have in a goal, as they indicate a process, but in fact they are quite unspecific. It will not necessarily be clear when we have found, identified or developed what we want. It is more effective to use verbs which by their very nature demonstrate the act of accomplishment. For instance, to sign something is pretty definite, so is embarking, seeing, buying or enrolling. They are focused on an instant, not a process.
Goal Statement Checklist
• Is my goal of manageable size?
• Is my goal within my control?
• Is my goal stated in the positive?
• Is my goal measurable?
• Does my goal have a clear time line with a completion date?
• Is there a clear defining moment when I will know I have succeeded?
• Is my goal realistic?
• What skills and resources do I have that will help me reach my goal?
• Is my goal something I want rather than something that I feel I should do?
• Do I clearly appreciate the benefits that achieving my goal will bring?
• Is my goal motivating and inspiring?
• Is my goal big enough?
• Is my goal in balance with any other goals I have?
• Have I included some sort of celebration and reward for achieving my goal?
The process of identifying Obstacles might appear to be a pessimistic one. You may think that because they are blocking your way they must be negative. In fact the very opposite is the case… The other main reason for identifying as many Obstacles as possible is to create Options for tackling them. So the more Obstacles you have, the more Options you get to create.
Having a long list of Obstacles shows that you are really thinking through the achievement of your goal and what is standing in your way. It demonstrates that your goal is important to you and should certainly not be considered negative or defeatist. It also shows that you are prepared to dig deep and really treat the process seriously.
It is only by being aware of our self-imposed limitations and positively choosing to change them that we can move beyond what we have always accepted. It is not always an easy decision since the status quo has the advantage of being known. If we do choose to step forward into the unknown we then have the opportunity to discover our full potential.
By ourselves our minds go all over the place trying to find a Way Forward which will avoid pain and difficulty. By systematically addressing each Obstacle and asking if it is really stopping us, we are able to deal with them more effectively.
We are creatures of habit, and as such we usually find ourselves doing the same things in the same way. Routine is the name of the game… Push out the boundaries and step off the well-trodden path… To act outside the box you have to think outside the box… Dare to be different, take a risk and change the patterns which may have held you back from making significant change for most, if not all, of your life.
Short quotes worth noting:
Our internal dialogue can have a far greater impact on our failure to achieve goals than anything we encounter externally.
By holding on to (inner) beliefs, we become trapped within fixed limits and never give ourselves space to find out what we can really accomplish.
To make a major change in your life you need to think differently, otherwise you will always keep repeating the same patterns.
Once we tell ourselves we ‘should’ do something it becomes much harder to complete it because there is a part of us that does not want to do it.
It is a common misconception that when we are unmotivated we have to find an incentive that will motivate us right up to the point when we finish the job, In fact, if we find a motivation that will work for, say, the next half hour, very often we are then able to keep going.
If you find yourself faced by a large, seemingly insurmountable task, then break it down into the smallest chunks you can. Then start doing some of these really small bits.