In today’s episode, Anna looks at the different circumstances that may require you to revisit your goals.
For all the talk of the importance of persistence, consistency, resilience, and avoiding ‘shiny object syndrome’ when working towards your goals, sometimes it is necessary and even desirable to change not just the actions that you’re taking but the vision itself.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
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Hello there, and welcome back to the Reimagining Success Podcast, where we’re asking the question, when is it okay to change your goals, to change your vision. And if you’re thinking, hey, I’m going to change my goals whenever I well want to, they’re my goals, then you’re absolutely correct. Of course you can. You can change your mind. You can flip flop. And you can alter your vision, your definition of success as and when you’d like, and that’s absolutely fine. No one has to give you permission to do that. No one says that these things are set in stone. In fact, you probably can and should evolve that vision, and that’s what this is about today.
However, we’re looking at this in the context of warnings as to maybe you don’t want it to be flaky and wishy-washy and flip flop back and forth and change your mind every day.
Within business, in particular, you need to be consistent in order to get results.
We need to be resilient, persistent. I always talk to my clients around, you need to stick with the same action, take action consistently every day for at least three months in order to get results. So, if you haven’t even done that and you’re already changing your mind, changing your goals, you’re never going to see results. And if you do, you’re just lucky and it’s not going to build a sustainable business. So in business, in particular, avoiding that shiny object syndrome, giving up too soon and so on is really critical.
And having a vision, maybe you’re a fan of the law of attraction.
We talked about creating vision boards and so on. Having that compelling vision that you’ve really thought through, that’s incredibly powerful, meaningful to you, yes, this is what I want holistically in my life, in my business, in my career, family, relationships, all that jazz, then that’s something that you’ve defined and you want to be setting that north star, working towards that goal, single-minded.
Of course, there’ll be distractions and things along the way, but essentially, we’re working towards this big goal.
And it’s in that context where perhaps you think, hang on a second, should I change my goals, or is it just that I haven’t in the case of business, implemented my goals, implemented my strategy as I should have? Is the goal correct still? I just haven’t done it properly. I haven’t actually had the right strategy. When is it okay? When is a good idea to change the actual goal itself, the vision?
And I have a few suggestions and I’d love to hear where you think as well.
But the first one that came to mind for me was actually, well, in fact, before I go into that one, the first one I think, and I’ve hinted at this already is, look, I’ve just changed my mind. So, I’ve decided that, for whatever reason, that goal I set, perhaps I was naïve, perhaps I set this crazy goal that I thought I should set because my parents told me to, which, by the way, it isn’t of course a meaningful goal. My friends were all doing it, my partner was doing it, we’ll talk about that in a moment. I’d read about other entrepreneurs and gurus were doing that. And I just didn’t do due diligence of really working out, doing the deep work of what’s important to me.
So maybe you just hadn’t really defined a good goal in the sense of a meaningful goal, something that’s really going to deliver you the fulfilment and joy and satisfaction and happiness and all those things that you’re after. So maybe the goal itself was wrong to begin with, in which case, of course you can and should change it.
Maybe it was meaningful, but for whatever reason, you found another more meaningful goal, or you found another vision that’s different, and you hadn’t thought of it before, somehow you’ve worked with a coach or met someone who’s inspired you to see something that you didn’t realise was possible.
And now it’s shifted a little bit. Or some fortuitous change in circumstances or whatever. But basically, nothing’s really changed, you’ve just changed your mind. That’s one reason, and that’s okay to change that goal. Again, it’s your prerogative to do that as and when you want to. Just I would recommend that you really reflect on, okay, do I want to let go of that original goal, that original vision that I defined for myself, first of all? And secondly, is this new goal really something that is important and meaningful to me? Have I reflected on it, done that work again, or is it just a whim?
So, absolutely, you can change your mind as and when you want to, but perhaps take a bit of time, be a bit patient and give yourself a bit of extra sense of, hey, okay, is this something that’s lasting or is it just something that I decided because I met someone who said this, or I watched that, or I saw that or whatever? So really think about, is this meaningful enough to change everything I’ve been working towards, number one.
Change your mind, absolutely, fine.
The next one that I want to talk about and I hinted at it a little bit is in case you meet somebody, for example, is a change in your relationship status. So let’s say you’ve been single and you’ve had this crazy goal of whatever it was, and now you’ve met someone, you’ve fallen in love. Again, it’s not just a whim, it’s not just a one night stand or whatever, it’s a endearing relationship. They have a different set of circumstances. They and you together now are thinking in different terms in terms of where you want to live, what you want to do, how you’ll interact together. Even if your goal hasn’t changed, maybe you are now opening up to perhaps evolving that to be compatible with your partners and so on.
So, important to say this, and I think this is almost a podcast episode in itself, how do you keep your own independent vision on the one hand while also making sure it’s compatible with, if you want to, otherwise you can get rid of that new partner if you prefer to stick with your vision, of course, but finding ways to have both of your independent visions, but also find something joint and together.
It’s so easy to blame somebody else for not taking action.
And I very jokingly, I suppose have said, I’m sure you’ve heard me say this if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, at the beginning at least I said, oh, I was travelling the world and I was nomadic and I was single and all that. And if I look at my vision boards and everything, it’s a lot of paddle-boarding and travel and beach and exciting things, and writing books and business and all these things. I did actually have on my vision board meeting someone. So that’s one thing that’s interesting and important.
I then moved back to London because I did. But then I met somebody here. I fell in love and that somebody happened to have a nine to five in London. And so, that jokingly was always my, oh, well, I have this that I was going to do but now I’m in London because my partner and so on. Now, interestingly, he has since quit his job. We’ve since shaken things up and we’re moving and we’re changing all sorts of things. And he’s starting a business and everything, which is incredibly exciting. But it’s just to say that it can be that perhaps you need to temper your goals in the short term, perhaps you just need to adjust them.
And in any case, I do think as independent as I am, as stubborn and as much I want to hold on to, as I want to hold onto my own goals, and I believe you should too, if we’re in a relationship, and again, it’s up to you, probably, we want to make sure that those goals are compatible.
And depending on how important the relationship, how important that person is to you, evolving together.
So you’re looking in the same direction as they say is probably a good thing. And finding another way of bringing to life your vision, your goal, perhaps that’s going to work with this new partner. Or perhaps pressing pause for a while and that area of your life but doing something else. Ideally, you’ll come up with one plus one equals three, there’ll be something new and exciting.
Now, this is one direction in which relationship status can change. Another one of course is separation or divorce, or breaking up from somebody or with somebody. So if that’s the case, that again, might shift your vision. Maybe you had, maybe wrongly, maybe correctly put all your eggs in that one partner basket and you were doing things because of your partner. Living in London, having a job, you were taking care of the kids, whatever it is. And now that’s shifted. Or maybe just now that you have this new opportunity to do something else, that’s an opportunity to do exactly that, to reflect and to shift your goals.
Now, of course the change could be a negative change, at least in the short term, in the sense that maybe you’ve been relying on, or you thought you could rely on financial support, childcare support and so on from your partner.
And now you’re splitting up, that’s no longer the case. So in that case, again, maybe you need to press pause, take a step back, adjust your expectations a little bit because you can no longer take the big risks that you thought were okay because let’s say your partner had a big salary and you had that house and whatever. Now that your economic situation changes a bit, that could then affect your goals.
Sort of little anecdotal suggestions, they’re obviously a very sensitive topic and very personal as well. I’d be curious to hear what you think in terms of maybe your experience of having to shift your goals because of breaking up. I’ve certainly had several, many clients who have gone through that kind of change in both directions. Big change in life often comes together with changes in other areas of your life so often. Divorce and job change and weight loss and all these things will come together. And so, going through that process of actually empowering yourself after maybe having some time off to look after kids and so on. Coming back to the workforce, believing yourself again and so on can be really empowering after a separation.
On the other hand, I have many clients as well who I guess more so women, but also men, are perhaps in their late 20s, early, late 30s.
They’re thinking about maybe wanting to meet someone, have a family and so on perhaps.
And that will also then affect where their goal is, their vision and that’s an important part of the life vision as well. So, as much as we work on our career in business, of course, if we want to meet somebody, have children and so on, that needs to be on our radar too.
So change in relationship status is the first one. The second one and I’ve mentioned it now is expanding your family, right? Whether it’s getting a puppy, by the way, I met someone, a couple of people before Christmas, before the lockdown and everything, he was talking about how getting puppy had changed his life, and now they were sort of training that puppy up at home and so on. So apparently that’s a big deal as well.
But certainly having children. The first one is going to completely flip your priorities to some extent, but certainly what you’re able to do, and you need to adjust your expectations there. Maybe you no longer want to skydive and bungee jump and whatever else it is. Perhaps you want to do lower risk activities. Maybe you still want to travel the world and so on, which of course, right now perhaps isn’t possible. And maybe your vision will continue to be exactly the same, you’re just going to do it with kids in tow now, which is certainly possible and absolutely fine if that’s what you want to do.
Maybe your vision, your priorities do change. You want to settle down more, perhaps if you want to have a family, you have a family and so on. So, having one child, having several children is probably going to evolve your vision in some form.
Change at work. Maybe your absolute favourite manager, your boss, moves on, leaves the company. Maybe there’s a restructuring, maybe you get the promotion, and suddenly you need a new goal, right? Or maybe you don’t get the promotion. Maybe you face redundancy, unfortunately, which can be sometimes a blessing in disguise. Maybe you’ve been working from home, maybe you’ve been loving it, maybe you’ve been hating it and really struggling because of homeschooling and all those kind of complications. And maybe because of these changes that you’ve been forced to, or at least forced to consider making a change in your vision too.
So, this perfectly lined up corporate career that you had planned out for yourself isn’t feasible anymore, or isn’t what you want to do anymore. So, that’s very possible that things have just changed at work. People have moved on in the organisation, your role doesn’t exist anymore. You’ve discovered a new way of working that you do or don’t like. There’s some kind of change in the work environment.
And finally, more broadly, and I have to mention the C word as an example, and economic social changes. So with COVID, of course, that’s really affected many different types of businesses.
Maybe you had a vision to start a travel agency, travel business that just hasn’t worked at all now, a wedding, in-person, photography, whatever it is, offline business that hasn’t been possible this last year. Again, you’ve either had to press pause, delay or shift. Ideally, you’ve pivoted as we call. I did an episode on that last year when COVID was really happening at the beginning. To pivot and rethink, maybe take your business online, diversify your income streams and so on. But certainly there may be some evolution in society and the economy that makes you think, hang on, I need to change my vision for my business, for my career, and for my life as well.
And again, travel wise, I met someone who was taking a year off from maternity and they were planning on going to France and travel all over the place. And that just wasn’t possible because of COVID. We were even thinking of moving abroad and that again has been perhaps delayed maybe indefinitely, let’s see.
But for now, at least, it hasn’t been possible, and we’ve shifted our vision in different directions, very exciting direction.
So again, first of all, yes, of course you can change your mind at any point, and that’s actually fine. Just give yourself a bit of extra time to think, is this really worth the extra effort? Because look, you’re going to be starting pretty much from scratch heading off in a different direction. So, make sure now that this time around these really are meaningful goals that you do want to follow.
If your relationship status has changed in neither direction, that could be a good reason to change, evolve, either bring it into compatibility with someone new or perhaps separate it from having been tied up with somebody else. And now you have other opportunities, maybe fewer opportunities, at least in the short term, but certainly different possibilities. It’s going to look different. A change in, children, in fact, empty-nesters as well, children growing up, moving out, that’s also going to have an impact on what you can and can’t do and what you want to do. So maybe your goals will change there. That’s an exciting time to look forward to, although far off in my future. Maybe there’s a change at work. Your organisation has restructured redundancy, again, working from home and remote working virtually and so on. And then finally, of course, bigger, broad economic societal changes.
So I just thought it was important to look at because we talk so much again about consistency, persistence, resilience, sticking with that, and being sort of doggedly working towards single-mindedly that goal. We hear a lot of success stories, and all about getting up at five in the morning or three in the morning or whatever it is and working towards this one vision, the importance, excuse me, and the law of attraction to really focus single-mindedly and work towards that goal. Yes, very powerful all well and good. But sometimes you know what, you want to, or you have to change direction and that’s okay.
So I hope that gave you a little bit of support, I guess, if you’ve been worried about changing your goals, changing your vision. And also just, maybe this isn’t the case for you now, but to be aware of in the future. If you meet someone, if you separate, if you have children, etc, etc, that’s okay.
Of course your definition of success is going to evolve over time.
And I’m sure I’ve talked many times about how mine has evolved even since I quit my job in 2013, that’s already now almost eight years ago. How it went from hippy dippy, travelling the world by myself through to all sorts of other things since then. So, that’s completely fine and it’s exciting, it’s part of the ride. Don’t think that just because you’ve decided on a goal, a vision, you’ve done that vision board, you’ve stuck the words and pictures onto a board, you have to stick with that forever and ever.
So I hope that’s what you wanted to hear, maybe needed to hear. Maybe you know somebody else who needs to hear that so I’d love for you to pass this on to someone. Maybe you know someone who’s going through a tough time where the changes at work, maybe this can help them see that there’s an opportunity to shift, evolve their vision, maybe relationship and so on. But I really appreciate you listening. Hopefully that was useful and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Bye for now.
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