Why Is Goal Setting Like Getting Married

Those of you that know me personally will also know that I’m not adverse to getting out a camera at the weekend and tagging along with my husband Brett Trafford to photograph a wedding.  We were at a wedding last Friday and it started me thinking about how working with your goals is a bit like getting married, yet it so much easier to divorce our goals than our spouses.

My VVW approach to goal setting is simple and could help prevent you from divorcing your goals.

Vows – Make a commitment to yourself as you would your future spouse.  During the ceremony the couple promised so much to each other and are unlikely to break them.  Ask yourself why you find it so easy to break promises to yourself?

Value – When entering into a marriage we value the thoughts and opinions of our loved one.  Its equally important to value yourself.  Its only when you achieve this that you will place enough emphasis on achieving your goals.  Lets face it – you’re worth it aren’t you?

Witness – Tell others what you’ve set out to achieve.  Tell no-one and it becomes too easy to back out when things get tough.  If you’re going on a diet, tell people, the risk of guilt if caught stuffing that chocolate bar into your mouth might well just stop you sabotaging yourself.


I’m currently working towards a goal of losing a stone in weight.  I know from experience that I often set myself a goal and give in.  So I’ve made my vows to 80 witnesses in my facebook Thin From Within facebook group and now potentially another 2000 here on my blog.  All I need to do now, is know that I am worth it.


P1060885copyright Carolyn Trafford



Woosh!! & You Missed It – Was That Your Goal?

Somebody reminded me this week that we’re half way through the year.  When on earth did that happen?

I’ve achieved lots already this year, I’ve joined a really great new networking group, I’m almost at the point of relaunching my website, supporting the Princes Trust and picked up an international client.  Some of these were goals at the start of the year – others have been happy surprises.

Either way the start of July is an excellent opportunity to review where you are with your goals and here is my 5 step plan:

  • Review Your Goals – Dig that action plan out from underneath the pile of filing, dust it off and take a good look at it – it could surprise you.
  • Celebrate What You Have Achieved – don’t be hard on your self for what you haven’t.  Write down your successes, record them in a journal, open some bubbly, share them on facebook (or in the comments below)  – it really doesn’t matter as long as you celebrate it.
  • Review What Is Outstanding – are they still relevant to you? Change some, dump some, create some and then create a new action plan for the second half of the year, but make sure its focused on what you really want to achieve.
  • View Them Regularly – its no good creating an action plan and shoving it to one side.  And if like me you find SMART goals a little tiresome, create your goals in a way that will inspire YOU. Draw them, cut pictures out of magazines, create a vision board.  I have my vision board in Pinterest feel free to take a look.  Some of the picture won’t mean anything to you but they mean a lot to me.  Having your goals in a visual format can really help them become meaningful.
  • Share Them – one of the biggest motivators in achieving goal success is to tell someone else you’re going to do it.  So share your goals with someone.  You could even share them here. I’d love to hear all about them.

© Brett Trafford(c) Brett Trafford Photography

New Year, New You?


As I start to write this blog post I’m worried about repeating myself. Why?

Well simply because as humans we are often creatures of habit.  I don’t know about you, but I feel myself going through the same motions every year.  1st January – come up with a barrow load of good intentions about what I’m giving up, losing weight or setting out to achieve.  The reality is that 25% of resolutions are broken within the first week or so I read somewhere on the internet so it must be true!!

So I sat down to write a post about having goals not resolutions.  Even the word goal suggests its something to aim towards rather than give up or deny. Only to realise that as a creature of habit I sat down to think all this through last year and even wrote a blog post about it.

So there we have it – a goal is a positive intention, something to aim for and if you wish to know more you can read about it in last years goal post (no pun intended).

I do however believe that the New Year is a really good time to be thinking about what we want to achieve and what we have already achieved.  So let me share some top tips:

  1. Complete a Personal Annual Review of achievements.  My post Achieving A PAR written last year tells you more, but just give yourself time to celebrate those successes.
  2. Make sure your goals have a positive intention, that is something that you want to aim for rather than give up.  My post about making goals count for you tells you more about making goals really work for you.
  3. Always keep goals in your vision.  Write them in your diary, create a vision board or whatever you need to do to remind you that you have them, but never ever be hard on yourself if you let your intentions slip or fall behind.  This is not a moment to give up, just the right time to refocus.

Happy New Year – I’d love to hear all about your goals and resolutions.  Please feel free to share them here.  Often telling someone else can help you remain focused.



Are You Your Own Master?

Are you in control of your goals, dreams and career ambitions? Or do you feel that you need more control of your emotions and actions?

What is Self-Mastery?

Self-mastery is the ability to control yourself at all times and you feel able to move forward consciously in the direction of your goals. You will have the self-discipline to take action in a focused and deliberate manner.

Self-mastery also involves being in control of your emotions and actions, and is essential in truly achieving your goals and ambitions.

Do you know people who don’t have self-mastery?  It is likely that their emotions are in control of them and they are rash and impulsive. They can be unpredictable and often viewed as untrustworthy.

Developing self-mastery can make you a happier, more balanced person.

Yellow Stop sign: a recolored version of a pub...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developing Self-Mastery

1. Goals

What is it that you want to achieve?

Set a goal and stick with it.  Rather than throw yourself completely into the goal where it is possible to run out of steam, tackle it regularly.

2. Emotion

You need to be able to control your emotions and attitudes rather than allowing them to control you.

Focus on the positive aspects of life. Be grateful for things, no matter how small.  This could be when you’re driving to work and rather than focus on the fact that its Monday and you have a whole week ahead, why not focus on the fact that the sun is shining.  This could change the tone of the whole day.

Its very easy to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong.  This is self-sabotage and is the quickest way to stop yourself from achieving your true potential.  Instead flip your thinking to something that you’ve done well today.

Controlling your emotions leads to a higher emotional intelligence, or awareness of the impact of your own emotions on you and others around you.

3. Willpower

You can easily boost your willpower to achieve your goals by really exploring why your goal is important to you.  Write this down or make it visual.  Revisit it often and remain focused on the positive outcome you will get from achieving the goal.

Think about how many times you’ve set a goal and, for one reason or another, never followed it through because of lack of willpower or self-control. It’s happened to all of us, and we probably felt ashamed or disappointed that we didn’t achieve what we wanted.

Need a bit of help moving those goals along? Then coaching might be an answer for you.


Goals – Making Them Count For Me

When was the last time you set some goals just for you?

We often find ourselves in the pursuit of goals because they have been imposed on us by underlying negative beliefs.  Typical examples include the words “should” and “must”.  Examples could be:

  • I can’t ask for help, it’s a weakness
  • I won’t make any mistakes
  • I should be the perfect partner
  • I always have to be the best
  • I must put others above myself


goal(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)


When we set out to achieve goals that have been imposed on us, they become difficult to achieve, often with negative effects.  Good goals should be evaluated when setting them. Here are two simple rules:

  • Ensure your goal is valid.  Will achieving your goal result in a true and positive outcome?  If so, it is valid.  If it is based on an imposed or false belief and worsen your imbalance or problems then it is invalid.
  • Is your goal is ecologically sound?  By this I mean will achieving your goal have any negative side-effects for you or those around you?

If you find that your goal is ecologically unsound and/or invalid, you don’t have to forget about it. It might just need a little fine tuning.  Of course, you may also find that you don’t really want to achieve it and focus your attention on something you really want.

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