Are you like I used to be, struggling with creating a clear path to a goal? You know where you want to get to but something goes wrong in the execution and setting up an effective process to getting there makes your head ache.

We’re about to change all that once and for all.

I grew up at a time and in a family where the word “goal” never came up (except in hockey). We lived life in the moment and never talked about how to pursue a future. It was just expected that we would and that it would be a successful one.

So you can imagine how stressed I became when I learned that being successful doesn’t just happen – it takes a vision and very deliberate actions towards that vision.

Throughout my public service career I managed to sneak by when delivering projects (which is a VERY stressful way to manage projects). I say “sneak” because I never really had a clear roadmap attached to the project goals.

But, when I was studying to become a credentialed Lumina Practitioner, I was introduced to a tool that literally changed my life and the amount of stress associated with goal-setting.

(Lumina, by the way, is a personality assessment tool that takes a human-centered approach and helps participants work with their strengths, not against them.)

It really is simple. And it works.

It’s a five-step process that uses the acronym “GROWS” and is perfect for short and long term goal setting.

  1. GOAL
  2. REALITY
  3. OPTIONS
  4. WILL
  5. SUPPORT

Let me explain each step in detail.

As we work through the model, I’ll give you strategic questions to help you think deeply about each step.

GOAL

This is about setting a clear and measureable outcome.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the best outcome you hope for?
  • How long do you sense it will take to make this happen?
  • What would be undeniable proof of success?
  • If we met in a year from now, what story would you tell me?

REALITY

Involves the facts about your current situation or circumstances.

Ask yourself:

  • What do you notice happening?
  • What is missing in this situation?
  • What is complete?
  • Who are the characters involved?
  • What is getting in the way?
  • What might be potential barriers?
  • What is at stake for me in this?

OPTIONS

The choices and possibilities you could take.

Ask yourself:

  • What ideas you have had?
  • What if time or money were no object?
  • Who would be someone worth talking to about this?
  • How might they approach it?
  • What similar things have you done in the past?
  • If you did know exactly what to do, what would that be?
  • What else?

WILL

What WILL you do to achieve this goal?

Ask yourself:

  • What will you do in light of your options?
  • What is your first step?
  • By when will each of your actions need to be completed?
  • Who needs to be involved with you?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you to doing this?
  • What prevents your commitment from being a 10?

SUPPORT

Who could SUPPORT you to achieve this goal?

Ask yourself:

  • Who can you enroll to help you?
  • What systems or processes could support you?
  • What support do you need from others?
  • How and when are you going to get that support?
  • Where can I look for support?
  • Is there an expert that I can look to for support?

Once you have written down the answers, you will start to see the steps you need to take forward.

For example:

  1. GOAL – I want to improve my health
  2. REALITY – What is the current state of my health?
  3. OPTIONS – How might I improve my health?
  4. WILL – What things might I commit to in order to improve my health?
  5. SUPPORT – Who can support me to stay on track?

Let me share with you my real-life example.

I want to develop an online course for women on self-awareness. By asking myself the GOAL questions I know that it will be my first course so I want it to be good. It will take about six months to develop. I know it will be successful when I have at least 20 participants signed up.

The REALITY is that I don’t have all the expertise needed to write and launch a course online. I have a framework in place, with lots of top notch resources to draw from. My time is somewhat limited with my private practice and consulting work. What’s at stake is that I know I have the expertise on the course content and would be a shame not to share it.

If time and money were no object, I would have the OPTION to pay an expert to put my content into an online format. I can pull together a small team of experts to take on the pieces I don’t know how to do. I can take a course on developing an online course. I can research and find a hosting platform that is simple to use.

I WILL sign up for Dr. Kelly Edmonds’ e-course-in-a-box to get started. I will draw up a timeline and plan. I will block off time in my calendar to work on the course. I will learn from this first beta and use feedback from participants to improve it for the next run. I will start hinting about the course through social media right away. I am 100% committed.

I will hire content and technical experts to SUPPORT me right at the start. We will use the project plan to guide us. We will use GoogleDocs to manage the launch campaign. I will get to know the course platform, Ruzuku with a free trial. I will test the course with my family.

I shared with you a pretty big goal of mine. By asking myself the strategic questions, I was able to get clear on what it is I want to do and how to move forward with it. It’s really about taking my idea and unpacking it so I could begin to see a way forward.

Simple, right?

By doing some of the big-thinking and exploring objections and barriers upfront, you can bypass some of the obstacles you might otherwise face.

By outlining your commitment and what you’re willing to do to reach this goal, you can understand why this goal is so important to help you prioritize among other things that pop up in life.

Do you have any big goals that you’d like to explore with this model? Write a note in the comments and I’d be happy to help you walk through the process.