How to achieve goals: 6 questions you need to answer
I met Einat Polarsky Ben-Natan at the gathering of Haifa Change Makers back in February 2019. It was a community event that brought together local activists, who work or volunteer to bring positive changes in society.
Einat caught my attention by calling out to people, who were interested in contributing to their communities by leading others to positive changes.
How to believe in yourself so others can follow you? How can you be sure that your project or idea is worthy and valuable? Why do you doubt yourself and your projects? How to think out of the box? These were the questions she raised at the small round table.
Einat is the founder of the personal and group coaching studio. Her role is to guide people who are having doubts about implementing their dreams and setting goals to move forward. And she has beautiful art-therapy cards to help her during the coaching session. She calls the cards – associative cards or “line” cards.*
We decided to meet with Einat to talk about how to set and to achieve goals. We wrote a simple manual that everyone can use to accomplish any goals. The target could be to start to write a book, or to develop a new hobby or to learn a foreign language, or to achieve results at work or to start a small business you long have in mind. You can use these questions as a start point to map the road to success.
As Einat says, it all starts from asking yourself the right question, because it leads to awareness. The aware mind is focused and sets a clear action plan to achieve a goal.
So, let’s go through the questions.
1. Where I am right now?
Imagine a situation when you are setting up a Waze (a GPS navigation software app) to arrive at a new destination point. What is the first thing you need to define? Yes, you need to enter your current location. The starting point. The same principle applies when it comes to setting a goal.
Take your laptop or a piece of paper and write an inventory: where am I at this stage of my life? What is my current emotional state? What do I feel now? Happy, satisfied, not happy, not content, worried, etc.? What I am doing now? How do I feel about my personal and work relationship? What do I have now? What skills do I have? How I spend my free time? Do I have friends?
2. What do I want for myself?
Question No.2 sounds simple, but here is a real trick. What do I want for myself? Yes, for yourself. Not for your parents, partners or children, but for yourself. What hobby do I want? What kind of job will make you happy? What skills do you think you need?
What helps you to feel home? A close circle of people you know and can trust, for example. So what you want to give yourself? Yes, a good circle of friends, which means you need to think about networking for friendships or to expose yourself to activities that help people to make friends.
3. What can help me on my way?
Here you need to list all your personal and physical assets. Do you have free time? Yes, then it allows you to become a volunteer at a local organization, for example. Maybe you are a native English speaker that can help you to get a job, where companies need communication in English. You have a contact of a career consultant you can turn to ask for advice for job hunting? You live in a town, where there is a great university with language course programs? Look around to check what and who you have around.
4. What can delay me on my way?
Here you can bring out your fears, traits of character, objective conditions that can delay you from achieving the goal. The more you list the better it is. Important is to be aware, but not judge or evaluate yourself.
Usually, once we take out the difficulties out to the light by writing or speaking about them openly, they become less frightening and easier to deal with.
5. What can help me deal with my challenges?
It is good to think of achievement and successes you had in the past. Bring an example of how you succeeded in your life, job, or any personal endeavor you took. List all the different resources that can help you to achieve your goal. Maybe think of a list of friends you can call any time you feel down and get support.
6. Make a plan.
Now is time to make a plan. With what you have written up to now will serve you as flags to map out your way. Remember, any action needs a plan, time, and dedication.
Lastly, it is all about being aware of your situation, strength, weaknesses, and priorities. 6 questions will help you to see them.
Einat Polarsky Ben-Natan, is a senior life coach, facilitator and workshop developer. She lecturers at Gome, the largest Coaching Academy in Israel and is certified to supervise the practicum of life coaches on behalf of the Life Coaching Association.
Her vision is to help people (especially women) strengthen their confidence and internal leadership, to challenge and express themselves freely. This is based on the perception that when self-esteem rises, personal initiative and effectiveness increases. I believe with all my heart that a society in which people feel good about themselves is a better society. When people are aware of their strengths – they do good!
Education: BA in Psychology (Open University, 2010); Master’s degree in group facilitation combined with arts (Leadership within art) (Lesley University, 2013); Training of coaches (Gome, 2009) Certified Supervision – Professional Training (Gome, 2016).
*Einat developed a professional tool – “Line” cards that encourage safe communication and creative thought. An individual or group process is uniquely adapted based on the belief that each person can make changes out of a place of strength and free choice. The process broadens awareness and strengthens the motivation for achieving goals on a personal level.
Photos: courtesy of Einat Polarsky Ben-Natan