Sometimes when we progress or digress in the pursuit of our personal goals, we can engage in a black and white type of thinking. I’m either exercising a strong will to accomplish my goals or I’m not. It can lead to conclusions like, “I guess I’m just lazy” or “weak willed.” We all encounter our own inner resistance to the changes we want in our lives. But maybe that inner resistance is not because you are lazy or weak willed. That inner resistance you are feeling might be somewhat of an unconscious protest to individual components of your strategy to reach the goal.
We can unearth these little will zappers through the solution focused therapy techniques of scaling questions, exception finding questions, and the miracle question. You can ask yourself these questions to gauge an honest evaluation of what it is you are actually resisting and unlock some solutions to move you towards your goal. Let’s take the goal of exercising 3x a week for example. In this scenario you have planned to work out on Saturday morning.
Scaling Questions are a unique way to quantify and visualize your level of motivation. In addition to using numbers, you can also visualize your location on a hypothetical staircase leading to your goal.
On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to make it to the gym on Saturday morning?
Let’s say your answer is 6 because deep down you KNOW you are basically half-committed to following through…the follow up question to ask yourself is…
How can you move the 6 on your scale up one more point to a 7?
This encourages reflection for identifying one little thing that can tighten your strategy and attitude towards said goal. This may take a minute or two to ponder. An example might be – I bring my work clothes to work and change before getting in my car. You can also take a minute to consider why you rated yourself a 6 and not a 3 in order to see what is working motivationally and strategically. Next you can ask yourself…
The Exceptions Finding Question
Was there a time before in your life when you were reaching this or a similar goal? Or were stretching out of your comfort zone successfully?
If yes, what were some of the characteristics of your life at that time? Past successes are valuable keys of self-knowledge that can be harnessed and replicated if possible. Maybe you had a more vibrant social life when you were exercising regularly in the past – that socializing brought more energy into your life – which contributed to feeling more energized to exercise. Or maybe you had friends that were exercising that were a positive influence.
The Miracle Question
As related to our 2022 goals, the miracle question is this:
You wake up tomorrow morning and a miracle has taken place over night and your personal goal was accomplished- all while you slept! No one has told you about this miracle. When going about your day, how would you know that the miracle/achievement had taken place? Think beyond just the obvious. What other things do you notice in this visualization that would alert you to the miracle? To return to our example: Let’s imagine it’s Saturday afternoon and you successfully worked out that Saturday morning. What did you do to make it happen? At Revolutionary Change Counseling, our dedicated team of therapists located in Apollo Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami can provide support you need on this journey. We work with clients of all ages, to include children, families, teens and couples to heal.
Conceptualizing a goal from a standpoint of success and working backwards from there is a new way to consider actionable steps for yourself, with a positive twist. You got this.