Learning seems to be a theme for me so far this year!
What’s the difference you may ask? Performance goals tend to be #SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant and time bound). They’re the kind of goals that we can tick off the list and say “I did that by that deadline”. Or feel guilty, sad, ashamed (insert other negative emotions) when we haven’t done it.
A learning goal can be less specific for a start – it might be “I’m going to learn more about x topic” and see where it takes you. Or it might be “I’m going to try something new this month and reflect on that experience”. It invites #curiosity rather than accomplishment.
In our first session of Rethinking Goals 2023 last month, we had a great discussion about the difference between dreams and (performance) goals and how do we find the middle road.
I’ve been reflecting a lot since that conversation – and I think for me, learning goals are what sits in the middle of those two and I’m testing that idea out a bit.
It’s been coming up in all sorts of places recently, including workshops I’ve facilitated with the NHS’ Talent Network in London and in teachings I’ve received from a Tibetan master, Yangten Rinpoche.
One of our Rethinking Goals participants has set herself some questions for the year to align her life with her values, and she tested these out with the group. She came away with a sense of curiosity to look out for what gives her calmness, peace and curiosity itself.
Another decided that finding more connections and support locally is important, as her primary roles within her family have changed somewhat. This has come from a realisation that 2023 will be less about ‘where am I going?’ and more about ‘who am I now?’.
Our third participant arrived into our video call in ‘work mode’ and by the end of our call realised that the big questions for her this year weren’t about tangible (aka SMART) goals. Instead, they were much more exploratory regarding work/life balance and reflecting on that throughout the year – what does that mean for her career in London, her home life in the countryside, and how to find acceptance with changes rather than compromises? This reframe led to the realisation that “another aperture into the future has opened up”!
Once again, the value of Rethinking Goals in a group conversation has shown to me that as a society we put too much emphasis on boundaried goals, often leading to a lot of self imposed pressure.
By embracing learning goals this year, I want to feel a sense of achievement but not in a tick off the list kind of way – more of “what do I know now that I didn’t know before?” kind of way. It’s a classic coaching question!
What are my learning goals, I hear you ask?! The Tibetan Buddhism studies continue. Business development learning continues. And a deeper curiosity to understand the difference that regular walking in nature makes to my personal health and wellbeing.
So in being selective about three broad learning goals, I am also curious as to how that will play out for me in 2023!
Looking forward to our second Rethinking Goals 2023 session already – the Spring flowers will be well and truly out by then 😊
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