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Creating Strengths-Based Goals: Gateway to Lasting Change

Creating Strengths-Based Goals: Gateway to Lasting Change

Creating Strengths-Based Goals: Gateway to Lasting Change

Whether it's a new year, new quarter or just a new week, we tend to see transitions as an opportunity to "fix" what is wrong with us. We vow to lose weight, spend less/save more, exercise, quit smoking or get a new job. Typically, the first two weeks of new goals are fantastic! But soon, most people are back where they started. Why? Are we just lazy? No! We are just trying to motivate ourselves in the wrong way!

There is room for infinite growth within our areas of greatest potential -- areas in which we use our strengths. If you're truly ready to make a change, create one that honors your most natural self.

To help you discover which areas may foster meaningful growth and sustainable resolutions, begin by thinking about something that sets your heart on fire -- what about it expands your mind and makes you want to dive deeper? What connects you on a deeper level to people around you? What is a topic that you cannot help yourself from speaking about? Is there something that you can't wait to make happen?

Next, change negative mindsets that are focused on fixing a problem and, instead, focus on creating a world where you can shine your light in a way that is unique and valuable.

Then, to move fully past initial goal-setting and truly live your strengths-based goals every day, you must intentionally be reminded of them and purposeful in your pursuit. Use these ideas to inspire your reminders and purposeful actions.

Ideas from other coaches to help you be reminded:

  • I wear dog tags of my Top 5. They are with me each day and stay top of mind. I also wear tags with my husband and two girls' strengths. I want to be reminded of how they think, how they process the world around them, so that when we come to a crossroads, I can look at that reminder and understand them better.
  • Put your Top 5 as your phone screen saver. Each time you turn on your phone, you will be reminded of those strengths.
  • Create (or buy) a calendar with your strengths represented.
  • Keep decals of your Top 5 on your computer, iPad case, office door, etc.

Ideas from other coaches to help you be purposeful:

  • This past year I kept track each month of all the times I saw my husband and daughters work within their talents and gifted them with a journal of my thoughts on their talents.
  • Having my Top 5 on my phone case allows me to take a brief moment to reflect on how I am using those themes.
  • Keep a calendar of your strengths! If you have opened up all 34, then keep your Top 12 in front of you at all times. Focus on a strength a month to help you start to recognize when it gets fired up.
  • Decals are also conversation starters. When someone asks about the words, it will give you an opportunity to share your purpose for having them.

On a personal note: I have been starting a diet each year for the past 10 years. This year I am coming at it in a different way.

My Top 5 are Achiever, Learner, Focus, Positivity and Woo.

  1. Achiever: My "achievement" is not going to be a number on the scale -- I've done that one too many times with no results. Instead, I have done two things:
  • First, I "measured" myself with a ribbon (no numbers). I will only measure myself once a week. My goal is to either stay the same or shrink the ribbon.
  • Second, I decided that I will not be upset if the ribbon stays the same size.
  1. Learner: I have a friend group who is working out together. Each week, one of us researches a new activity that we can do. We look for new exercises and fun activities that promote health. Last week we discovered some amazing hiking trails just 10 minutes from our house. Who knew?!
  2. Focus: My Focus is on my family and creating activities that bring us joy and promote health. It can be a workout, walk, hike, visit to a local trampoline business, shopping, etc.
  3. Positivity: This theme covers all of my diet-related activities because each one makes me happy in a special way. It also allows me to share my joy with others.
  4. Woo: I have joined forces with a group of friends to hire a personal trainer once a week. We don't go to the gym because we know we will not be committed to it. So, we meet at the local park. My friends bring their kids and dogs, and they play while we work. It's a lot of fun and a time in the week when we can get together, laugh at ourselves and enjoy having the whole family being away from technology for a little bit. We also have posted our activities on Facebook to share our adventures with our friends, inspiring them to take time to focus on relationships and fun.

Now, it's your turn. Don't just smash your goals. Rock your strengths!

Carol Anne McGuire's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Learner, Focus, Positivity and Woo.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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