Life has its Ups and Downs!

Like the title implies, life is like a roller coaster ride.  Everything can be just fine one minute, and the next something can happen out of the blue that changes the way we feel about certain parts of our life.  We will be using a SMART goal in this article.

A few examples of this are:

  • Being made redundant or sacked from our job.
  • A marriage breakdown and divorce.
  • A life-changing accident.
  • Losing money invested when there is a financial crash.

Life can swing from sunny smiles to doom and gloom in a matter of a minute!  In this article, we are going to show a short example of setting goals!

How do we pick ourselves up!

The answer is to set ourselves goals to get back on track, even if sometimes it is a painful task.  Most people can sort themselves out without any help or guidance from anyone.  However, others may find this all too overwhelming if their life is turned upside down by a severely traumatic event.

We will use the SMART method and redundancy as the example for this exercise.

what does the acronym SMART mean?

S = a specific goal or goals, what we want to achieve.

M = the goal has to be measurable and has countable aspects that let you know you have achieved it.

A = the goal should be attainable/acceptable/actionable.

R = relevant/realistic the goal must be something needed and something achievable.

T = goals have to be timely or time-bound meaning how long will it take to achieve the goal.

Nick has been made redundant from a job as a graphic designer which he has done for over 25 years. Unfortunately, he has only worked for the company who made him redundant for two years and he will not receive any redundancy payment.

This is the example

Nick, is 48 years old and has a wife Lucy and one daughter Sarah who is going to start university in September. He has a mortgage which is around £800.00 per month.  His wife Lucy is a staff nurse, and although she earns a reasonable salary, there will not be enough money to meet all the bills and allow Sarah to carry on with her plans to go to university this year at the very least.

He is in a state of shock and cannot think straight.  He has not gone straight home from his redundancy meeting but is sitting in his car wondering how he is going to tell his family.  He feels like a failure not only about his job but being the primary provider for his family.

Lucy and Sarah can see how badly this has affected Nick and has told him that things will work out eventually. Sarah has said she would get a job and take a gap year before going to university.  Lucy is going to do some extra shifts to help out with the finances.

Nick is grateful for their response but still feels a failure and thinks he will never get a good job again because of the younger competition he will have to compete against in interviews.

Lucy suggests he talks things over with a life coach who could probably guide him to regain his lost confidence and overcome his feelings of being a failure.

Nick finds a life coach in the form of Jayne.

Jayne and Nick meet for the first time

Jayne asks Nick how he is feeling at this very moment in time and Nick replies that he feels terrible that he has let his family down.  Jayne asks him why he thinks he has let his family down.  Nick, responds by saying losing his job has put tremendous pressure on their finances which has dramatically affected their lifestyle and plans for the future and he does not want his wife working extra shifts and is disappointed his daughter has had to put off going to university this year.

Jayne can see that Nick has convinced himself that he is indeed a complete failure.  She asks him what he is going to do about the situation. Nick says he does not know where to start.  Jayne decides to help Nick by setting a  SMART goal.

Jayne asks Nick where he wants to be in the future and he answers his priority is to secure a new job.   He cannot see himself in his previous role because of all the young competition.  Jayne asks him how many years experience has he had and he tells her 25 years.

Jayne replies that 25 years experience is an excellent work record and must be a plus bullet point for him. Although Nick does not see it, his experience is a considerable strength in his favour.

She decides to get Nick to start thinking about how he is going to go about setting his goal.  And, to stop the negative thinking that he is a failure.

S = Specific  Jayne:  “What goal are you going to aim for?”

Nick: “Finding a new job.”

Jayne: “How do you propose to do that?”

Nick: “I will start an online search and look in the local papers.”

Jayne: “How many applications will you put in every week?”

Nick: “I will aim for at least six.”

Nick has committed to applying for six jobs each week.

Jayne: “Are there any other ideas you have about finding a job you have done for the past 25 years?”

Nick: “I was having thoughts of going freelance, but that is not secure because I could find myself without work sometimes… I’m not sure but will look into this as well.”

Note: Nick has put forward one option which is good because he is now thinking about his future more positively.

M = Measurable   Jayne: “When will you know you have reached your goal?”

Nick: “When I have a job offer, and I have signed a contract  or I have gone freelance and secured some contracts for at least six months ahead.”

Jayne: “How will this make you feel, see and hear?”

Nick: “I will feel relieved, see a promising future and hear myself thinking how lucky I am.”

A = Attainable/Acceptable  Jayne: “Do you feel your goal to find a job you have just been made redundant from is achievable?”

Nick: “I can only try and secure a job I have being doing.”

Jayne: “What else would you think about doing if this goal does not work out?”

Nick: “I will have to re-train myself and do something different, I like gardening, and I have thought of this as a self-employed option.”

Note: The second option of a  gardening business to that of freelancing in his graphic designer role is another positive way of thinking.

R =Realistic  Jayne: “Do you feel your goal is realistic?”

Nick: “Yes, I know I am 48, and it is going to be hard to find a job like I have been doing, but I would say it was not impossible.”

T= Timely  Jayne: “How much time have you given to achieve your goal?”

Nick: “I have worked out the finances, and I must have a job by the end of October which is in three months time.  I am selling my car, and we will use Lucy’s.  We have cut back on socialising and going out to dinner etc. until I am working again.”

Jayne: “And, what will happen after three months and you have not secured a job?”

Nick: “I will consider going freelance or look into the gardening option.”

Note: Nick is more optimistic now instead of pessimistic.

Jayne: “Nick, how do you feel after going through this stage of discussion?”

Nick: “I feel more confident and talking to someone I have never met before has helped me see if I cannot work as a graphic designer either employed or freelance, I do have other options to consider.”

This is just a short example of setting goals.

In reality, more sessions will have taken place while Nick was setting his SMART goals. Other activities such as set homework would be part of the plan and filling in charts on his feelings plus a diary where he could keep track of his job applications.

Don’t Forget the Mind Map!
A mind map is a great way to see where you are standing now and in what direction you want to go. Anyone who is a bit stuck with their life at the moment now has a basic idea of how they can go about setting their own goals and improve on the areas in their life that need revamping.

If anyone wants any templates for a chart,  diary or a mind map just email they are free!

© Life Coach You