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Goal Setting - in a Mothercraft Unit. Dr Ian Harrison Karitane Residential Unit September 2010. Some Underlying Principles of Goal Setting. Specific /. What can’t be imagined (visualised), can’t be done. “What would that look like?” is a question we need to ask. Avoid “Fuzzy” Goals.

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Goal setting in a mothercraft unit l.jpg

Goal Setting - in a Mothercraft Unit.

Dr Ian Harrison

Karitane Residential Unit

September 2010

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What can’t be imagined (visualised), can’t be done.

“What would that look like?” is a question we need to ask.

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Avoid “Fuzzy” Goals

We avoid “unsolvable” problems. We only set goals for solvable problems.

Specific goals for specific problems.

The goals can’t just be about what sounds good.

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Never set a goal that can’t be broken down into smaller goals.

There must always be an answer to the question, “What is half of this goal?” “What is three quarters of this goal?”

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Is this goal what the client really wants?

Don’t convince the client your goal, or they won’t want to work on it.

Find their sources of motivation, their “values”.

Align the goals with their values to make it attractive.

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Goal Alignment

If goals and values are not aligned then there is confusion and eventually irritation/demoralisation.

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Never set a goal that is unrealistic. Avoid setting a goal that you haven’t set before.

Goals have to be within reasonable reach.

Ideally, perhaps just out of reach. So called “stretching goals”.)

Identify and Ventilate any Goal Conflict.

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Goal setting? orWishful thinking?

Unrealistic, wishful thinking leads to disappointment.

Goal setting is designed to lead to success.

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Goals need to have proper time frames.

A goal may certainly be achievable, but not in 5 days!

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Goal Setting and SMART Goals





Time Frame

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Realistic Goals

  • Areas of:




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Approach Goals

Moving away from this

Moving towards this

Approach Goal

Avoidance Goal

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Tool: Goal Setting

  • Vague goals produce vague efforts.

  • “I want things to be better between my baby and me.”

  • “I want my baby to be more settled.”

  • OK, but what would you like to have achieved by the end of today?

  • “Frankly, I’d like to have just tried something new. I would have liked to have stopped doing what’s not working.”

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Tool: Reframing

  • Reframe each “problem” into an approach goal i.e. a desired outcome.

  • Has the client seen any times when the desired outcome has already occurred, or when the problem is less intense?

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Tool: Writing Action Steps

  • Keep action steps simple and small.

  • Are they really do-able? Or just a wish list?

  • Can they be written down?

  • “What can’t be written, can’t be done.”

  • “If it ain’t written, it ain’t coachin’ !”

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Goal Setting Strategies

Early goals vs. Later goals

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7

Short Term (Proximal)

Long Term (Distal)

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Trouble Shooting and Case Examples

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Moving on. Trying something different.

  • Is the client having no success?

  • Are you getting into a struggle with the client?

  • Move On: “This doesn’t seem to be working. Is there something else we could be working on?”

  • Don’t ask why is this happening?

  • We don’t imply that there is something more relevant or useful we just ask, “Should we move on?”

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  • Used to measure how close we are to our goals.

  • But also:

  • To motivate clients

  • To help plan the next steps

  • We use a scale of 1…….10

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  • Where are you now on the scale?

  • “About a 4”

  • Using small steps, we ask, How would you know if you had got to a “5”? What would be different? What would you notice with just a small improvement from 4 to 5?

  • What would you need to do to get there.

  • By the way how did you get from 3 to 4? What has helped so far?

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The GROW Model

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Better Strategies



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Wrap Up - Action Plan

Better Goal

Better Strategies


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Better Action Plan

Better Goal

Better Strategies


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THE ENDHappy Goal Setting!

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  • Institute of Coaching and Consulting Psychology. Seminar material by Dr Tony Grant and Dr Michael Cavanagh.