Necessity versus Nicety – Goal Setting That Works For You

Necessity versus Nicety – Goal Setting That Works For You












I am sure like me and many others before us, you have decided on goals, written them down and maybe even made a beautiful vision board and produced a beautiful step by step plan and then nothing happens and so nothing changes.

Ironically so many then think planning is a waste of time when in fact the process of vision boards and planning are not the problem – instead it is how you decided on the goals in the first place.

Many blame time for not taking action but that is rarely the truth. What is happening is that we make a decision to use our time for something else; but sadly it is rarely a conscious decision. Instead it is driven by our subconscious thoughts and feelings that drive our behaviour.

I talk to authors every day who block out time to write and then nothing happens.

I talk to business owners with a day booked out for follow up calls and nothing happens.

Can you think of a time when you really wanted something to happen, you set time aside and then somehow you got distracted and it didn’t happen?

Have you ever thought about why that happens?

Here at Step by Step Listening –this is where we love to get into the minute detail of your decision making model to determine what is impacting your ability to gain clarity of what you want and more importantly your confidence to make it happen. Any decision will result in change and it will often come down to the conscious and unconscious feedback you give yourself that will determine if you have the courage to get comfortable with the uncomfortable long enough for change to happen.

Everything you do or don’t do is a decision you make to act or not act and the more you become aware of your thoughts the more in control you can be of your response and actions.

This week, inspired by Karen Murray’s Breakthrough year event, I became curious about the goals that I had achieved versus the ones I hadn’t.  Karen talked about goals coming from a place of necessity and the impact it will have if you don’t achieve it.

As I reflected on my own goals, both past and present, I grabbed my detective hat and magnifying glass to proactively notice if there were any patterns and whilst I am doing this; I am consciously aware that I am looking with the filter of necessity on. I am asking myself did I achieve my goal because it was one of necessity?

And where the goals that I didn’t achieve just nicety?

Ian Dickson was a guest speaker and he talked about being motivated towards pleasure or away from pain. What I know about myself is that I am more motivated to act when it is for other people. As I listened to these inspiring speakers I do what I always do and I checked for patterns and here are a couple of examples where I can see the impact of necessity versus nicety.

The first book 

I had always wanted to write and had talked about my business book for about 6 years. Then one day I found myself in hospital with a cancer scare and the realisation that I could die and this knowledge could die within me, would mean that I would not be there to support my children and they would be left without this wisdom. That is when my book became a necessity.

Yes, I had to get over my fear and manage my critic that said I cannot write clearly or succinctly but my fear of not having the words written down for my children was far greater than the fear of not writing clearly, and so I got out of my own way. I asked for help and I made my book a reality.

Yes; I had to get help. I did go on a retreat to shift the blocks and the book was born.

But the book happened not because I had help but because I decided it had to happen and I knew without help it might not.

Event bookings

I thought about events I had launched where one person had booked; and suddenly my attitude changed and now it was no longer a nice to have but it was a necessity. A client was now depending on me to create a group learning experience. It is easy before this moment to lose momentum and belief but something happens once that first person books because then I have a duty to find more clients for the sake of that first person.

Karen herself gave a similar example which so resonated with me.

The realisation that an event might not happen until I have that first booking was quite a big breakthrough for me and now I can use that to motivate action much sooner by thinking of all the people I let down who don’t know about the programme if I don’t get the message out there. By tuning into the necessity of those people I find my drive and the marketing is a necessity not just a nicety.

With this learning in mind I am definitely working on being more more proactive when making decisions to consider how I can make the goal a necessity and not just a nicety.


Decision making

So the invitation today is to consider the impact your own decision making model is having on your goal setting and your motivation. How are you deciding what to set as your goals?  Are they necessity or nicety? And is that working for you or not?

If you feeling stuck and would like to find out more about how listening skills can improve how you gain clarity, confidence and change then please do check out our events here.

Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than turning overwhelm into a clarity and confidence that change can and is happening.

But what many didn’t know is that in private behind closed doors she was not always able to do that for herself, she was fearful of upsetting others and often did not ask for her own needs to be met. She was no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. That was until she learned to train others to listen in a way that made it safe for her to ask for help and be herself.

Sheryl and her team now runs retreats, one to one coaching and online group coaching course that provide you with a space and time to gain clarity, focus and direction whilst unraveling what is really holding you back and plan your next best step with confidence. For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter


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Published By

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl used to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice. Today, Sheryl runs retreats and one to one sessions resourcing you to do more of what you love, delegate what you don't and ditch the critic that says you can't. Sheryl openly shares an easy to adopt communication tool kit that will transform the way you think, feel and understand those around you. Sheryl will be your strength and solution detective until you have fully trained your inner critic and those around you, to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you.

View all posts by Sheryl Andrews →

2 responses to “Necessity versus Nicety – Goal Setting That Works For You”

  1. Tom says:

    Good morning Sheryl,
    Another great blog. I’ve always been rubbish at setting goals. I’ve realised I’m a proper bumbler, just plodding along going with the flow. Most of the time I’m happy with this, as things still seem to turn out well, but I think it’s because I get behind other peoples goals and decisions and make them happen. So it would be good to make some goals of my own and try and achieve them. I have just signed up for an online training course, so I suppose my first goal is to finish it. Natural Beekeeping Diploma. We’ll see how I get on!

    • Hi Tom

      thank you for your response; sorry for the delay I have been away and off line for a couple of weeks.

      Yes some of us are definitely more motivated by the goals of others. I truly believe that is because we can see and hear the impact of them far more easily when they are outside of us. Whereas our own goals we often need to make them as the article suggests a necessity to ourselves and or those we care about and you may need to make them visual as sometimes it is simply we forget our goals.

      Beekeeping diploma sounds really interesting, what has worked in the past to finish things

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