Grow Model: How to Grow Goals

The Grow Model Goal Setting

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What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
— Zig Zigler


The Life Coaching Process for Setting Goals

For the majority of the population, goal setting is nothing more than the process of simply writing down what you want to achieve, then taking the necessary steps towards those desired outcomes. This seems simple enough. So why don’t most people achieve their desired outcomes? The problem is that they don’t follow the GROW Model of goal setting, which effectively outlines a progressive step-by-step plan of action that explores your current reality, breaks down potential obstacles and paves the way forward towards your desired outcomes.

Many Life Coaches utilize a personally modified version of the GROW Model in their Life Coaching work with clients. It is in essence one of the most fundamentally sound and effective ways of setting goals for work and life.
The purpose of this IQ Matrix is to provide you with a simple reference tool that will enable you to set effective goals following the GROW Model process using the methods of Professional Life Coaches from around the world.

Many life coaches use a personally modified version of the GROW Model throughout their life coaching work with clients. It is in essence one of the most fundamentally sound and effective ways of setting goals for work and life.

The purpose of this IQ Matrix is to provide you with a simple reference tool that will enable you to set effective goals following the GROW Model process using the methods applied by professional life coaches the world over.


The Purpose of the GROW Model

Within this section we will overview the GROW Model, its purpose, benefits and the outcomes that can be achieved when you use this progressive goal setting process.

What is the GROW Model?

The GROW Model is an effective technique for goal setting that will enable you to establish a concrete plan of action for the achievement of your desired objectives.

The GROW Model can also be used as an effective method of problem solving.

GROW Model Encourages…

Following the GROW Model process outlined within this blog post will help encourage you to make effective changes to your current life reality, which will move you towards your desired goals and objectives with greater clarity of thought, certainty, knowledge and confidence in yourself and your own abilities.

GROW Model Helps to Overcome…

The GROW Model process has wide applications that will help you to overcome fear, uncertainty, procrastination and hesitancy by progressively aligning your goals with your current life reality, and outlining a definite plan of action that will help you overcome major obstacles and potential setbacks that you may confront along your journey.


“G” Phase 1: Establish Your Goal

Purpose of Phase 1

The purpose of phase 1 of the GROW Model is to define the end goal that you would like to achieve clearly and precisely.

The Process

The following steps outlined below present you with a process you can follow while establishing a goal.

Identify Goal

Ask yourself what outcome you would like to achieve, and phrase this in a sentence on a piece of paper.

Think of Your Goal

Close your eyes and think of the goal you wrote down on the piece of paper — imagining the experience of this outcome clearly in your mind’s-eye.

Vividly Imagine Your Goal

Delve deeper into your imagination and imagine what you are seeing, saying to yourself, doing, and what others are doing as you are achieving this goal. Additionally, imagine the vivid feelings you are experiencing as you see this goal materialize in front of your eyes.

Get Certain About Your Goal

Take out the piece of paper once again and define the following variables:

  • A specific time-frame of when your goal will be achieved.
  • A specific measurement that will enable you to identify when you are achieving this goal.
  • A hypothetical list of challenges you might confront as you make progress towards the achievement of this goal. Ask yourself:

How challenging will it realistically be?

  • If the goal seems a little too challenging, then you next step will be to divide it into smaller parts or chunks and start the GROW Model process once again by focusing on only one smaller chunk of the bigger objective you had in mind.
  • Finally, identify the level of control you have over the achievement of this outcome. The more control you effectively have, the greater your chances of reaching this goal within the time-frame you outlined above.

Do I have control over this goal?


“R” Phase 2: Explore Your Reality

Purpose of Phase 2

The purpose of phase 2 of the GROW Model comes down to several objectives:

  • To identify the GAP between your current reality and the goal you have set yourself to achieve.
  • To challenge limiting beliefs.
  • To create personal accountability for actions.
  • To identify potential resources that could be used to achieve the goal.
  • To identify personal behaviors, capabilities, achievements and circumstances that are critical towards understanding your current reality and the resources you will have available to you as you move forward towards your objectives.

The Process

The following steps outlined below present you with a process you can follow while exploring your current reality.

Identify Current Circumstances

Identify what is currently happening in your life by pinpointing the events, people and conditions that preoccupy your time, energy and attention throughout the day.

Identify What’s Good About Life

Now make a list of everything that is currently good about your life and that you would like to keep or even improve upon.

Consider if achieving this goal will enable you to keep the “good” things in your life. Or potentially consider the possibility that achieving your goal could in fact push the “good” things in your life away from you.

Identify What is Missing in Life

Make a list of all the things that you are missing in your life that you would like to have. Consider if achieving this goal will enable you to obtain these missing pieces.

Identify Outcomes Obtained

Make a list of all the relevant outcomes and objectives you have obtained in the past that are related to your current goal. Consider how these achievements could potentially assist you with achieving your current objective.

Identify Past Failures

Identify the past failures that prevented you from achieving your desired objectives. Additionally, consider conflicts or weaknesses within your psychological patterns — identifying how they could have influenced the outcomes you experienced.

Identify Resources Available

Identify the resources you have on-hand that could potentially help you achieve your goal far more effectively. These could include knowledge, skills, tools, books, information, people you know, etc. The more comprehensive the list, the more confidence you will have that your goal is achievable.

Additionally, you might want to list how each of the resources you have access to could potentially assist you with achieving your objective.

Acknowledge Your Obstacles

Considering all that you now know about your current reality, now it is time to acknowledge the potential obstacles along your path by asking yourself the following questions:

What obstacles are preventing me from moving forward?

How could these obstacles limit my actions?

Acknowledge Relevance

Considering all that you now know about your current reality, now it is time to acknowledge the relevance of the goal you set yourself in phase 1 of the GROW Model.

To identify the relevance, ask yourself the following questions:

Knowing what I now know about my current reality, is my goal still relevant and achievable?

Should I focus on only one part of my goal instead?

Should anything change?

If your current life reality is in any way not aligned with the goal you have set yourself, then you must immediately make all necessary adjustments to your circumstances, otherwise you will be confronted with an endless array of psychological and physical challenges that will prevent you from attaining your desired objectives.

It’s important not to make the mistake of assuming that the challenges and problems you will likely confront along your journey towards your goal are the same as the self-imposed obstacles you have set yourself by not making the necessary changes to your current life reality.

These self-imposed obstacles can be overcome by simply changing your priorities, by letting go of people or circumstances, or by simply creating room in your life to achieve this goal in the first place.

In the end, it’s not so much what we aim for that makes a difference, but rather what we LET GO OF in the present moment that will determine how our life transitions from our present circumstances to our future reality.


“O” Phase 3: Consider Your Options

Purpose of Phase 3

The purpose of phase 3 of the GROW Model is to consider your options in the face of adversity.

Here you must think creatively about the possible challenges, problems, and setbacks that you may face as you move towards your goal. Your creative output during this phase will determine how quickly you are able to achieve your objective once phase 4 has been completed.

The Process

The following steps outlined below present you with a process you can follow while considering your options.

Consider Three Critical Factors

Consider the 1st step you will take towards your goal, other people’s feedback, and the benefits of taking this action. To do this ask yourself the following questions:

What could I do that could move me one single step towards my goal?

What is the benefit of taking this 1st step?

What might others suggest that I do instead?

Why would others suggest that I do these things?

Acknowledge “WHAT IF” Scenarios

Stretch your imagination and consider “what If” scenarios that will enable you to think creatively about the goal that you would like to achieve. Consider the following questions:

What if I had unlimited money? What would I do?

What if I had unlimited time? What would I do?

What would I do if I wasn’t answerable to anyone?

What would I do if there were no consequences?

Select Best Option

Considering everything you have identified and acknowledged, now it’s time to select the best option that will move you forward towards the attainment of your goal.

What is one option that will move me forward?

If I do this, will it actually move me towards the attainment of my goal?


“W” Phase 4: The Way Forward

Purpose of Phase 4

The purpose of phase 4 of the GROW Model is to pave the way forward towards the achievement of your goal. Here you are required to draw up a plan of action and develop a realistic time-frame that will enable you to achieve your goal with purpose.

The Process

The following steps outlined below present you with a process you can follow while paving the way forward towards your goal.

Identify Specific Actions

Identify the specific action or actions you will take that will begin moving you progressively towards your goal. Ask yourself:

What will I do specifically?

Identify Obstacles

Now that you are clear about what you will do to achieve your goal, you must now consider potential obstacles that may arise as you take these actions. Ask yourself:

Can anything stop me from taking this 1st step?

What will I do to overcome these obstacles?

Identify Time-frames

Having identified the obstacles along your path and clarified how you will tackle them, it is now time to set definite time-frames for the achievement of your goal. Ask yourself:

When will I get this done?

When will I start?

Identify Priorities

Your new time-frames may now challenge your current reality and the priorities you have established in your life. As a result you must now consider adjusting these priorities in order to achieve the goal within the time-frame you outline above. Ask yourself:

How must I adjust my priorities in a way that will enable me to achieve my goal within the time-frame I specified?

Identify Level of Motivation

Now that you are ready to take action, it’s probably a good idea to check your level of motivation.

Your levels of motivation to achieve this goal will reflect your state-of-mind and could potentially awaken psychological blocks that may prevent you from moving forward.

Rank yourself from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) and ask the following questions:

What is my level of enthusiasm towards taking this 1st step and achieving this goal?

What is my level of commitment towards taking this 1st step and achieving this goal?

Acknowledge People

Additionally you might want to acknowledge the influence of other people who may be available to help you achieve your outcome. Ask yourself:

Should anyone else be involved or know about this goal?

What will I tell them specifically?

What will they need to do specifically?

Acknowledge the Unknown

Finally, before taking the 1st step towards the achievement of your goal, consider the unknown by asking:

Is there anything else I should consider that could help me, or may prevent me from achieving my goal?


Final Thoughts

Knowing how to set effective goals in this day-and-age is an important skill that cannot be taken for granted.

Many times we rush into the process of goal setting without really considering key variables that could potentially influence the outcome of our objectives. Without clarification we fail to see the bigger picture, and as a result we become ignorant of the wider consequences that our new goals or objectives will have on our current life reality. And as a result we falter, because our goals are very much like seeds in the ground. When given enough nutrients, sunshine and room to grow, they will flourish and sprout into magnificent things. However, if our current life reality suffocates them with old roots from the past, then our “goal-seedlings” will simply fail to flourish no matter how badly we may want them to.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any further queries or questions, or would like to share your experiences about this topic, than please do so in the comments section below.


Time to Assimilate these Concepts

The Grow Model Goal Setting

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Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions.

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13 Responses to “Grow Model: How to Grow Goals”

  1. Omar August 22, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    What’s goin on Adam? When it comes to goal setting, I’ll start then stop. I have to be more consistent.

  2. harry November 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    it’s a great post. I like the mindmap chart.
    .-= harry´s last blog ..GoalsOnTrack New Feature: Vision Board =-.

  3. Bernie_cole November 20, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    I really like the SMART acronym for helping set realistic goals but haven’t yet tried the GROW model. I already use a similar tactic. I use an online organizer to 
    brainstorm to make the goal as clear as possible, then I assess my current situation and what realistically needs to happen to achieve my goal. Then I divide bigger goals into smaller milestones which are way more achievable. That keeps me from becoming overwhelmed. It’s always easier for me to stay on schedule when I break goals down this way and work in a timely manner, which is like the W of GROW.

    • Adam Sicinski November 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi Bernie,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You seem to have a great goal setting process in place. I also had a look at Lifegunk. Very interesting concept. I hope it takes off and more people get a chance to learn about it and use it.

      Adam

  4. GROW Model Coaching January 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    This is a very detailed way of explaining the GROW coaching model. Easy to understand and practically everything that one needs to know about it.

  5. Frances April 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    This is quite an interesting way of presenting the GROW coaching model. It is easy to understand and something that is far from boring

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