Changeability Podcast: Manage Your Mind - Change Your Life







January 2016
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‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream’- CS Lewis

Start talking about goals and it wont be long before the subject of SMART goals comes up. Possibly the most popular and well-known of all goal setting tools and techniques, but are SMART goals always the smartest way to set goals? Today on the Changeability Podcast we we ask, and answer, the question - do goals need to be SMART?

You can’t go far in the worlds of business or personal development without coming across smart goals and last week in episode 77 we talked about what SMART goals are in ‘A smart guide to SMART goals’.  Because they are used so much all over the world and particularly in business, they tend to be accepted as the best way to set goals but maybe not everyone is so enamored with them.

Yes, there are those who totally get SMART goals, they love them and accept them as the best goal setting technique, but are they really always the best way to look at goal setting.

The word SMART is an acronym which provides a goal setting framework to ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.  Goals that meet these criteria are said to be SMART goals and the assumption is that we want our goals to be SMART – but do we need our goals to be SMART?

One of the key potential pitfalls with using smart goals is that because of the very nature of SMART goals they tend to veer you towards thinking small.

If you think about how to set a good smart goal, you've got to have quite a good idea about how you're going to achieve it before you set that goal.  You need to know what likely timescale you can achieve it in, and how you can quantify it in someway. This means you’ve already got an idea of the numbers involved whether that be time, money, widgets, weight or any other way of quantifying goals.

It’s great you've got a concrete target to aim for. We know it’s good for our conscious and subconscious to know what we’re working towards; something tangible and specific we want to achieve. And for that SMART goals are an excellent tool.

But one of the issues with quantifying your goals in such a way, is that you’re looking at them through the lens of your present experience. This may or may not matter but looking at your world, life and ambitions through the lens of your present experience can mean you don't aim as high as you might because straight off you’re aware of the need to quantify it.

It’s not just this need to quantify your goals but also the need to be relevant, realistic and achievable or attainable.  Taking these elements together can constrain us or make us narrow-minded in the way we use our imaginations and vision. It can mean we can end up thinking smaller rather than aiming higher. And consequently start out with goals that are just a bit boring or a little dull rather than exciting, empowering and part of a bigger vision.

Another potential downside of SMART goals to watch out for is that by constantly quantifying your goals you might just be setting yourself up for failure or at least for fewer chances to feel good about yourself and what you’ve achieved. 

For example, if you measure a fitness goal by going to the gym 12 times in the next month and something comes happens and you go 10 times have you failed to reach your goal. Yes, you’ve missed your goal and you know you’ve missed your goal but does that make you a failure. Of course not, you’ve been to the gym 10 times, which is probably 10 more times that you went this month. But the very act of getting so specific puts the focus on the numbers rather on the activity and how you feel, and how you’re actively pursuing and being a fitter person.

These may seem like small points but can change your perception of yourself and your goals.

So what can we do about this.

You can get around this by not starting off with SMART goals, but start with thinking about your bigger vision. How you want to feel and the sorts of things you could do to make you feel like that, the lifestyle you desire, how you want to spend your time, what you want to look and feel like. Take this as your starting point looking through the big wide lens of potentiality.

Now of course at some point you might want to, or have to, ‘smarten up your goals’, because you need to quantify them in some way and think about the actual actions you need to take. Yes of course you are going to have to do some of this, but the point is don't start there.

Start bigger, then think about what you can do, and how you can start making those goals a reality for you. Yes, this will probably involve some element of timescales and quantities plus actions of course, as without action you’re not going to achieve anything - and your vision and goals will remain as wishes.

Start out thinking big and hone in and smarten up your goals until you’re thinking more specifically about each part of what you want. You might also look for other ways to measure the progress and success of your goals, or opportunities to leave them a bit more open and less specific, and more about the experience than the outcome.

This is a a good starting point if you want to make significant changes. However, if you're setting goals in the workplace or business and they’re not of significant proportions like wanting to change major things in your life, then smart goals may very well be the best option.

If you’re talking income, expenditure, turnover, profit, productivity, in other words goals based on numbers and being specific and quantifiable, and within specific timescales, then SMART goals are indeed a suitable technique to use.

Episode 78 of the Changeability Podcast

Listen to episode 78 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us chat about all of this and more as we we ask and answerthe question - do goals need to be SMART?

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about our goals course leave your name at and we’ll get back to you with more information.

If you want to make big changes in your life a great place to start is reading Kathryn’s #1 Amazon best seller -  Changeability: Manage your mind – Change your life – available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

This is what what one lovely reviewer called Ian wrote on a couple of weeks ago: 

5.0 out of 5 stars: A good place to start if you want to re-focus your life

‘I've read tons of self help books in the past; I then gave it all up when life just got too hectic and I got caught in the grinding mill with work, kids, unhealthy living, etc. Ten+ years later I found this little gem of a book, it does bring together the best of what is out there (good instruction, enough but not too much details as to why) and it has helped me re-focus my life. A Happy customer :)’

Thank you Ian wherever you are. We really appreciate this and every review we get on Amazon and iTunes.

If you’ve read the book or listen to the podcast and haven’t left us a review on iTunes or Amazon we would love it if you could take a moment to do so.

Direct download: CA078.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:16pm UTC

In this week’s episode of the Changeability Podcast we’re talking goals and more specifically we’re talking SMART goals.  What are they and why do people like them – in our smart guide to SMART goals.

Goals are dreams we convert to plans and take action to fulfil.’ Zig Ziglar

As we write this, we’re three weeks into 2016 and so far this year we've been thinking about goals. In episode 74 we looked at why some people don’t like the idea of goals or setting goals and some ways to overcome those objections.

We chatted to Richard Scott in episode 75 about his experiences and insights into goals and how to achieve them.

On last week’s show, in episode 76, we thought about why our brains like having goals.

We’re at the end of a very goal focused week ourselves, having been working on two specific goals of our own simultaneously. One of which is ironically about goals – to finish writing all the scripts for our new goals course. And the other goal is to transfer this website over to a new theme (Thrive themes if you’re interested), so it will look better and be more responsive and therefore more useful. So far so good, though there may still be some glitches to sort out but we’re getting there. We like to set challenging goals that gives us lots of things to do at the same time!

As we’ve got goals on our minds this week we thought it would be good to think about different types of goals, and more specifically about one type of goal which is incredibly popular in personal development and business - the SMART goal.

You can’t go very far in the worlds of business or personal development without coming across SMART goals, so listen to the show to hear our smart guide to SMART goals. 

Episode 77 of the Changeability Podcast

Listen to episode 77 of the Changeability Podcast to find out more including:

  • What a SMART goal is
  • Why they’re called SMART goals
  • How it’s not easy to say smart guide to SMART goals quickly
  • A description of what each letter stands for and alternatives used
  • Examples of SMART goals
  • Why we want you to like our Facebook page
  • If we love SMART goals or not
  • How to help us meet a SMART goal
  • The questions to ask when you’re setting SMART goals 

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about goals sign up at and leave your name and we’ll get back to you with more information.

Direct download: CA077.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:02pm UTC

An interesting conversation occurred on our Facebook group ( this week. We’d posted something about ‘Why people don’t like goals (and are they right?)’ and one of our Facebook members made the comment:

“Setting goals chaps my behind.”

The Anglo-Saxon aside, what a great comment from someone who is obviously not a total convert of goal-setting. Direct and to the point.

And that got us thinking. As Kathryn is the writer of the international best-seller “Changeability: Manage Your Mind – Change Your Life” and goal setting is a key element of developing your Change-ability, the ability to manage your mind to make changes in your life, then surely we need to be able to explain ‘Why your mind needs goals.’

So we set about explaining just that.

Entrepreneur, author and writer, Jim Rohn has always plenty to say on the subject of personal development and so this quote caught our eye as in part answering the question.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” ~ Jim Rohn

No plan, then in essence your plan is likely to be someone else’s and chances are they’ll be looking after themselves more than you in that process.

But what’s going on in the actual brain? 

Why your mind needs goals

The brain operates on two levels – the conscious and the unconscious or subconscious with the conscious being less powerful but crucial to achieving your life’s aims. We know, for example, that all great ideas must begin with the conscious thought of that idea.

So your conscious mind is often where it begins, and that’s also where we often decide on the actions we need to take to achieve that goal.

But the conscious mind has limitations, it quickly loses focus and holds limited amounts of information at any one time – thought to be around 7 chunks.

So it needs a subconscious to process things in the background. All those myriad functions our bodies and brain must undertake to keep alive.

But how does your unconscious mind determine which bits of the millions of pieces of sensory data it takes in every second of every day through your senses it should make your conscious mind aware of? 

The subconscious minds’ function

It decides its reaction based on a comparison between new incoming data (through the senses) and existing data stored in your subconscious and then taking an appropriate response.

It’s like having a library in your brain (memory to you and I) with a record of all your experiences, values and beliefs.

Essentially your subconscious is trying to keep you safe, so when something happens it compares this situation with previous situations it has stored in your mind and formulates an appropriate response which it feeds to your conscious mind.  You know the sort of thing – fight or flight and in practice the brain is primarily concerned with just maintaining your safety (and some might say the status quo!)

Now this is all well and good most of the time. You want to know hot things burn from previous experience and your conscious mind with those limitations we talked about earlier needs to only know what it needs to know.

Furthermore, there’s a filter mechanism in the brain – the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which processes everything it receives through the senses and then judiciously selects what the conscious mind needs to be aware of! And remember, it’s primarily concerned with your safety!

And in deciding what it makes known to the conscious mind, it chooses this based on what you’ve programmed your brain to focus on – rather as Google searches for matches to the words you type into the search engine.

So what happens if you haven’t set goals?

Then we default to what we already know, based on your previous experience, habits, values, etc. stored in your subconscious. Essentially, more of the same.

But if we use our conscious mind to set the coordinates of travel, i.e. we set goals, then our subconscious will look to provide the conscious mind with evidence to support our ideas or goals we’re searching for.  We’ve in effect by passed the gate-keeping function of the brain, or at least tipped off the gate-keeper to let our conscious minds know of things which fit in with what we’re looking for. It’s in effect providing a lens through which to focus the subconscious mind, plus giving a nod to our gate-keeper the RAS to let through to our conscious mind things which might support this goal or aim.

Episode 76 of the Changeability Podcast

Hear us discuss this in full and more, plus a sneeky, dramatic look at the effects of the wrong way to use the Google in your brain, in episode 76 of The Changeability Podcast.

Go on, you have to be at least a little curious!

The last word, or do you have that?

We’ll leave the last word to Melody Beattie in The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditation on Codependency:

“Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.”

Where do you sit? 

Let us know in the comments below.

Direct download: CA076.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:43am UTC

“You can prepare yourself for success, you can step into the feeling of actually having achieved the goal, see what it feels like, tweak it a little bit and see if it really is the goal that you’re after.” ~ Richard Scott

Today’s guest on the Changeability Podcast is Brisbane based, Richard Scott at  We asked him onto the show for his valuable insights on the subject of goals, goal-setting and making your goals a reality.

Richard’s work combines Psychology, NLP and CBT with traditional and modern hypnosis to bring the latest techniques in mindset motivation, psychotherapy, and stress management.

Richard's highly successful techniques are world renowned with clients spanning over 30 countries, including celebrities, world champion sports stars, members of royalty, X-factor finalists, government, special forces and everyday people from all walks of life.

We’re sort of guessing, we’re the latter of that list! 

Episode 75 of the Changeability Podcast

On this week’s episode:

  • Why Richard is collecting the alphabet!
  • Why set goals and indeed should we set goals?
  • The value of SMART goals (and the debate over the realistic element of SMART)
  • The place of visualization in achieving your goals
  • The accountability factor
  • The question that Richard’s never been asked before on goals, and his response!
  • What are the most popular goals people want to achieve?
  • Can you fear ‘success’?
  • Taking the emotion out of goal-setting
  • Planning for things going wrong when goal-setting
  • Techniques for removing negative emotion or emotional trauma
  • How trauma in early life can sometimes defeat goal-setting
  • About the lady in her 70s who had a trauma when she was two
  • The main reasons why people don’t achieve their goals
  • The “disillusionment stage” in achieving your goals
  • Resilience and goal-setting
  • Tracking your progress – and the goal you shouldn’t do this with
  • Why giving up some things needs realism in your goal-setting plans
  • Soda-pop addiction and more.

“If you slip try harder the next day or try a Plan B, or side step around the challenge, but don’t beat yourself up.” ~ Richard Scott

Links mentioned in the show

  • Find out more about Richard Scott at and receive a stress buster .mp3 plus details of a free 25 minute ‘rapid change’ consultation.
  • Richard on twitter @myndworks_intl

Next steps in goal-setting

If you want to achieve your goals, it starts with setting goals that work.

Find out about our new course on how to set goals for success in life and business at

We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to see what's going to happen for you and all of us this year. Let us know your plans in the comments below.

Direct download: CA075.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:30am UTC

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie

Welcome to the first post and podcast episode of 2016. If you're reading this in real time - a very Happy New Year to you.

In our last episode (73) we asked ‘What are you proud of today?’ We talked about things we were pleased about, and how all too often we focus on what's going wrong or the things we don't like about ourselves.

It doesn’t matter you’re reading this at New Year or not – but one of the great things about New Year is it represents a cut-off point in time. A natural opportunity to re-evaluate what you’re doing and think about what you want to achieve in the year or months or weeks ahead.

It’s a fantastic chance to move on with the new. And one of the fantastic things about life is there’s always an opportunity to start something new - a new way of thinking and a new way of doing things. We all have the potential to change things, which is of course the basis of the Changeability Podcast.

Setting goals is a great way to start thinking about the new and what you want to achieve. But if that’s the case, why doesn’t everyone do it? Indeed, as you’re reading this you might be thinking you don't much like the idea of goals. If so you’re not alone, because many people never set goals because they don’t know what they are or how to do it, or they don't like the idea of them.

Episode 74 of the Changeability Podcast

That being the case, in episode 74 of the Changeability Podcast we ask why people don’t like goals – and are they right?

We think about the reasons why people don't like goals and suggest answers including:

  • Why people don't like goals, or think they don't help us get what we want or make the changes we want.
  • Alternative ways to think about goals to overcome negativity about them.
  • The unhelpful link between work goals, objectives, targets and performance reviews.
  • Imposition versus ownership.
  • What can psychologically hold us back from really embracing the concept of goal setting.
  • The power of language and reframing the language of goals.
  • Think themes rather than goals.
  • Will your goals restrict you and narrow your focus?
  • How goals lead to freedom and productivity.
  • Staying curious and setting your goals.
  • Why goals are not just about facts and figures.
  • When goals don’t matter.
  • Will goals make you feel like a failure?
  • Why goal setting is part of a continuum and process.
  • Can goals make you unhappy?
  • The need for clarity about the ends and means of your goals.

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." ~ JK Rowling

If you want to achieve your goals, it starts with setting goals that work.

Find out about our new course on how to set goals for success in life and business at

We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to see what's going to happen for you and all of us in the coming months and year.

Direct download: CA074.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:30pm UTC