Goal | Reality | Option/Obstacles | Way forward

Where do GROW Goals come from?

The GROW goals system was designed in 1980 in the UK by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore. It has a methodological approach where it starts with the End point of your goal and then refines it by working back and refining it into one that is realistic and achievable.

The strategy can be broken down to:

The GROW goals model works exceptionally well if you use some of our other goal-setting tools to refine it even further, we will look at the 5 Magic “w”s of goal-setting at the end of this post and how to work them into the GROW model for the best results

Be sure to check out our main series on goal-setting:

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How to set GROW goals? Pick a goal!

Just like a good story, a goal has three distinct parts. It has a beginning, which could also be called a problem that needs solving. The second part is the journey or the steps we take while striving to fix the problem. Finally, it has an ending or conclusion, which culminates in either success or failure. Hopefully, success, if you are following our guides!

When trying to set a goal, if you want it to be an effective goal, then it’s important to think along this timeline.

When it comes to GROW goals, you can start by asking yourself these three questions:

If you want more insight into the different types of goals, then be sure to check out our comprehensive topic on:

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13 different types of goals

Having a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve is one of the biggest factors in determining your eventual success or failure. By picking the right type of goal and applying it to the GROW model, you will be tipping the scales in your favor.

How to set Realistic GROW goals

If a goal is not achievable and realistic, it’s not a very good goal. While it’s good to have big goals, you want to be sure that they aren’t simply pie in the sky and that you have the ability to execute them over an achievable, realistic timeline.

When considering realistic goals, consider:

Ensuring that your goals are attainable is a key step in the process. The GROW strategy really focuses on our actions and how we aim to achieve them, which is why it is so important to make sure they are realistic.

GROW goals help us win the game
Consider the obstacles preventing you from reaching your goals

Obstacles and Objections within GROW goals

The “O” in GROW is unique in the sense that it actually represents two very important goal-setting principles combined into one. Obstacles and Options.

Obstacles represent the challenges, both internal and external that we may face along the way. The GROW system brings with it a bit of reflection and specifically makes us consider what is preventing us from reaching our goals.

When considering Obstacles Ask yourself:

After considering the Obstacles, we get onto our Options. If obstacles were the problem, the options challenge us to come up with solutions.

When considering Options Ask yourself:

The two “O“s in goal really come together to bring us into the problem-solving mindset for goal setting. The aim of the game here is similar to the accountability exercises we illustrate in our article on fixing your life and will help you learn to overcome life’s challenges.

What are GROW goals
Plan out your palette to paint the big picture you want

How to set GROW goals – 4. The way forward

The Way Forward, also called “Will” in other varieties of the GROW Model. This section brings everything that we have considered together and makes us ask the questions that will need to be answered if we ever want to actually achieve our goals.

When considering the Way Forward, consider:

Your “will” is the Way Forward and leads to achieving your goals and reaching your dreams. It is your drive and motivation, but also your perseverance. Everything starts with will and if you keep putting effort towards your drive, you will reach your goals!

How to set GROW goals

The 5 Specific W’s of CLEAR goals

The 5 W’s are not part of the GROW model, however, they are such a great tool, that we included them as an extra to every one of the goal-setting models we cover on Things Learned After Thirty. By using them as a checklist to qualify your goals for the GROW model, you will be able to get twice the results, with half the effort.

The 5 W’s of goals setting are:

Instead of saying “I want to lose weight“, rather set the goal of cleaning up your diet and cutting out specific unhealthy foods while implementing a weekly walking routine. The first creates a vague outline, while the second provides a specific solution.

What are GROW goals, how do we achieve them?
Small successes spiral us to reaching our central goal

The Importance of GROW Goal Setting

Without a well-defined goal and specific plan on how to get there and by when you are really just stumbling around in the general direction of what you were planning

GROW goals are a handy tool for increasing your long-term success and if used correctly will lead you to fantastic results! be sure to check out our other goal-setting techniques and our archive on the topic.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the other types of goal-setting techniques around!

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