Five attitudes to goals 

goalsAn important part of we do in coaching adults on the autistic spectrum is agreeing and setting goals. In reflecting on this I want to identify five key attitudes to cultivate towards goals: responsibility, accountability, flexibility, motivation and celebration.


A goal means nothing if you don’t take responsibility to work towards it. In life you have choices. Your choices influence your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. You may argue that your background, your experiences, your circumstances also influence these but the fact is you have real choices and these choices change your future. 


Coaching helps you to achieve your goals by giving you accountability. It is vital to agree to be asked about how you are getting on and if there is anything that makes it difficult to achieve your goal. Knowing that you have set a goal and will have to tell your coach how it went motivates you to achieve it.  


Asperger’s adults are good at being persistent and continually working towards the same goals. However they can find it harder to modify these goals when something isn’t working. You can look at these experiences as a way to gain information to learn from, and work out what to do better next time.  You can also see it as a sign to try something new.

Change is hard for autistic adults but you need to be free to update your plans as you go along. Goals can become traps when you think too about them too rigidly. Measuring yourself against goals that needs to be changed is setting yourself up for failure. It is necessary to assess targets regularly to ensure they are achievable.  If not they need to be modified sooner rather than later.


Building your motivation is a key to achieving your goals. It can be easy to think of long term goals but to be motivated you need smaller steps. Filling up you diary or to do list with short term goals can help, but medium term goals can be a lot more motivational. Setting and achieving goals over a number of weeks can really build motivation as you will begin to see that you are making progress.


When you achieve your goal remember to take time to celebrate. You may have imagined the day coming in your mind many times - what it will look like, feel like?  But in reality it looks different. Don’t let this confuse you. Remember to celebrate your achievement. 

After all this don’t spend too long looking back. There are always new goals to achieve.