Nerd Tools

How to GROW

I thought I’d pop down some thoughts on a useful goal achievement model that I have learnt about recently. It is called the GROW model and it’s a simple but effective process for helping another person or yourself achieve your version of success.

It’s called GROW because each letter is associated with a step in the process:

Goals – The target to be achieved;

Reality – The current state of affairs;

Options – The different means to progress towards the goal;

Way Forward – Definition of the actions to move towards the goal.

I said it is simple! But why is it effective?

Used correctly it provides a vehicle for moving you (or another) from where they currently are towards where they want to be.

Let us delve a little deeper


So I’ve already posted about goals here. There you will find a couple of really useful tools for identifying where you want to be. Another tool is the wheel of life which you can find out about here (soon) along with info on ‘Be, Do or Have’ goals.


This is all about exploring how things are at the moment. The challenges and difficulties that you are faced with which inhibit the achievement of the goal that you’ve identified.

It can also be very useful to identify limiting beliefs. Things that are true from your perspective that are barriers to your success. These are internally held ideas about reality that you truly believe but that may not necessarily be true. Think of your beliefs as a pair of sunglasses through which you see the world. The world exists in full colour but you see it through the tint of the sunglasses. If you don’t know you’re wearing them you don’t know the colours that you’re missing out on. Limiting beliefs are like sunglasses that you don’t know you are wearing. You truly believe you the see the world as it is, but in reality, your beliefs warp how you see the world so you are not aware of all the possibilities in front of you.


This is the part of the process where you figure out the things you can do to move you from where you are now to where you want to be.

As you’re a smart person, who understands the issue, you are in the ideal position to figure out what you can do to move you forwards.

Write them down. Prioritise them based on whichever criteria are most relevant to you. Perhaps the easiest or quickest to do or by effectiveness or impact. It is up to you.

Also have a think about the things that are likely to get in your way or stop you from doing what you’ve identified. As part of this optioneering process, think about how you can overcome the barriers that normally block your way. Build that into your options and prioritisation of options.

Way Forward

Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to do there is the final step; actually doing it.

This is often where we fail ourselves by not doing the things we need to do to achieve the things that are the most important to us.

Luckily there are a few ways to help yourself out:

  • Understand why. You can achieve the incredible when fully motivated. By understanding and linking the little steps towards the grand goal you can pull yourself along towards it.
  • Plan for your barriers. I’ve already talked about this in the Options step above.
  • Be honest with yourself and commit to a time when you can do what you’ve identified or commit to when you will have done it by
  • Figure out a way to remind yourself to do it.
  • Have a reward planned for completing it.

By thinking ahead and understanding yourself you have everything you need to progress towards your goals.

A Quick Summary of GROW

  • Goals – Figure out where you want to go
  • Reality – Figure out where you are
  • Options – Figure out how to get where you want to be from where you are
  • Way Forward – Commit

It’s in your power to bring your goals within reach.



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