As much as the concept and words have a bad wrap, there is great benefit to figuring out what you want in life, so you can point your life in that general direction. The problem is that if the exercise is entirely cognitive (in your head) you might actually be heading in the opposite direction to your true destination.
1. The journey is the destination
I heard the statement above again recently. Actually I have heard it said in many different ways, but this is more clear for the succinct point I want to make.
If the journey towards you ‘Goal’ sucks it might be the wrong goal.
If you come up with a goal that you think ticks all of the boxes, and you diligently head in its direction with your detailed plan, milestones, resource list, daily task list, etc., but you get no enjoyment out of the process or the journey; then maybe, just maybe, it is not the right goal for you. It needs to FEEL good as well.
Given the majority of your time is spent on the journey, rather than at the destination, if the majority of the time sucks, your life might therefore suck too.
If the journey towards you ‘Goal’ sucks it might be the wrong goal (so go back to the drawing board).
2. My favourite and bestest checklist for ‘worthy’ goals
You have maybe heard me say this before, but I will share with you again, because I continue to find it to be one of the most useful tools with my clients.
Put your goals through this filter, with the aim to tick off all three. Is the journey to & the destination of this goal:
1) Good for me? (like healthy, wellness, happiness good – not the hedonistic ‘good’)
2) Good for others? (the other people in my life expanding out from close to far)
3) Good for the greater good? (the planet, the community, humanity, making a difference)
Worthy goals = happiness = fulfilment = self worth
Check in, very quickly, now, on your biggest goals / desires. How do they score.
3. Don’t go too mental
I was working with a client once who came to me because they wanted help to make a decision on which goal or direction was right for them (in relation to work). They had all these different options laid out in front of them and they were trying to work out the pro’s and con’s of each option. They had been doing this by themselves for awhile but felt stuck, confused and frustrated.
They were also trying to ‘solve’ this challenge, with pure cognitive brain power. Which I am a big fan of, but there is another big player in the game of life and which plays a major role in our fulfilment. It is called the HEART. And when it comes down to it; when the brain and heart clash, the heart has the upper hand.
So this is what I observed with this client. They were looking at the plans on the wrong table. Because what their heart truly wanted, what some inner voice was trying to make heard, was what they truly wanted was to be surrounded by love (and not the $250k job they had in the ‘mind’).
So then the whole goal setting thing takes a new angle. It is what work / lifestyle do I need to create that ALLOWS me to let in, what my heart most desires. (sorry dudes for the talk about love & the heart, but actually that stuff applies to us too;-))
So maybe it is not the $250k 24/7 job, but a $80k job that allows me to clock on and clock off, make it to those yoga classes, have my weekends off to spend time around people I care about, and allow space in my life for a partner to come into.
Key point: what does your heart want?
4. More of the feeling stuff (hang in their guys)
There is some great work coming out from different people, and one I like is Danielle La Porte who has a process called Desire Mapping. Her book is called The Desire Map.
The concept is opposite to traditional goal setting. I get into it when I say that Step 2 in goal setting is to work out ‘why’ you want the goal of choice. But her work goes deeper.
The basic premise is this:
How do you want to feel? What are the core feelings that you want to experience every day, and throughout your entire life? Once you know how you want to feel, then you create goals that will give you those feelings. Because in the end, the reason we are going for a goal is because we think it will make us feel a particular way – proud, significant, powerful, happy, fulfilled, excited, joyful, content, calm, adventurous, fully alive, etc.
So get clear about how you most want to feel and then make sure you have goals that will allow you to experience those feelings. In particular it is great to have daily (mini) goals that allow you to feel the way you want to feel. Want to experience ‘peace’, then set a goal of daily meditation. Want to experience ‘excitement’ then have a goal that allows spontaneity each day.
Since this ‘goal setting’ or whatever word works for you (goals, desires, calling, dreams, etc.) is really important for your fulfilment, happiness, vitality and (yes) health; then take the time to get clear. Do the work. Step back. Take a day, a week, a month to get crystal clear. Go below your neck and connect with your heart. What does it really want? Plus get help if you need it. Not someone with an ulterior motive or skin in the game, get someone outside with a different perspective to help you to look in. Be that a mentor, a Coach, a teacher, a spiritual guide, or whatever works for you.
Make sense? Got any questions for me?
As always, please ask any questions you have. Or tell me how much you love these tips (or hate them – but do it nicely) ;-). Also do me and others a huge favour and pass them on. Knowledge used in the right way is definitely a way to access our incredible power. All the very best and take care.