I’m feeling inspired these days! I had one of those awesome weeks where it felt like there were signs and support everywhere. I love it when that happens, don’t you?
The two highlights of my week: 1. reading The Alchemist for the first (and second and third) time. And, 2. re-watching Julie & Julia. Both felt like they were speaking directly to me. And, opened my eyes to some things I’ve done well at times and not so well at others. Like goals. Setting and meeting goals. Turns out, me and Julie (from Julie & Julia) are kindred spirits. We’ve both set a year long goal in hopes of transforming ourselves and our lives. In case you don’t know the movie, Julie committed to cooking and blogging about 524 recipes in one year. I’m in the process of writing one blog post per week for a year.
This got me thinking about the process of setting and meeting goals. And how really, it’s an art form. Contrary to popular belief goals are not all about willpower, perseverance, or self-worth. Goal setting is a delicate, loving, vulnerable process that yes, may require you to be a bull in a china shop from time to time, and also requires faith, trust and letting yourself be seen. It’s not one-size-fits-all. And, for your goals to truly be successful, they can’t be fear based, ego-driven, or misaligned with your calling.
When a goal is right for you it challenges and pushes you. It shows you your blocks. It helps you grow. And, it feels so darn good to take each step towards fulfilling it. So today we’re diving into the art of goal setting. Personally, I can’t wait!
Here are 4 key steps to setting goals you actually want to meet:
1. Focus on how you want to feel vs. what you want to get.
The truth, my friends, is that you can’t actually control what you get in life. Yes, you can put your best effort out there and work yo’ booty off. But, when it comes down to it, you can’t control what actually comes your way. So the first and most important step to setting goals you want to meet, is to line ‘em up with what you CAN influence: how you want to feel.
2. Create something vs. get something.
Goals are ultimately about feeling connected. A new job or position, a different body weight and confidence, new relationships, more customers or clients, heck even more money all make us feel connected to our lives and who we really are. So when we set goals to get something instead of create something we end up getting what we don’t want: separation. Make your goals be about what you want to create in your life, and in yourself. And the rest will follow.
3. Duration is key! Make it out of your comfort zone and yet totally doable.
Reachable goals push you out of your comfort zone AND feel doable. What feels doable is totally individual and changes over time. For example, when I first started blogging back in ’09, my goal was to post every week for 3 moths. Never having posted anything before (not even having a myspace page) 3 months was a big push for me. It was out of my comfort zone and didn’t feel like I was saying I’d post “to infinity and beyond.”
This time around I’ve set a year as my goal ’cause I’ve posted for 3-4 month stretches several times over the past few years. So now that’s my comfort zone. A year pushes me outta that comfort zone and yet is totally attainable. No infinity feelings there. Especially when you’re taking on a new pattern or behavior (like, say, working out) an endpoint is totally necessary. If you infinity-and-beyond yo’self, you’ll feel defeated before you ever get that ball rolling.
4. Keep track and celebrate the heck out of each step.
Make a countdown, tracker, milestone calendar, whatever feels good to you. And whoop it up for each step + each success- no matter how small! Personally, I have a countdown on my fridge for my posts. (This is my 18th week posting! Only 34 to go.) The countdown helps me remember how far I’ve come. Is major motivation on the rough weeks (like last week). Gives me something to look forward to- seeing those numbers change, baby! AND gives me all sorts of cool insights about where and when blocks show up for me. So I know exactly what I need to work through for each step. Which makes reaching the goal so much easier!
Friends, if you’re not reaching goals you set, there’s a reason. AND the reason isn’t that you suck. Turn this miss into an opportunity to learn and grow. And trust, or learn to trust, that the Universe will always have your back.