Setting goals can be incredibly motivating. They get you to that yoga class in the morning, they have you working harder at work. The list goes on. But what isn’t motivating is when you reach your goal and don’t feel all that great. It’s like, well, what’s next. And sometimes that can be because we actually wanted to change how we felt by achieving a goal, but we didn’t know that. We thought losing five kilos would make us feel confident. We thought that promotion at work would make us feel valued in our position. But sometimes it doesn’t always play out that way.
Here are some of the ways we’ve learnt to create goals that mean something at the end.
Decide How You Want to Feel
We’ve all had a goal – say lose 5kgs, do an activity, move house etc. And I’m sure most of us have reached one or many goals before. And often, at the end of it, it’s almost deflating. Now what? Often we get to the end of these journeys towards a goal and don’t feel how we expected to feel. Mature, healthy, happy with our body, accomplished. Whatever it is. We end up feeling a bit disappointed.
If we shift our focus from a task to a feeling, the outcome might be different. Instead of setting an arbitrary goal assuming it will be what we want, start with how you want to feel. We want to get to the deep feelings and sensations behind the goals we are setting. Danielle Laporte (who has a very good book on goal setting with heart) calls this “core desired feelings.” Write a list of the ways you want to feel. Loved, confident, content, brave, present, connected, strong, loving, and content. The list goes on. Your goal should be to feel that way. More of the time.
Figure Out What Makes You Feel that Way
Take each feeling or sensation. Now create a list of things, people, and activities that make you feel that way. Spending quality time with your family might make you feel loved and present. Going to yoga might make you feel strong or connected. And be very open to the answers being different to what you’ve thought in the past when setting goals. For example, if losing weight was always a goal and you figured out that the goal was actually to feel confident, you might be surprised at the things that make you feel this way that have nothing to do with your weight, working out, or health at all. Maybe it’s instead being bold enough to speak your mind at work or with friends. Or having the confidence to try something new.
Implement time and effort into working these activities into your daily life
Notice how many of these things you’re doing in your week. And also notice how many other things you’re doing in order to hit a goal or target that you’ve set for yourself. And notice if they’re out of line with how you’ve now realised you want to feel. Set goals around how many of each activity you want to include in your day, week, month, or year. If you want to, you can even do this with your family and figure out the activities that make you all feel how you want to feel and make sure you include more of those as well.