Bringing your goals to life : Find your inner motivation and reach your amazing goal!
With it being the New Year, I kept thinking before (and during) the Christmas period that I ‘ought’ to write an article on goal setting. However, the thought of it felt heavy, and I couldn’t quite motivate myself to do it. Not surprising when you read further below! So I took my own advice, looked at my goal (of writing the article) and decided that I would write about something I felt more passionate about at the moment, which is about connecting with your goals, for greater change.
So for those of you who have set goals, and want to keep on track, are still thinking about your goals, or are simply curious, let’s do this!
I am a big fan of goal setting. I set yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily goals, of some description. Some are harder and more emotionally demanding than others. They could be habit changes, projects to complete, mindset tweaks, fitness goals, articles to write (ahem), the whole range across all aspects of life. If at the end of this you want to read more about goal setting methods, there are some excellent articles out there, including variations of SMARTER goals, so do go ahead and find ones that work for you.
Whichever way you set your goals, here are my favourite ways to connect with them, so to make them work for you:
1. Make it yours. If your goals include ‘should’, ‘ought’ or ‘must’ then it tends to suggest they are being imposed by external forces or voices. If you genuinely want to achieve this goal, now is a good time to rewrite it. A simple change could include replacing ‘ought to’ with ‘want to’. Choose language that focuses on what you want to achieve, rather than what you don’t want. Write your goals in your own words, using positive terms, so that it feels expansive when you read it back to yourself. These are your wonderful goals, visions, and aims, so let’s make them truly great.
2. Feel it. When we set goals, ultimately we want to feel differently. By focusing on our feelings we can get to the core of our goals for greater motivation. One way to start feeling excited, and to fully connect and buy in to our goals, is to list the numerous reasons why we want to achieve them. Then start to focus on the end result. How will you know when you have achieved your goal? Depending the goal this can be easier than others. Now, take it even further, fully focus on how you will feel when you achieve it. Will you have more energy? Will you feel sexier, lighter (emotionally), powerful, taller? Visualise, draw, write down, all the ways you will feel when you reach that all amazing goal of yours. Now hold on to it and remember that sensation. You can use it to reignite your motivation when you need it most (you know, when the sofa looks the comfiest, or making that call seems too hard). If you want to take it even further, then keep reading.
3. Free yourself. Think of all the reasons why you might not want to achieve your goal. I know you might be thinking ‘What? Of course I want to achieve it!’ Well, give it a try. Often overlooked it can make the difference between succeeding, or perhaps not taking any action at all. Take a look at what might be stopping you consciously and subconsciously. I have had some surprising ‘aha’ moments when doing this. Start by brainstorming all the fears and doubts about the goal itself, then the journey to achieve the goal, and the end result. By taking this out of your mind and putting it onto paper, it helps you become crystal clear as to why you may not have succeeded in the past, and potential blocks for the future. Now take a look to recognise any pain points, spot any potential self-sabotage that might take place, and give yourself the opportunity to prepare tactics in advance for dealing with, what are now, foreseeable potential hurdles. Plus, if something does come up, you can smile wryly and say to yourself, ha ha, I recognise you, you are an old story and I don’t need you anymore, and let it drift away.
4. Visualise it. Take yourself into your potential future. Start by visualising yourself at the end of your goal’s time frame having not achieved your goal. How do you feel? Look? What impact has it had on you, or on others? Now (for those bigger goals), take it forward 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. Do the rocking chair test. What is it like having not completed this goal? At each step of your potential future visualise yourself having not achieved what you set out to do. How do you feel? How do you look? What is your posture like? What are your energy levels? What are you telling yourself, and others about yourself and this goal you didn’t succeed in? Okay, feel it fully, then shake it off. Now do the same, but this time visualise yourself having completed your goal. How do you feel? Look? Stand? Talk? Sound like? Having achieved that goal. What about in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years? Again, how about being sat in that rocking chair looking back? How do you feel? What are your energy levels like now? What are you saying to yourself, and others? Again, hold onto that visualisation and sensation, so that you can bring it back when you need it.
5. Make it easy. Tweak your goals to find ways to make it easier where you can. If you don’t enjoy swimming, choose dancing. If you are a morning person, do your ‘challenging’ work then. Need a tribe or buddy to help motivate? Go for it. Hopefully, the exercises you have already done, will have nudged you to understand the areas you might need support in. Little tweaks can also help. Watch too much tv? Put the remote in a cupboard, and leave a book on the sofa. Want to stretch more, or do more self affirmation work? How about using a doorway? Let me explain. I sometimes nominate certain doorways so that when I walk through them in a particular direction they remind me to do a quick action. For example you could do a particular stretch, a quick exercise, repeat a mantra (excellent for goal reaffirmations), say something kind to yourself. Pick your action for your goals (okay so you might want to choose a door at home for the squats!).
6. Focus your strengths. Enjoy setting goals that are about being more of who you already are, more of the time. Then use that language in setting them, or in your mantras. Want to be more positive? Think of all the ways you are already positive and write goals about being more of the positive you. Want to exercise more? Or undertake more of a specific action at work? Recall the times when you were determined before, or did this before, and think of all the ways you are and have been determined, and include in your goals how you are going to be more of that determined self.
7. Keep it simple. Too many big goals, or adding in too many variables, makes it harder. It can also take up too much emotional energy to sustain. Pick the ones you feel are important along with the ones you are most connected to. The others will either float away, or in time, when you are ready for new goals, you will feel the same energy and connection to achieve those.
8. Create space. To allow new habits, people, opportunity, monies (whatever your goal is) into your life, declutter your inbox, your relationships, your old stories, your wardrobes, your work space, as many areas as possible. Regularly decluttering and creating space in your life, home, work, and mind, is a great way to invite more of what you want into your life.
9. Reconnect. Check your goals regularly. Reconnect with the reasons and feelings, you set out earlier, whenever you feel low on energy. Remind yourself why you are on this journey. For some goals this check in can be daily, others will be weekly, or monthly. The more you check in with them, the more likely you will achieve them. If slippage occurs you also can get back on track quicker. Reconnect with your goals, your aspirations, your dreams. Stay motivated, stay kind to yourself, and keep taking action.
10. Celebrate. Regularly. Make it a habit, so that every time you do something towards your big goal or mini goal (including stepping stone goals to breakdown the big ones), you pause and give yourself a mental well done. If you keep one (which I highly recommend) record it in your journal. For example, want to do yoga twice a week for three months to create a habit? Celebrate more than every time you go to yoga. Break it down and specifically celebrate, and recognise those times you went when you didn’t feel like it at all. Wanting to create more income, to a certain level, in your business? Record and appreciate all the ways monies and opportunities are coming into your business through your actions. For many goals, it also helps to take a moment to plan in advance about how, when you reach it (or a milestone) you will celebrate it. Not only does it help motivate us in setting future goals, it also stops us from leaping onto the next thing (and the next) without pause to notice the journey, and how far we have come. There are different ways you can choose to celebrator, it could be you choose an activity, an action, a gift to yourself, or simply standing still and enjoying the feeling of achieving (well done you!).
Have a great time setting your goals and do let me know how you get on over on my Facebook page. As always enjoy.
One Life. Your Life. Live It.
p.s. some other ways to keep you on track and fired up by your goal include keeping your goals visible, vision boards, habit trackers, and motivational music. Mix it up and make it work for you.
Looking to make some minor or major tweaks in your life? Then please get in touch to help you achieve your amazing life and business goals quicker and easier! firstname.lastname@example.org