By now the New Year New You resolution-hounds have backed off a little bit, and you’ve probably found a bit of a groove for yourself. I want to draw your attention for a moment, to the goals you set for yourself, consciously or unconsciously. What are you working toward today, this week, this month, or this year? What are you hoping to accomplish, trying to finish, or attempting to change?
Now answer the question: Why do you want to accomplish this goal?
If you’re like most of my clients, you feel like you need to accomplish this goal in order to feel satisfied/successful/good, and you currently feel unsatisfied/unsuccessful/less-than in some way.
Also, my friend constantly want to tell me why they feel the way they feel and why they want what they want. They want to explain all the details.
Sometimes, the why matters. Sometimes the why tells you exactly what’s not working, and shows you what needs to be changed or fixed. But more often than not, the why is just noisy brain chatter. It’s your mind’s attempt to justify its ideas and decisions, without engaging directly with your body’s actual compass– your heart.
That’s why I want you to tune into how you feel.
Your heart tells it like it is. Your heart doesn’t follow the rules of logic, and your heart doesn’t have to justify itself. It simply says: this, I like. And this, I don’t like.
What would happen if you let your heart get involved in the process of goal-setting?
Instead of trying to set and accomplish goals based on logic, reasons, and brain chatter, what would happen if you only agreed to move toward goals that make you feel how you want to feel?
Try this little exercise. (Really do it; don’t read ahead!)
Name a goal you have.
Go ahead, I’ll wait. Example: Wake up earlier, get to the gym three days a week, drink more water, get a promotion, quit smoking, stand up for yourself to your mother in law, lose weight, meditate every day, learn French, whatever.
Describe exactly how you’ll FEEL when you accomplish this goal.
Be sure to answer using feelings-words here. People often veer into brain-chatter territory here, like “I’d feel like I did a good job.” That’s not a feeling, that’s a thought. Example of feelings-words: Confident, proud of yourself, strong, worthy, purposeful, valuable, free, whole, admired, successful, healthy, beautiful, relieved, like you can breathe again. Ok, are you totally done with the exercise? If not, go back and really finish it. Great.
Now I have good news: your answer to #1 isn’t really your goal!!
It’s just a means-to-an-end that your brain has constructed to bring you closer to your real goal, which is…
Your answer to #2!
Your answer to #2 is your real goal. That’s what you’re really striving for, whether you know it or not. Hold up, say whaaa?? Yep. The reason this is good news is that you don’t have to wait to reach some arbitrary goal before you start feeling how you want to feel in #2. You don’t need to lose 20lbs to feel healthy, or quit smoking to feel proud of yourself. You can feel how you want to feel immediately, whenever you want.
This isn’t to say that goals are bad, or that we shouldn’t work toward them: not at all! I love goals! But pretty often I see my friends set goals based on their brain’s mistaken idea that they need to do certain things, instead of by listening to their hearts and doing what they actually want.
If any of this resonates with you and you’ve never heard of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map, I highly recommend checking it out. She actually walks you through a deep-dive into your heart that gets your in touch with your core desired feelings. Then you use those core desired feelings to create your goals and create your life!! She calls them: goals with soul. How great is that?!
(Admittedly, I’m pretty obsessed.)
Your goals create your experience and your life.
What kind of goals are you going to pursue?
What kind of life are you going to live?