What are your goals for 2017? Get a promotion at work? Lose 10lbs? Get on the property ladder?
Now don’t get my wrong, I love a good goal (I’ve been writing goals in my diary since I was 11). However, there’s a big problem with traditional goal setting and it’s this: As we strive to achieve things there’s always something bigger and better to reach for, and after we achieve a goal there’s no guarantee that doing so will make us happy.
You know how it goes. You lose weight but you still don’t feel confident. You earn more money but you still feel trapped. You get the ‘It’ handbag but you still don’t feel good enough. *Sigh*
The ‘whole point’ of goals (and life!) as Danielle LaPorte says in her book ‘The Desire Map’ – is to feel good. And we might be just be missing the whole damn point, chasing goals that don’t make us happy.
So if the whole point is to feel good, what if we aimed straight at the end goal by setting goals around how we want to feel, instead of what we want to achieve.
If I’m trying to reach my goal of owning a Burberry coat because I hope it will help me to feel better about myself – then firstly, a. it probably won’t and b. What could I do instead that will REALLY help me to feel better about myself, in a more authentic and sustainable way (rather than buying stuff; we all know that shit doesn’t work!)
Instead of chasing a goal with the hope that it will make you feel good – how can you feel good now?
Is your goal connected to your own values – or is it something you feel you should want?
Are you busting your ass in London to try to save up a house deposit, because you think you should have the cool job in the city – when deep down, you know you’re a country girl at heart and you yearn for a quieter life?
Or maybe you’re feeling the pressure to settle down and have kids, because it’s what everyone else is doing, when really, you haven’t gotten backpacking out of your system yet.
Danielle’s book talks you through the in-depth steps to setting goals around how you actually want to feel, rather than those around achievements. But if you’re not keen to read the book here are some steps to help you to DIY it.
Firstly, write down what your short and long term goals are. Examples that come to mind first for many of us might be those achievement-based goals such as; get a raise at work, move to a bigger house, find a partner, buy a new car, lose weight etc etc!
Next, make a list of how you want to feel in 2017. Examples might be: calm, connected, vibrant, healthy, positive, open, excited, abundant, free, feminine, courageous, confident or sexy! Brainstorm a load, then whittle it down to 3-5 that feel the best for you.
Now, write down some long and short term goals based on how you want to feel. For example, if you want to feel connected, set a goal to do some community work or join a choir. If you want to feel calm – set goals around making more time for relaxation and taking care of yourself. If you want to feel free, plan that backpacking adventure holiday.
You’ll probably find that your goals that are based on how you want to feel are quite different to those that you initially thought of. If you’re aiming at how you want to feel – you’re not only more likely to achieve that good feeling, but your goals will feel more exciting, expansive and fun to boot. Whoop!
So, I’d love to know: How do you want to feel? What goals are you setting to help you to get there? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear them and get inspired by you!