What is a goal?
There are lots of definitions floating around goals and how to set them and their purpose. For me, I always come back to the simple statement that a goal is an opportunity to grow as a person. It might sound a bit cheesy but it’s the truth. There is so much emphasis on this hustle culture where you ‘smash’ your goals. Now I am all for kicking goals, but I know that I am no longer willing to burn myself out to ‘achieve’. I love the idea of having dreams and that creating a goal is just a way of describing that dream in an actionable way. This is where goals are different from tasks. So many times people will say they have a goal when in reality they have a long checklist of things they feel they ‘should’ do.
So where do I start with goal setting?
As I mentioned above, our world seems to love the hustle and business of life. We often then find ourselves putting a lot of time and effort into executing a certain goal but little time into exploring if this is a goal we actually want in our lives. Therefore, I propose the opposite: start with reflection and pause. Spend time unpacking what you really want from your life. If this feels a bit overwhelming, you could begin by completing a life audit like in my ‘wheel of life’ activity. Taking time to understand your current reality can help you identify areas in your life that you want to enjoy more.
We often want to create tangible goals, pretty much a checklist in disguise. So to help you verve away from this taskmaster mentality, I encourage you to think about how you want to feel every day, not what you want to do every day.
When we focus on how we feel, we are more able to embrace the plot twists that happen on our life path. We are more able to let go of the need to control the external parts of our lives and instead focus on what we can control; how we feel in each moment.
With a clear vision in mind of how you want to feel each day, you can use this to write your very own goal statement.
What is a goal statement?
A goal statement is a bit like a manifesto to yourself. I encourage you to write it in the present tense as if it is already happening around you right now. Take a few moments and just think; what would you love to be happening in your life if you didn’t have to worry about finances/resources/time etc? Just write what would make you truly happy. You want to have a combination of feeling and action sentences. NOW the real challenge is writing this goal out every day. I wrote the same goal statement every morning for a year and it’s amazing what has come into my life. By repeatedly writing it out, these ideas start to sink and soak into the subconscious mind.
I have included some sentence starters below that you can use to write your statement.
- I am so happy and grateful now that I am…
- I spend my days…
- I wake up every morning feeling..
- I no longer… instead I..
- Everything is working out for me including:
Why do I struggle to achieve certain goals?
The most common reason for this outcome is that your unconscious beliefs don’t match what you want to achieve. Let’s say your goal is finding love and meeting your life partner. Alot of us say we want this, but our inner stories might say otherwise. We tell ourselves we are not worthy of love. ‘Who would want to date me?” “There must be something wrong with me”. These beliefs then create the mindset that perhaps stops us from sending that text or going to that event.
The same can be said for those of you striving to achieve career goals. When I was in my teaching job and looking for a change, I thought perhaps if I just advanced my career I would be happy and fulfilled. Straight away, I started applying for principal jobs because I felt like that was what I ‘should’ do. It was only when I got knocked back A LOT that I actually thought about what I would love to do. I was trying to force a goal that perhaps wasn’t right for me at that time. Once I took a step back, that’s when the idea of coaching started to bubble in my mind and I applied for a coaching position at a university in Australia (Interestingly that was one of the easiest interviews I ever did and the most natural because I was being me!)
Of course finding love and your dream cream is alot more complex that what I have just shared and there are many other elements at play. But I would say that slightly changing those inner stories and honouring our inner voice can have a huge impact on what we experience and achieve in our life.
Setting a goal doesn’t have to be another arduous task. Instead it should be you excited for your next chapters. Because as I always say what if its even better than you can imagine.