I am not going to lie, I have my reservations when it comes to goals. I rebel against anything that sets boundaries to human potential and ability of being in the moment and adapting to the world. And goals, when set in a certain way, can be rigid because they are the construct of your current you. On the other hand, we know that goals have brilliant benefits. They are formulations of how you want to live, therefore they are tools of your freedom. They help you to organize your time and energy in the way you want to live. They help you make decisions. They are your intentions which fuel you for life. They shape your perception and help you notice the opportunities that serve you. They help you learn in a focused way. Goals are beneficial.
As a new year begins, we usually set our goals. Unfortunately, very rarely we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Let's make things simpler this year. Let's set the goals that serve to who we really want to be and bring us one step closer to our ideal self this year.
How do we do that?
I have two suggestions.
1. Tap into your wise self
You might have a preference for certain experiences right now because they are very present in your life but do they really matter? (Losing that last 2 kg, updating your blog, posting regularly to social media....) To let go of superfluous activities and see what really matters, we can go towards the future and ask our older wiser self about what she thinks.
Here is a guided exercise by me, take your pen and paper allocate 15 minutes of undisturbed time and come with me:
Imagine yourself at 90, healthy and happy, sitting in a rocking chair and reflecting on a well lived life and answer the following questions:
- Who are you as a person? What do people value about you?
- What have you achieved? What are you proud of?
- What added meaning to your life or gives you a sense of fulfillment?
- What can you see and hear around you? What are you feeling? What shows you that you’re truly happy?
- Consider how your life unfolded in these areas: Family, Friends, Significant Other, Career, Health and Home. What did you do for Fun? What did you Learn? What did you do in Service and Leadership? What did you do for or in your Community?
2. Imagine a life 10 out of 10
Start with the area that is more important to you to work through the next steps and repeat it for all the other areas.
- If that area of your life was 10 in a scale of 1 to 10, how would it look like? Describe what is happening that will tell you it is 10 in details.
- What is the rating you would give to where you are in this area right now from 1 to 10?
- What contributes to the number you gave. It is not zero. Something is already there. Describe everything that contributes to that number.
- Now having reflected on what you have right now, assess again the rating you would give to your life, you might notice that it is actually higher.
- Wherever you are at in the scale of 1-10, what is the next rating? What will bring you from here to the next rating? How will you understand you are there? This is where you set goals. From 5 to 6, 6 to 7, wherever you are, you set goals towards the next steps.
When you have your goals, have a fresh look at them to see how they inspire you.
Then for each goal inquire:
- How will you create space for it in your life?
- What new habits will you introduce?
- What will you strengthen or cultivate that exists?
- What will you let go of?
I hope your goals give you the additional wind to realize who you truly are!