Goal-setting. Why do we make it so hard? Often because we're doing what we think we're supposed to do or expected to do. We don't really tune into what we truly want - because no one really ever told us that those bold ideas we have are for us to explore. Instead we were told the way to do things.
We can also visualize the goals too much. We plan every detail and then expect it to show up that way. Expectations (ours or others) can create impossible goals if we let them go too far. They can get out of hand and then the big dream can seem ruined if it doesn’t live up to every detail you’d imagined. So the paradox is to really want what we want and then let go of how it shows up. We still show up, we still aim at the goal, but we stay open to new opportunities and twists in the road.
It’s much simpler than it seems. Here's the basics of goal-setting for goals you’ll actually enjoy along the way and when you get to point b.
#1 Know your why.
Before we can successfully do anything, we need to know why we are doing it. Why do I want this big goal? Or maybe you don’t even know what you want. This is also a good place to start.
This can be a vision board, but I want you to go deeper than pictures of boats, homes and whatnot. Go into the feeling. How do you want to feel? That is a really good why. Do you want to feel freedom, abundance, joy, vibrance, liveliness, energic, hopeful, loving? What are your feeling whys? (And don’t go with happy – that’s a very generic term. Get underneath the happy – what does that feel like to you?)
#2 Make a goal.
Now that you know why, we need the what. What would success look like? Leave the details so that you don't get caught up in packaging, but what basics would be considered success? If you are looking for a job, is it getting an interview, or getting a contract, or getting a contract with xx amount of money? Be clear on what success looks like and where you are willing to say yes. This will help you from making decisions that aren't right for you and for you to know when something has presented itself that is a diamond in another package.
#3 Make daily goals.
Now that you have the big goal, break it down into small bits and plan out some action steps. If doing the steps bring you the why feelings while you’re doing them that’s awesome. If you have to do steps that don’t have you particularly feeling the way you want to, make an additional daily goal of doing one thing that helps you feel how you want to. For example, when I want to feel abundant, I practice gratitude. Or when I want to feel graceful, I wear a tiara. Do something that triggers that feeling for yourself every day. Then even if you don’t get your big goal, you’ve won all the other days of the journey.
#4 Show up and do the work.
Manifestation is a beautiful word, but it doesn’t mean we sit back and wait for the work to be done for us. We still have to show up and do the work, make the choices, and manage our plan. Let go of the expectations and trust that you are doing what you are supposed to do.
#5 Stay open to opportunities that arise.
The Universe is dying to offer more abundance, it’s waiting until you’ll see them. Be curious about what comes into your life and nurture connections. Something better than you could have planned or expected may be just around the corner – but you may miss it if you become too goal focus and put your blinders on. Be curious about how the universe is working for you, right in front of your nose.