I often spend my day hearing people struggle with not meeting their goals. It can range from not signing up for a class they’ve always wanted to do to their New Year’s resolution of going to the gym 5 days a week. Whatever the goal may be, there is a common theme that comes up over and over again. People tend to set goals with the outcome of a task in mind and fail to connect to how they want to feel.
How we tend to set goals
Most people follow the same format for goal setting and then blame themselves for not “sticking to it”. For example, “going to the gym 5 days per week” is such a common goal that is set on January 1st of every year and yet by March the workout clothes gather dust in the corner of your bedroom. You look upon those workout clothes and say, “I really should go to the gym” and then feel guilt and shame for the year membership you purchased as a way of keeping yourself focused on the goal. Yet, the year goes by and the dust builds and builds.
A new way to set goals
What if instead, you thought about how you want to feel about yourself. Do you want to feel strong? Confident? Fit? Healthy? Focusing on how you want to feel anchors you in a state of being instead of one task. If you want to feel strong, then what would you have to do to feel this way? Make a list of all the things you could do to feel this way. This list gives you options and variations to achieving the state you want and prevents you from being bored of the tasks. You may go for a hike, or a bike ride, or the gym, or journal about what it means to feel strong. The tasks don’t matter as much as the feeling goal.
September is a perfect time to set some new goals as there is an energy of change in the air. Pick up a journal and start writing about how you want to feel. There is no time like the present!