I’ve been out of the practice of setting big lofty New Year’s goals for several years now. The honest truth is, I’m a recovering goal junkie and while I’ve achieved many of the goals I’ve set out to in my life, it was never the destination of achieving the goal itself that made me feel fulfilled and happy. Anytime I actually achieved the goal, I’d experience a few moments of “yay-me” and then I’d be onto the next mountain to climb. Onto my next hit just like a junkie.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as ”doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Eventually I gave up goal setting.
I’ve given up a lot of things over the past several years from goals, to alcohol, to even sex (but that’s another blog post), and what I’ve discovered is that when you “fast” from something you don’t feel is serving you any longer, subconscious patterns begin to expose themselves to you. It’s as though you discover where you’ve been sleeping at the wheel in your life.
What I realized about setting big lofty goals is that not only was I attaching my happiness to a future that hadn’t happened yet, but the goals would inevitably send me down the guilt and shame spiral.
Let me explain. First there’s guilt, that’s the most obvious one. Let’s say you’re setting a revenue goal for the year and you don’t hit it in the first month. You’ll likely start thinking to yourself about the days you should have worked harder, or how you should have scheduled more sales calls or that you should have went to more networking events and on and on it goes. All this guilt about the “shoulda-coulda-wouldas” inevitably leaves you feeling like “I’m not good enough,” yet again. In other words, I’m not worthy of this goal and that, my friend, is shame. No more of that guilt and shame spiral, thank you very much. In fact, when only 12% of us actually achieve our New Year’s Resolutions, goal setting clearly needs a re-brand.
So, I got to thinking there must be a better way to achieve greatness that feels much less like a heady drill sergeant and far more like a dance party in the heart. Over the years, I’ve tried lots of things and thought I’d share 4 simple tips to support you in creating your New Year’s resolutions (if you’re a goal junkie like me), so that you don’t end up with the guilt and shame hangover.
1) Say Goodbye to the Word “Goal” and Hello to the Word “Intention”
The language we use matters, because it carries meaning and energy. The etymology of the word “goal” refers to a “limit or boundary” and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to set any limits about what’s possible in my future. Whereas the word intention on the other hand refers to “purpose, design, aim or object; will, wish, desire and thought.” It’s a far better word to use, because it aligns us with living purpose and doesn’t limit our potential whatsoever.
The word goal needs a re-brand for us “goal junkies”. Say hello to Intention. [quote]
2) Embody Your Intentions, Starting Now
Instead of writing your goals down on a piece of paper with some far off date into the future try embodying being the person you need to be to make that goal happen. Ask yourself:
- Who do I need to be to make this happen?
- What decisions do I need to make to be the person I most admire?
- What old behaviours and thoughts don’t serve me to embody this new expansion for myself?
In other words, be the (wo)man right now, today that will make that goal happen. Yes, I give you permission to believe in yourself that much!
3) Role Play Your Future Gratitude
I’ve been roleplaying my future gratitude with a brilliant Soul Alignment Coach Lisa Berkovitz for the past several weeks. What I absolutely love about this practice it is that I instantly start to experience a state change and within days I receive new opportunities from The Universe that line me up with what I have been roleplaying. I did a session and mentioned that I want to do more speaking and then I started getting all kinds of offers in New York, Europe and Canada … I embodied it and the opportunities came to me.
Start by setting a timeline for your role play. Lisa and I do a little grounding exercise to draw us into the present moment of that date and time. Then we simply engage in a conversation to share our gratitudes about what has already happened. Here you really want to embody your life in the moment and feel it as though it’s already real. Feel into the nuances of each and every moment of your gratitude. You may also be surprised what comes up for you in the moment that you wouldn’t have otherwise put on your “goals list”.
4) Many Micro Actions Creates A Dance Party In Your Heart
One of the biggest challenges with getting in the best shape of your life, making your first million or traveling around the world is not the “how-to part”; it’s the behavioural changes that makes your intention actually happen.
Our brains are wired to continue the same old patterns. So, it’s essential to be conscious about what your not-so-lovely patterns are, where the roadblocks are and start to replace them with micro actions towards your intention. For example if you hate doing sales calls, make it super simple for yourself by doing just one sales call each day for a week and then take it up to 15 minutes, instead of setting yourself an impossible goal that will never happen. If you want to get into the best shape of your life start with just 10 minutes a day. The reason why I love these micro actions is because it gets you to start to believe you can absolutely do it. Take a moment and celebrate your wins along the way and not just be chasing the end result.
Want a little more? Check out my Facebook Live video on this topic.
In the Facebook Live comments section or in the comments below this blog, I’d love to hear from you: what’s one of your future gratitudes?
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