You’ve scrimped and worked hard, spent oodles of time online improving your skills and writing, you’ve even landed some clients so there’s a little money coming in. And yet you’re feeling a little empty. What?! This is what you dreamed of and longed for and worked toward.
It’s entirely possible you’ve experienced this kind of thing before: hitting a goal and feeling less than satisfied. The irony is that this pattern tends to make us set more goals in hopes that the next one will be THE one that makes us sit down with a cold beer and go ahhh.
Life, as we all know intellectually is very short. But knowing it and feeling it are very different things. This last Christmas a person very close to me almost died. He ended up in ICU for days and for three days while there he was on a ventilator and medically knocked out. Helpless. Sleeping.
When you stare at someone who is on that fine line between life and death it gives you pause. Or it should. It makes you wonder – what is the point of it all? It makes you realize, let me rephrase that, it makes you know, that if you are aiming to feel a certain way at some point in time you are missing your opportunity.
The opportunity of now.
Of feeling just how you want to feel at this very moment in time.
So, what’s our problem? Why do we keep missing out on getting this right? What’s really going on? Why don’t our successes make us feel more satisfied?
The problem comes from our repeated habit of setting goals that are tasks we reach rather than setting goals which are in alignment with how we want to feel.
In her book Desire Map, Danielle Laporte talks about the way we want to really feel as core desired feelings. When I read Danielle’s take on how we’re approaching goal setting ass backwards it made perfect sense. If we set a goal and hope that when we reach it we’ll feel a certain way then we’re doing it all backwards. But if we determine how we really want to feel and THEN set goals and action steps that fit with that feeling, then we aren’t waiting to get anywhere before we can go ahhh. We’ll feel the way we want to feel right now. And we take those feelings with us as we hit our goals and beyond.
No more hitting those goals and going what?
Over the years I’ve written a lot about goal setting for writers and ways to accomplish what you want to accomplish. But I truly think it’s time for a change around goal our setting – a fulfilling change.
In a nutshell here’s how to try out this new method of goal setting:
- Get in touch with your core desired feelings in different areas of your life
- Figure out what you need to do, what goals you should accomplish, in order to feel that way
- Create your action plans around what you need to do to feel the way you want to feel
And to help you refine it a bit, make sure you scrutinize what you’ve written:
- Ask yourself, am I aiming for goals that are really mine?
- Be ruthless and discard any feeling or goal that is for someone else, anything that is not true to your soul.
- Be specific, don’t just write that you want to feel successful
- Changing your mind, yes even midstream, is great
And if you are a person who longs to create positive change in the world, as most of you are, then as you create a compelling vision for yourself use this information to tie it all in together.
Thinking about goals in this way requires a change in your mindset, an additional stream of consciousness.
And lest you think setting goals that are based on how you want to feel are overly narcissistic I’d invite you to consider this – when you feel alive and inspired and creative you’re surely able to contribute more positively to the world and those in it, than when you are feeling lukewarm and ho-hum as you check off yet one more task from your list.