All month I’ve been talking about goals: how to make, schedule, and achieve them. I have some clients who say “I’d like to have goals but I don’t know where to start or I am not really interested in changing my job, I’m content, but still feel something is missing”. Goals don’t have to be geared towards building high-powered careers or businesses. They can be living your passion and achieving happiness in your personal life. The objective is finding the part of your soul that feeds you and following it to the places that bring you joy. Whether it’s a career, spiritual or physical endeavor, everyone has something they are wishing, dying, or dreaming to do.
You really need to look at the perceived obstacles or thoughts that are holding you back. When we are stuck it’s usually because we are focusing on what our lives “should” be like, not necessarily what we want them to be. I have a friend from my college years that always brings a smile to my face and inspiration to me when I am feeling stuck in my thoughts. His goals did not include having a well-paid career, social status, and a 4-year college education. His goal was, and still is, to be on the mountain and in nature as much as possible. He worked whatever jobs enabled him to be on the mountain and were flexible enough to allow him the time to enjoy it. At the time, some people looked at him like he was living a “goal less” life; but he was actually living according to his own plan. Pessimists might say: so where did this plan leave him later in life when his youthful energy and spirit started to wane?
He now has a career and family, but you’ll still find him on a mountain doing a 50-mile bike ride on a Sunday. He went back to school in his 30’s and pursued a career in which he has a 4 day work week; giving him ample time to spend time with his family and pursue his athletic goals. For him the dream was to be hiking the mountain and fly-fishing with kids in tow, and he made that happen. He designed a life that fit who he was as a person, not sacrificing any part of himself.
Goals should be a reflection of who you are as a person, so if it’s climbing Mt. Everest or starting a business, it has to be about you. If your heart’s not in it, accomplishing goals will feel like a chore. So how do you start working towards those big goals?
In my coaching training, we were all required to write a highly improbable goal. We had to come up with the large goal of exactly where we wanted to be in our business and personal life in just a few years. It felt overwhelming initially. Then we had to carefully break the goal into parts. Here’s a suggestion of how to tackle that huge goal:
- On one sheet of paper write down what your hugely impossible goals are. Put that paper on the wall.
- On another sheet write where you are now. Place that on the wall on the other side of the wall.
- On a 3rd piece of paper write X. Place this paper between the two and write the steps it will take you to get from where you are now to your goal. Make the steps very small.
- Create those small turtle steps I discussed in previous blogs. Make each step for a specific amount of time. Use post it notes so the steps can be placed wherever you need them (in your office or on your bathroom mirror).
By becoming clear on your large goals and creating time bound small goals, you can design a life that manifests all of your wildest goals and dreams.