Did you do your homework? Now it’s time for some goal-setting! If we don’t have a plan, we are aimless, like wandering without a map to guide us. In my private practice, I often discuss goal-setting with my clients. Last month, after the year-in-review I did it with my family, we talked about a few dreams everyone had. This helped me feel closer to my family and allowed me to better understand what motivates them. . . and I can now even help facilitate their dreams coming true!
For myself, I took things a little further. In keeping with last week’s exercise, I imagined it was five years later and I had already become that person in the future. I addressed the following topics in present tense: my age, my income, my job, how I spend most of my time, my hobbies, my spare time, my social life, my clubs and organizations, my health, my happiness quotient, my spiritual growth, my yoga (that eight-angle pose or Ashtavakrasana is mine!), what I like most about my life, what I dislike most about my life. But in keeping with some reading I did in Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map, what I tried to work on (and this is a work in progress) was how I wanted to feel in five years, in one year, every day.
For each of us it’s the same. Will you play along (and read and set intentions along) with me here? It is really about how I feel and how I want to experience the small moments that collectively make up my life. To figure this out, I need to be still enough to tune into the whispers of my soul. My core desired feelings should resonate, or be felt, in each of the categories I am dreaming about.
Next up: focusing. I broke down those five year goals and desired feelings into attainable yearly objectives that I need to meet to get me to that gal five years from now. The thing is I don’t want to become so obsessed with my goals that they distract me from my overall desired feelings. If I want less clutter, I do not set a goal to de-clutter, but instead I will work on experiencing and creating more space or spaciousness. I will also focus on what is spacious right now in my life and be greatful for that. I also want to work on paying off debt this year, so in addition to setting up a payment strategy, I will focus on creating freedom and welcoming abundance. I am now working on aligning my calendar and daily activities with these goals. This doesn’t mean, however, that all of my tasks have to have a tangible purpose. Instead, I’m thinking, “Does my book club make me feel how I want to feel?” Yes. Does attending my book-club align me with my overall goals? Maybe not directly, but this is where the desired feelings come in: it aligns me with my desired feelings of connectedness and love. Now that I have set one year goals (and feelings), the five year goals feel more attainable. Wow. It was a breakthrough in procrastinating and allowed me to focus more on how I want to feel than what I want to have, be, and do! And it shook up the “someday one-day” monologue that I have had in my head for years.
It’s one thing to set goals and intentions, but we have to take action in order for them to manifest!
Now let’s have some fun! This week I plan on taking this exercise one step further. I intend to have fun and play with my dreams. I will dream incredible and crazy! I plan on dreaming in categories such as health, spirituality, travel, finances, family, shoes/boots, activities, relationships, and yes, I will include career!
When we were kids, our imaginations took us to incredible places. We would dream about where we would live; what we would be; how many dogs, ice cream cones, and butlers we would have: it was endless!
Attention grown-ups! Bring back the dreams, I say!
Your dreams and desires are yours alone. We deserve to have whatever we truly want in our lives. We are often very good at knowing what we don’t want, but not so great at defining exactly what we do want. . . or dreaming big! A good question to ask is “If I knew I couldn’t fail and all resources were made available for me for this to be possible, I would. . . .”
What’s the point, you ask? By giving yourself liberty to dream, and not feeling attached to the dream (goals have more attachment for me even though I know I can change them and it’s perfectly okay to do so), you may uncover something deep inside that you didn’t know was there. There may be a common thread connecting your dreams to your past successes and challenges. This thread may shine new light on your desires, leading you to your life’s purpose.
Stop settling for whatever happens to come your way in life, and take ownership in actively creating your own future by clearly stating your desires. If there are areas of your life or work that are really difficult for you, those areas may need addressing. Tune in to yourself, be still, and listen. You have the ability to create the life you want. Don’t wait until “someday” to do it. With a new year comes new opportunities. One thing is certain: time keeps ticking by. Take the first couple of months of every year to do some reflecting and projecting. Take this simple outline to tackle what may have seemed like a daunting task. Why not try to set aside an hour or two to complete this and let me know how it goes? Tell me in the comments about any goals, goal-setting, or dreaming experiences you have had, and what difference it has made in your life.