How to Set and Achieve Goals that Feel Good

Many of us have been approaching goals wrong for decades. We learned to set SMART goals and go after them like our life depended on it. And many of us have. But once we achieved the goal we realized we weren’t any happier than before. So surely there’s a better way.

Introducing: goals with soul. These goals start with the true yearning of our heart and the burning of our desires: feelings. Ultimately, what matters most when it comes to goals is how you want to feel (then you can be all SMART about it!). When was the last time you asked yourself, “How do I want to feel?” And then, “Now what can I do to ensure I feel that way?”

Feelings First, Then Goals

Set and achieve goals that feel good by starting first with how you feel. As a Danielle Laporte explains (creator of The Desire Map), you only go after specific goals because you think it will make you feel a certain way. You go after the money, job, car, or house because you think these things will make you happy. But we all know how that story plays out. So if instead, you start with how you want to feel and then set your goals, you’re far more likely to not only achieve your goals but feel good also! Here’s how to do that:

1) Stream of Consciousness:

Carve out a block of time to pour out all your thoughts, inklings and desires in feeling words or sensations. Whatever comes to your mind or heart. Whatever you feel in your body. Imagine the ideal feelings with regard to each area of your life: career, relationships, health, spirituality, and any other major sector. What major feelings rise to the surface? Whatever it is, write it down, uncensored and free.

2) Hone Part One:

In step two, you’ll scan everything you’ve written. What have you written more than once? What words tickle your heart or capture your gaze? Refine these words, especially if there are multiple words that describe a similar feeling. Check out what the dictionary has to say. Which definition do you align with most? This is when you’ll pare down to between seven and 10 words.

3) Hone Part Two:

Now you have seven to 10 words that feel super close and on point. If it’s easy for you to further pare down (think three to five top-notch words that really strike a cord), then go for it. But part two of honing means you get take these babies out on a hot date. Try them on for size. Take as much time as you need. Spend a day, week, or month with the words. Post them on sticky notes, fill your planner, set reminders on your phone, or memorize them.

Throughout the day use the words to guide your decisions. Which ones feel best? Once you’ve done plenty of trials, pick your favorite three to five words. These words aren’t fixed so don’t fret. You can always come back and replace or trial new or different words. Have no fear.

4) Plan:

Finally, you need to plan or put your words into action. Before you jump into simply setting goals the same ol’ way, run your goals by your desired feelings. Do they mesh? Will hitting that number, getting that promotion, or buying that house really make you feel free, on fire, accomplished, or creative? Or would starting a new hobby, traveling the world, or writing that book feel a bazillion times closer to your desired feeling? It’s up to you.

Once you’ve decided which goals to go after then use the SMART goal setting strategy if you feel that will help you reach your goal. Otherwise, you can feel good relying on your core feelings as your guiding light and motivator. Who doesn’t want to feel good? And what better motivator is there?

Learn to lead with your feelings because ultimately it’s certain feelings we most desire that draws us towards certain goals. So if you start with your feelings, you’re light years ahead of the rest of the crowd and ten times happier too.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash - Thought Catalog

37 comments

John B
John B2 months ago

Thanks Paula for sharing the info.

SEND
heather g
heather g4 months ago

I feel no need to set goals at this stage of my life. I've done most of the exciting things and won't be climbing mountains anymore.....

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

Noted

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie s4 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie s4 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Winn A
Winn Adams4 months ago

Noted

SEND
Winn A
Winn Adams4 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Dana W
Dana W4 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 months ago

Thank you for sharing

SEND
Debbi Wood
Debbi W4 months ago

Learning how to set goals, realistic goal is important for children to learn and adults to practice.

SEND