Remember when I said I hate to have a plan? I like planning, but hate the actual plan. Goals are almost as hard.
Here’s what I’ve learned about goals. You must take into account your strengths and weaknesses. You must consider your dreams and most importantly, you must throw out that naysaying voice in the back of your head, even if it’s your mother/neighbor/best friend/spouse. Every goal is achievable. Absolutely every goal.
Having said that I also must say you have to check in with WHY you want to set a goal. You have to let go of the shoulds, woulds, mights and really focus on what is important to you. And you must decide How important it is. Is it important enough to realign your activities and focus? Consider what you must give up to achieve your goal. Because if you could have your Dream and continue living the way you do, you’d already have it right?
If you don’t realign your life to reflect your Dream, you’ll never take the first step. Visualize how your life looks when you’re in your Dream. If there’s a disconnect between your Dream and your present life it’s time to start making changes. Otherwise, you may earn a million dollars, but if you’re not willing to make some life changes to make room for that goal it may be in a lifetime and not by next year.
Your goals are most effective and keep you most interested when they’re leading you somewhere. They should be building a bigger picture.
I teach my private clients to break the goals down into very manageable parts, but always with the Dream in mind. The Dream can be absolutely anything, the sky is the limit. Want to make a certain amount of money this year? Get to it, but start with small, manageable goals.
The most important reason to set goals? Is to create the life you want. So if one of your goals is to have the dishes clean everyday, but you hate doing the dishes and you hate the constraint, find the compromise. Could you stand doing the dishes every other day? Could you stand doing them once a week? Find what resonates with you and then find the person/s who will do them the other times of the week so the ultimate goal of having the dishes done everyday is accomplished.
If your Dream is to have a beautifully decorated, glamorous home, but never do dishes, you’d better find kids/spouse/partner/neighbor/roommate who will trade you for a job that gives you great pleasure. I love to do laundry, but hate cleaning the bathroom. So for me I’d trade that in a heartbeat and have one step of a life I love completed.
And of course, the other option is to hire someone to do it. If the House Beautiful home is your Dream, then part of your goal is to create enough income/money/wealth to hire someone to wash dishes.
The final thing to consider when thinking of goals and why you really want them. Are you setting goals and moving towards your Dream or someone elses? This is very very important. It must be your Dream or you’ll never set exciting fun goals that you whip through.
So, let’s talk about goals. We all set goals in different ways with a wide variety of outcomes. The Breathe Living Passionately answer is to focus on something that is so important to you that you can’t forget it. Your Dream is that thing that you are literally dreaming about…at night, in the car, when you zone off in a meeting or when you’re doodling names of your future business on napkins and pads of paper.
Your goals are the steps that are going to take you there. So write 2-3 sentences that define your Dream. This is the second step. We already journaled about our Dream. Now we’re going to whittle it down and focus on it in just 2-3 sentences.
Then we’re going to start breaking it down. So under your defined Dream write 10 steps that you must take to accomplish this Dream. Start with the first step and list them with only a short sentence or few words. I know, only 10? And if you can’t write down 10, you’re not dreaming big enough. THIS IS YOUR LIFE! It should definitely be broken down into more than 10 steps.
So you’ve got your 10 steps. They still seem pretty big don’t they? Your first step might be Go Back To School, so you can have the expertise to accomplish your Dream. Before we go think about that first goal. Do you really want to go back to school? If the answer is no there’s a disconnect. School needs to be more than a necessary evil. The idea of school must be so exciting and fun to think about that you think you’ll pee your pants. If the learning isn’t exciting, perhaps there’s another way.
Perhaps, the Dream isn’t really your Dream. And that’s fine. Maybe there’s a part of the Dream that’s really exciting, but other things you think you have/must/should do. Throw those words out and focus on what you really WANT to do. Focus on the part of the Dream that’s exciting and let everything else go. Go back to step one and write about your Dream again.
Or perhaps there’s another answer. Can you have your Dream and not go back to school? Can you have the Dream and not go poor trying to achieve it? Is there another/more creative/more appealing way to have your Dream? Who told you that school was necessary? If it’s a licensing board, they’re probably right. If it’s a pushy friend/parent/partner then stop listening to the naysayers and traditionalists and do your research. See who else is out there doing what you want and find a creative solution.
Back to the goals. Let’s pretend that you whipped out 10 steps you needed and can think of 10 more. AND you’re so excited that you can barely read anymore because you want to get to work on them. Hold your horses and pull out a fresh piece of paper. Write out Goal One-Go Back To School. And then write 10 steps you must take to accomplish this goal. Even if it’s simple, easy, step like ‘call for brochure’.
Keep going. Keep attacking your goals and breaking them down. Any place you feel like you’re stuck or scared, break it down. Break it down into ridiculously tiny parts, if you need to, until it’s so crazy simple that you laugh at yourself and start living your Dream.
The last part of this step towards having the life you really crave? Get on the mat. Practice yoga and when you meditate, focus on the Dream. When you practice asana move like someone who has already accomplished this Dream. Practice like you’re living your Dream life. Practice every day and every day focus on what you want.
Each day when you get off the mat do one thing that will move you closer to accomplishing your goals. That’s right each day. If you can’t devote time to practice focusing on your goal and time to take a tiny step towards your goal then you’re not serious about your Dream.
If you are living in this way, breathing in your dreams, everyday reaching towards your goals you’re there. You are living passionately. You are so in the moment, so guided towards what you want and that’s what living passionately is. It’s not about accomplishing something and looking back at far you’ve come. It’s about being in this moment so excited to be here, so excited to be creating this moment that you can’t think of anything else.
Live passionately every day.