As a life coach I highly value the decisive act of goal setting. It not only draws an outline for your life but the act itself makes an individual look within and take stock. I do not mean the casual thought of this is where I want to go, but a play-by-play segmented plan.
Many people find goal setting daunting. The fear of failure peaking over one shoulder or the giant end game crushing the other. The key is to make soft and attainable goals to go along with the big ones, as well as medium steps that are malleable.
A wise woman once shared with me her approach of goal setting: One month, three months, one year, and five years. I personally would take that a few steps further, by first approaching this exercise with a sense of lightness and possibility. Not overthinking the initial process, but writing your dream goals from the heart not with your hard lined reason – that can come later.
For those in relationships, the second step I would offer would be to rewrite your goals if you were completely on your own. JUST YOU. Not with a family, children, parents, pets, friends or a partner. See what comes up, you might have a surprise waiting for you.
At a pivotal time in my own life, I sat down to think of my goals. I first wrote things with reason, with my husband, in our current life. I hacked through it and came up with a decent roadmap, yet when I decided to unleash my innermost goals of what I wanted for my future I realized I had been compromising the life I truly wanted to live. Not because I was forced to, but because I had been caught up in a community, a marriage and a lifestyle, without realizing my inner needs had changed and were slowly eating away at my current happiness.
This was an insanely life altering process. When I wrote what I would do if I was on my own, a bomb went off in my heart and mind. I had written a completely 180 turn, as well as how I would pull it off.
This process was a thunderous reminder to never let life get away on me, as many of us know, can easily happen. It was a reminder for my husband and I that we were in a marriage, a union that takes compromise. Yet underscored was the absolute necessity for communication with each other about changing needs, as well as the act of taking chances within ones life. To pursue dreams as not only a unit, but to keep the passion alive within the individual we each fell in love with.
That crossroad in our lives sent us on a crazy ride building the next dream. The other major nugget I was reminded of recently? The dream changes. Due to necessary adaptation when the curve balls come flying in, or because of time and it’s continuous and eroding march forward.
Attaining those big goals doesn’t happen overnight, and usually through the process of trying to get there, we are morphed in the fire of our own journey. Time passes, we hit potholes or canyons and need to constantly adapt to the fluctuating ground we are scrambling upon. Hence the need for goals that are not carved of stone to crumble when life’s inevitable quakes shake our world, but objectives we can remold time and time again. Sure sounds better than dangling in the air by our claws as another dream falls away.
What if we approached goals with a childlike sense of wonder, of possibility? What if we shaped them with Play-Doh and let our imagination run wild. Color them with crazy hues, stick pipe cleaners out of the top, or roll them in the dirt. Goals that are in a distinct shape yet pliable enough to add on, take away or just plain reform into our changing needs and desires.
My invitation for you is to carve out, schedule, or set aside an afternoon or day in the next week or two to dream up or remold the next shape of your life. Sit down with your heart and mind and get your hands dirty.