The first month of 2014 is about to wind down soon and that means that pretty soon some of you are going to be kicking yourself for having fallen off of your well-intentioned resolutions that you put together for yourself at the start of the year. This happens to everyone. We make a plan in our head to eat better, do more, love more, experience life with more joy…make the new year better than the last…but we quickly fall back into old patterns and old habits. Is it because we created goals that were too big? Did we take on something that was harder than we expected? Are you trying to do something that isn’t even really meant for us to do? There are lots of questions we can ask ourselves but there are a few key things we can look at and then some small but dramatic shifts in our thinking and approach that we can work with to turn our failed resolutions into real change this year.
Visions, Dreams + Goals
One of the first things you need to look at are your actual visions, dreams and goals. I know we have a tendency to lump these things all together into one big energetic gumbo that we try to gobble up as quick as possible, but ultimately this creates the biggest problem.
Your big vision, your overall dreams, and your specific goals are all different things.
This is what you see as your mission, your passion, the thing you want to really want to do in the world and how you want it to manifest. This is really the lighthouse that guides you through the stormy times that come up. It’s what keeps you focused and on track. The thing your big vision shouldn’t be is the single thing you’re trying to create or do. It’s too big! When we try to make our big vision the thing we’re actually trying to strive for rather than acting as our guiding light we tend to get overwhelmed.
Consider This: What is your big? What do you want your guiding purpose or mission to be? Is it truly your mission that you desire from your authentic self? You always want to be completely certain that your big vision isn’t something that’s been imposed on you by family, friends, or society because when it is and isn’t actually your authentic vision you’ll never really get there. Your Higher Self knows it isn’t your vision and will always run into blocks along the way.
Your dreams comes from you big vision. In a lot of ways you could say your dreams become your ambitions, they become the specific things you are trying to achieve while living your big vision. For example, if your big vision is to share the message of the power of self healing so people can learn to let go of their dependance others for healing, you may have a dream of publishing a book and going on a speaking tour.
Consider This: Knowing what your mission is what are your dreams for how it will manifest in your life? Are your ambitions truly meaningful? I like what Dr. Wayne Dyer says about ambitions; he talks about how we will always find ourselves following ambitions but if they are not truly meaningful and fulfilling our purpose they are more like distractions. Are you being ambitious because it’s just what you’re supposed to be or because society makes you feel you have to chase after something or do your ambitious have authentic meaning?
Your goals are the steps to making your dreams happen to fulfill your big vision. Your goals are the details. As your on your mission to publish your book on self healing your goals could be things like write the manuscript, get an agent, find a publisher, work with an editor, etc. All the little things that need to be done on your journey. The big problem with goals tends to be how we approach them and manage them. We often stay too “in our head” with or goals. We also have a tendency not to break them up in clear way that makes them actually doable. That’s what we’re going to work on here. We’re going to stop doing the giant “to do” list in 2014 and start working SMARTer not harder.
Consider This: What are all the little goals that you need to work on for your dream? If you have multiple dreams you’re working to manifest for your big vision, create individual lists for each one rather than working from a giant disorganized list of “to do’s”. These become what we call “Master Lists”. They aren’t your daily list of things to do but your main list of things that need to get done to get you from point A to point B.
Now that you have the anatomy of your work understood, it’s time to really break up the goals so you can actually see things happen rather than fall into a big mess because you get lost and confused or overwhelmed. It’s so simple. Make your goals SMART.
With each goal you need to work on these five things should be applied to them.
- Is it sustainable? Is this a goal that you can really follow through with? If not, how can you shift it or even break it down further so you can stick with it?
- How can you measure your success with it? Some goals are really simple and you can easily measure your progress or success but others might need a tracking or check in system. For example if one of your goals is to lose 20lbs before your first public speaking engagement for your awesome book you wrote you’ll need to have a way to measure your progress. Likely you’ll do weigh-ins once a week so you can adjust things as needed. Having a measure of success becomes like a built in motivator too! Just when you think you’re not getting anywhere, you measure your success and you could be surprised at how far you’ve come!
- Is this really an attainable goal? Do your circumstances and resources make this possible for you? Is it really authentic for you? Do you really believe that you can do this? When you define how important this goal is for your what may have seemed unattainable for you in the past starts to seem much easier to reach as you start to bring together your resources and make shifts in your life to bring together time, money, and resources to get there.
- Is it realistic? This might at first seem like it’s the same as attainability but there is a subtle difference. Attainability has to do with being able to achieve something by using all you have available to you. How realistic your goal is has to do with whether or not this is something that you can factually do – it’s the difference between a fantasy for you and something that is rooted in your reality as you know it. Are you willing to do this work? Are you truly able to do this work?
- What is your time frame for making this happen? How long will it take to realistically do this? Putting and expiration date on your goals are super important. When you don’t do this you have now accountability, even if it’s just to yourself, and quickly things fall to the wayside as “life gets in the way” and seemingly more important things pop up. This is part of the reason for working with small goals, one at a time, rather than taking on a huge dream or vision at once.
Want a little more help with working on your vision, dreams + goals?
In the January 2014 issue of Wild Sister Magazine I wrote an article about the topic of smart goal planning and shared a free mini-workbook to help with creating solid goals for 2014. Want to grab it?
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