The answer? Everything.
We’ve all heard of SMART goals:
Specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time-limited (or some variation on this definition). It has been the gold standard in goal writing for years. Click here for a handy worksheet to help you write a SMART goal.
To make things interesting let’s challenge the SMART goal setting strategy! Why, you ask?
Because we have all set goals … and then never reached them. Whether it’s the weight loss goal, the exercise goal, the money-saving goal, etc. Goals end up being good ideas without lasting change.
So how to get lasting change…
Todd Hermann, athletic coach turned entrepreneur coach talks about ditching SMART goals and adopting action item lists. I agree. We need to have actionable steps to follow. (The SMART worksheet offered above will put you on task to write action steps.)
Yes, keep the goal out there. Then, as we say in meditation practice, allow the Universe to work out the details. That way we don’t get in the way of something even better coming into our lives! YES! Bring it on!
This doesn’t mean we don’t take action, of course. We progress toward our goals (and change our habits) one action step at a time.
Not a list person? Not to worry.
Danielle LaPorte, an author and motivational speaker has a great idea, supported by science: fueling our goal setting with desire. Yes, it turns out our feelings stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain that drive our actions.
Activating dopamine receptors in the brain is the way to get our feelings involved in our intentions. Dopamine, the feel good hormone will up your stick-to-it-iveness to your action plan.
This has a relationship to the habits cycle I’ve talked about in the Health Habits course. (link to blog)
My Core Desired Feelings for 2015 were Inspire, Grace, Surrender, & (a big) Cosmic Yes! These four helped me decide if an action was going to help me feel the way I want to feel. Which is even better than mere goal achievement! By keeping my CDFs in the forefront, I've been able to feel how I want to feel when I made decisions on my goals.
2015 wasn’t necessarily a year of life altering achievement for me. However, it most certainly was a year of self-nurturing, slowing down, appreciation, and giving my time and talents to others. I spent a month in retreat in Sedona, re-started teaching yoga, wrote 75% of my book, opened Healthy-Habits-School and declined many opportunities to keep my schedule manageable and my stress low. Now it’s time to commit my 2016 goals to paper, with action steps and heart-felt desire.
What motivates you? What feelings will inspire you to meet your goals? Use the power of emotion to drive your intentions. Then focus on the process, the daily actions to get you there.
Want more? Try Desire Mapping here.
Meanwhile, enjoy the holidays. Alternate a day of healthy eating to offset your indulgences, if not for weight maintenance, for the health benefits!
Feel good, live in gratitude, exercise for the JOY of it.
See you in the new year,
Interested in meditation? Download an Introduction to Meditation. Click here to get your copy.
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