The holidays are approaching, and, as a result, most of us are taking stock, looking at the things we’d like to improve in the coming new year. Often, we get into the mode of “sh*t it’s almost the end of the year”. “And I still don’t have any idea how the get my proverbial sh*t together!” “How can I set better goals so that I can start making some progress in my life and actually feel like I know what I’m doing and feel more confident?”
As an aside, you can do this anytime in the year. To be honest, I actually stopped overfocusing on goals and sh*t during this period. Because it’s already stressful enough with all the family things and the obligations that shouldn’t be obligations but… You know how it can be sometimes… No need for any additional stress.
Anywhoo, the message here is that this post can be used anytime you want. So, let’s get back to the post.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the whole focusing on your goals so you feel less like a “WTF am I doing with my life, does everybody know where they are going but me” kinda feel.
Sometimes, you just feel stuck in everything.
Your life might not be the way you want to have it (yet). So, you start reading a lot of self-help blogs and books about self-actualization, being your authentic self, turning your dreams into plans and you can’t’s into CAN’S.
I know, like you, I’ve been there. Some books help, some books don’t. Others make you feel like you’ve got even more wrong with you than when you started reading. But ok, I digress. A book that has really helped me approach goal-setting differently, focusing more on why I want to set a goal, really drilling down to how do I want to feel, is the Desire Map by Danielle Laporte (aff. link) (for Dutch version).
Alright, let’s get into some goal-setting steps, so you can start towards maybe feeling more confident, or powerful, or my word for this year BRUISEND (which for me translates as bubbling, vibrating, feeling alive and thriving).
4 first steps to help you start up your Goal-setting Adventure
Firstly, you sometimes forget to look at what you’ve already achieved, when you keep steaming on towards the future. However, looking back can be such an empowering experience that can teach you some important lessons about yourself, as well.
Step 1: Take stock of the year gone by
First, start by checking out the different areas in your life that are important to YOU. I say you with capital letters because, us chicas, we sometimes have the tendency to go for what’s expected by others.
To illustrate, when I take stock of my goals, I look at:
✅✅ Work, Business & Finances/ Impact ✅✅
✅✅ Creativity, Personal growth & development ✅✅
✅✅ Healthy (Mental and Physical) Lifestyle ✅✅
✅✅ Relationships, Friends & Family ✅✅
Of course, you can make any categorization you want, whatever makes sense and is relevant to you. Then, for each area, answer the following:
What went well this year? Or what am I grateful for, and why?
What didn’t go so well? Or what am I dissatisfied with, and why?
For me, answering these questions helped pinpoint the areas in my life that need some work or where I’m not true to myself. Most important in this goal-setting exercise is to consider how you would want to feel in each area of your life. For this, I worked with Danielle Laporte’s Core Desired Feelings (by asking myself if/ how my actions help me feel the way I want to feel?)
To illustrate, I will give you a quick example of what taking stock looks like in practise (the short version).
I am grateful that/ for:
- I’m getting clearer on which direction I want to go with my business and life, and that makes me feel like I’m becoming more authentic.
- My almost 11-year relationship is still going strong and that I have great friends and family, which makes me feel super loved.
- I’ve discovered these soul-sisters, like Danielle Laporte, Marie Forleo, and Ash Ambirge, who are helping me feel more empowered & working to make my dreams come true (even though I’ve never met them IRL).
- All that I’ve learned about myself and the topics that interest me, like entrepreneurship, marketing, and personal development, makes me feel expanded and empowered.
What’s not working for me is:
- That I have way more to give to the world than I’ve been able to do in the situation I’m in right now, which makes me feel a little disempowered and purposeless.
The above is just an abridged version, that’s why I recommend you to get Danielle’s book. It really helped me.
Step 2: Look toward the future
Next, after taking stock of the year gone by, you get to focus on the future and ask yourself:
How do I want to feel?
For this, you can also use the same categorization used in step 1, and ask yourself, how do I want to feel in each area of my life? Again, Danielle Laporte has a whole book about it that can help you identify your core desired feelings.
When you’ve identified your core desired feelings, you can see what traits you can incorporate in your life to get there.
What traits do I want to incorporate into my future lifestyle to feel more fulfilled?
For example: Do you want less commuting time? Do you want to be able to bike from home to work and back? Or maybe you want more freedom to work on your own projects or be with your family? Perhaps you want to be your own boss or find a new job?
Additionally, don’t forget to ask yourself why you want these traits in your life. It is because you want to feel a certain way. Plus, remember is that you are setting these goals for yourself, not to please or fulfil anyone else’s vision of what your life should be like.
What matters most is how YOU want to feel and taking actions accordingly. This might seem obvious, but for years I fell into that trap of doing things for other people.
Step 3: Take over the world. Dream big. No one is going to do it for you!
Now, it’s time for action. For each life area/ trait that you’ve identified as relevant to you, ask yourself:
✅✅ What are you going to do to change your life for the better? ✅✅
Think Big & Be specific.
Here is not the time to be modest or vague, since you want to feel inspired enough to go for it.
Step 4: Implementing your action plan.
Of course, answering the questions above in step 1-3 is only the first phase towards awareness. If you truly want to change anything, you need to take loving action. For example, find someone supportive who can help you be accountable. Additionally, if you do get stuck in your action plan, make the steps as small as you can make them.
Remember, you might feel stuck now, but…
Change is imminent. Change is unavoidable.
THANK the universe, what a relief.
Your situation isn’t permanent.
P.s. I use some affiliate links in this post. If you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link to these products because they are relevant to this post and I trust their quality. This post should already get you a long way to set better goals for yourself. And if you decide to go deeper, I wanted to cite the source of my inspiration.
Happy planning. Adventure Awaits!