When we reach our goals, there are definite emotions attached to them, aren’t there? Goals are integral to moving from where you are to where you want to be, but beyond the stated outcome, what is the feeling outcome? This past week I had the pleasure to speak at a weight loss club, which is, as an organization, celebrating 70 years. Now that’s an accomplishment! And one perhaps the original founders hadn’t set as a goal but speaks to the underlying motivation.
During my speech, I asked the audience members their motivation to joining the club. Several said, health. While these answers are reasonable, they don’t go deep enough. What we really need to do is tack on the phrase “so that I can”. Or in the case of a goal including others, so that we can etc. etc.
Health as a goal is broad, general and frankly, not all that interesting.
While I was recovering from a herniated disc I began to include in my journal writing, the reasons I wanted to heal. More than a list, I allowed myself to feel the frustration and work it through to hope and then intention.
You see I was only just beginning to consider myself in the picture of my life. I had created a vision, just not a very complete one. Which meant that while I answered the calls of my values, I also sidetracked my own, as yet, fully developed dreams.
I had done a lot for other people including the everyday demands of rearing my kids, running a home and business with my then husband and trying to be a “good” daughter-in-law. In the mix, I also saw a sister through her end of life journey with cancer and then, took on the guardianship of her two teenagers. The net result the creation of a household of four teenagers, in a space better suited to…, well, teenagers oddly take up a lot of room. Nevertheless, my goals to create fully functioning and contributing members of society was achieved, but I neglected my what next.
When the injury occurred,the vision for my life was largely unformed and uncharted. It literally knocked me down and stopped me in my tracks.
Once I began to take note of the areas of my life I wanted to grow and expand, I found the motivation to pursue them. The pursuit then brought me to other avenues and new options for consideration.
Goal setting benefits from both emotional and intellectual clarity
What are your goals and what are they really about? Unless you know, you may find yourself chasing after the wrong things or dissatisfied when you achieve them.
Losing weight to get healthy is fine, but what will you do with the health when you have it? How will it make a difference in your life? What will it allow you to be, have or do? Until you are willing to get real with the true desire behind your goal, you may find the end result is elusive.
The goals in which we are clear, emotionally and intellectually, about the why, provide the fuel to get us there, even when we are tired of the effort.
So, the next time you set a goal, try and get as clear as possible as to the difference it will make in your life. Then, go ahead and start taking the steps to achieve it. You won’t be disappointed.
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