Goal-setting seems to be a hot topic right now, especially at the beginning of the year. Recently I posted a blog about choosing heart’s desires goals versus realistic goals and received over 100 responses on LinkedIn regarding that subject.
The main consensus was that they need to be a little of both. When you are setting a goal you start with the true heart’s desire. It’s the big picture goal. As one coach said, “…setting goals that are founded on my core values have proven to have a longer shelf-life within my motivation because they support what I believe is primary to who I am as a person. These “core values” are truths and beliefs that I would defend vigorously…”
Another coach agrees, “…goals which are aligned with our core values even though they require effort, flow far more easily.”
So you start by identifying the dream and the “why” behind it. The “why” is directly related to your core values and your life purpose. Sometimes you discover these things by the very act of identifying the dream. As one of my colleagues suggests, “Suppose your dream is to be a pitcher for the NY Yankees. But you are over 40 and haven’t played baseball since college, so the dream isn’t “practical.” HOWEVER, let’s explore WHY that is the dream. What is appealing about being a pitcher for the NY Yankees? It is the love of baseball? Is it the fame and glory of being on a winning team? Is it the physical challenge? It is the WHY that is your heart’s desire.”
Sometimes you don’t know what questions to ask and that’s why life coaches are so valuable. They know what questions to ask. Then you can explore the answers to those questions to see what your heart is really saying and discover what it is you really want. Once you have identified the heart’s desire or big goal, you can create sub-goals that lead you into the realistic part of the goal.
It’s important that you feel the goal is realistic and that’s where smaller goals come in. A big goal may not seem possible, like starting a six-figure business, but the next small step may be very realistic, like writing a newsletter, or starting a Facebook fan page.
Breaking down a big goal into smaller goals is also good for the soul. After all, there’s nothing like some early success to get people thinking and feeling like winners. And mindset is about 50% of the journey to achieving a goal. (The other 50% is taking action.) One life coach says, “The mind is a fabulous processor and can be used in alignment with your heart. But… it can be the cause of fear, limitations, and much more that keeps us from achieving what we want, regardless of how ‘realistic’ the goals are. After all, what we each determine to be realistic is based on our perception of the world.”
Those heart desires are the ones you listen to, instead of listening to what others say. That’s where passion, desire, and intuition come into the mix to give us the energy to see it through. When your goal is a combination of your heart’s desire and realistic action-taking sub-goals, you have the best of both worlds…you allow yourself to get more in touch with your own feelings, and what your heart tells you, and you also have practical steps to take to reach your goal so you’re not just living in a dream world.
If you want to find a coach to help you with this process, check out our online directory of life coaches in over 20 different specialties at www.iaplifecoaches.org.