A goal is anything you want to achieve or obtain in your life. Most people are afraid of big goals because they seem too large to complete. Some people have tried to complete big goals in the past and have met resistance or even failure, and for that reason they aren’t ready to try again. Big goals are typically based on things we see, like wanting a house or a car, and are very specific examples of visual success. But what if we could set goals another way? Instead of wanting what other people have, or what we see on television, what if we could set goals based on how that process and achievement would make us feel?
When I’m looking at setting a new goal for myself I focus on one thing, will I still feel freedom of choice? I want to always feel in control of the choices I can make, so making sure I feel freedom of choice no matter the goal is important to me. Instead of thinking about what the goal will get you, like a car or a house, try thinking about what you want to feel, or what needs to be met in order to feel happiness. Happiness is a little general but it’s a good starting point.
In my life I want to always have the feeling that I have freedom of choice. If a goal or situation comes up I ask myself if I will still feel freedom of choice if I do that thing. If the answer is no then it will detract from my happiness and isn’t a good option for me. It helps me to think of the phrase, “I need to feel _____ in order to feel happiness.” You already know what you need to feel happy, and putting your goals in terms of happiness will make them easier to set and achieve.
Now that you know what you need in order to feel happiness, it’s time to start setting goals. Focus on how the goal would affect you based on the “I need to feel” statement. When you’re working on your goals it’s important that you don’t focus on money or status, just on your feelings and your life. A useful phrase would be, “would saying yes give me a feeling of _____?” The blank here is the blank in the previous step and is individual to you. This only works if you’re truly honest about everything, it won’t work if you aren’t because you need to be true to yourself and about what you really want. Excuses are easy for us to come up with; reasons to go for the goal despite it not bringing us joy. Excuses only move us away from happiness and won’t work in the long run.
This also works for those tough life decisions. In order to make difficult decisions and push your life in the direction you desire, you need to use that “I need to feel” statement as a qualifier. This is your guiding principle to measure your decisions against. It’s important to be honest with yourself here as well because the decision is already tough, you don’t want to steer your life in the wrong direction by being dishonest with yourself.
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