How To Set Goals The Liv Way… And How To Overcome Goal Roadblocks
The new year always brings with it some fierce intention setting energy, whether you like it or not. Humans love a fresh start, a goal, an achievement… And why wouldn’t we!
Motivation and momentum is what keeps us moving forward in life, and while it’s no reason not to live in the present (currently pondering this philosophy…. Stay tuned for another blog post), when we feel this surge of motivation ie everyone in January, I say let’s jump on it and propel us into an amazing year ahead.
There is no right or wrong with goal setting – I mean really there is no right or wrong with anything… But I certainly have ways of doing things that feel right to me, and sometimes the conventional way feels wrong (actually most of the time, the conventional way feels wrong).
So this is how I set goals and this is how it is different.
First, decide what it is you truely want. Not what your friends want, or what your parents want or what the conventional idea of success is (I’ve made this mistake many times before).
What do you truely value in life? What actually lights you up? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
It’s important to centre into your truth to tune into this, otherwise your consciousness will just be following whatever catches your attention. If you need a good book on what your centre is and how to tune into it, I highly recommend The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.
And the reason it’s important is because when it comes to making your dreams a reality, if you aren’t aligned with it, you’ll never be able to make it happen. And you may waste time feeling like a failure, wondering why you can’t achieve what you set out to do, when in reality it’s because you never truely wanted it in the first place.
So let’s start dreaming…
STEP ONE: Dream Big. Get Messy.
Write down in the most detail possible, as if you were wishing on a genie in a bottle (AKA there are no limits in life), what does your most ideal dream life look and feel like?
Some areas to separate this into are:
- Work/ career
- Health and fitness
- Personal development
*Or if you are like me, all of these things roll into one, so it kind of all ends up in one vision board/ mind map for me… Whatever floats your boat here. Feel free to add, subtract or change any of these options.
Get super detailed, and don’t worry if some things that come out feel stupid. Write in paragraphs, mind map, make vision boards (for some of you, visuals will communicate more), whatever feels right to you – whichever way you start to FEEL the most lit up. Get messy with it. There are no rules. Write down whatever comes into your head, even if it makes zero sense.
Now here’s the important part. GO BIG. BE MAGIC. Do not hold back. You are describing your dream life here. No-one is going to read this but you so you don’t need to worry about judgment. This is the beauty of goal setting. Do not think about timelines, or life constraints. This is where you write as if you can have anything you desire.
Oh and write it in the present tense.
Instead of “I want” write “I have”
Instead of I want to be”, write “I am”
For example, instead of “I want to live a life with more pleasure”, say “My days are filled with pleasure”
Mantra: Anything I want in life is right there waiting for me. I just need to reach out and grab it.
STEP 2: Develop Your Affirmations
So now that you’ve dreamt big.. Consolidate into your affirmations. You may have just scribbled down a bunch of random words, this is great. Now go though it and develop a few into a few short and punchy sentences that really make an impact. And cull anything that doesn’t truely light you up.
These are your affirmations so they must all start in the tense of “I have”, “I am”, “I do” etc.
A good number to start with is 2-4 sentences for each of the life sections. But again, there are no rules. If you want 10 for each, you do you. The reason I say 2-4 is because these are the affirmations you want to come to daily (to read or write out), so is you have too many it might be overwhelming and too hard to implement. I’m a fan of focused energy, and I don’t like feeling like an octopus with limbs everywhere, so for each of those sections I consolidate all the dreams into a few sentences that I can focus on. Basically, cull the fluff.
Roadblocks to watch out for
Don’t write to do lists. This is the part of goal setting which feels wrong for me. In my opinion, it’s not a goal to “go to the gym 4x a week”, that is something you can simply just decide to do… It’s a to-do list item. When dreaming, you want to bring feeling and emotion into it. Why do you want to go to the gym 4x a week? Keep asking yourself why, and eventually you will get to the TRUE answer, the goal. It could be something like this:
Being a disciplined person
Having a solid routine
Being the kind of person who keeps promises to themselves
Being the kind of person who can push through discomfort
Being a certain level of fitness or health
Remember, stick to “I am…” rather than “I am going to do”
E.g. “I have the energy and/or freedom to workout 4 x a week and I look forward to it. It propels my day forward and makes me feel accomplished and fit”
Also don’t add time limits. This is also where I differ from traditional SMART goal setting, the T of which is timed. For me… Adding a time limit to a goal is setting yourself up for failure and also it takes out the flow and trust in the universe. Also for the rest of SMART – who decided what is achievable and realistic anyway?! These measures are completely arbitrary- who is anyone to tell you that your dream life is unrealistic. Specific is one that I agree with, but it’s specific on feeling, not specific on actuality, that feeling may come from something else. Measurable doesn’t really mean much to me. You can’t measure a feeling.
E.g. I do my affirmations, take the action at the bottom of the goal pyramid (step 3), practice gratitude and manifestation and let the universe take care of the rest.
Where to put them
Now you’ll need to keep these affirmations somewhere where you can see them. Don’t write them down on a random piece of paper and never look at them again.
If it’s in a vision board, print it out. Or you can get creative with this too… I used to be fine with having a vision board stuck in my room when I was 16 (in amongst the posters of Heath Ledger and Justin Timberlake that I ripped out of teen magazines), but as an adult, it doesn’t exactly fit with my aesthetic to have a cardboard poster with images glued to it in my bedroom. These are some things I’ve done in the past as a more sophisticated vision board…
You can order your images from Snapfish.
If it’s written, you can stick it somewhere you can see it. Or like me, keep them neatly in a journal by your bed (a beautiful special journal). I don’t exactly want to have my goals written on a piece of paper on my wall so I’ve made it part of my morning routine to read out all my affirmations (yes I read them out loud!). Game changer!
In fact when I write my work to-do list, I have a section that I have to write out my top 3 goals and my daily affirmation. Having done this for the past 6 months I can say it’s made a HUGE difference to be reminded of this daily (it gives me serious momentum). I use this notepad from Rise & Conquer to write out my daily work to-do lists but you can easily do this on your own.
For my personal goals and anything not work or finance related, I find it’s enough to keep them in my journal and read them out a loud most mornings. Although before I get to what’s written in my journal I like to consolidate all the dreams I have written down into a few short and punchy sentences that really make an impact.
STEP 3: Create Goal Pyramids And To Do Lists
This is where to-do lists come in. These are still vitally important but they are not goals. If anything, this is where you can start to bring in those SMART philosophies if you so desire.
A goal pyramid (not something I invented, but something I use) is a diagram that allows you to visually “unpack” your big scary “goal” that you decided on in step 1 and break it down into its smaller milestones, and then break it down even further into actionable steps – this becomes your to-do list, and it’s stuff you can actually add to your calendar or plan out for the year.
What it does it creates a bridge of what is standing between you and your goal.
It looks like this:
Roadblocks to look out for
There will always be things that come up that may prevent you from reaching your goals… But overcoming them is part of the journey of achieving your goals and growing as a human.
These are the following personal development roadblocks that I have come across and try every day to overcome AND these are the resources (books mostly) I recommend to work through these problems.
If you don’t believe you can achieve something, you will never get there.
- Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
Unclear about who you really are
If you aren’t centred in truth, your consciousness is just following whatever catches your attention. And doing things for the purpose of external sources creates misalignment and anxiety.
- The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
Fear of vulnerability and lack of bravery
Achieving anything you want requires bravery. It just does. And in the wise words of Brene Brown, there is no bravery without vulnerability. If you are scared of other people judging you for trying at something, this one’s for you.
- Read or watch anything by Brene Brown
Similar to the above problem, if your perfectionism is keeping you stuck ie you are so afraid of doing something imperfectly and being judged for it that you end up not doing anything at all or not even trying, you are a perfectionist. And perfectionists aren’t perfect (oh the irony), perfectionists are scared, they procrastinate and they avoid putting themselves out there (avoid trying) at risk of looking imperfect.
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
How to use the universe to make your dreams a reality
This is manifestation and the law of attraction and it is VITAL for any goal achieving.
The basics of manifestation I’ve already covered – the affirmations from step 2 are a big part of that.
I could write for hours and hours about manifestation and the law of attraction, but instead I will direct you towards many experts and resources on this topic:
- Dreamy Moons (watch her YouTube videos here)
- Gabrielle Burnstein – read any of her books
- Jordanna Levin – read her book Make It Happen
- Dr Joe Dispenza – consume any and all content! This one is great for the more scientific minded consumer!
And with that I leave you with this mantra I know to be true…
Everything you desire in life is right there waiting for you, you just need to reach out and grab it.
Happy New Year!