5 Steps to Setting Achievable Heart-Centered Goals
Recently I’ve been thinking back to the person I was 5 years ago. She was fearless and free. A total go-getter. High energy. Scattered. Playful. Enthusiastic. She had big dreams and the energy to do whatever it took to make them happen. It was all beautiful.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve retained a lot of those inspiring and maybe wild qualities – but have found less joy in throwing myself 110% into life without any strategy. I have less energy for randomness. I have the same passion in my heart but I need more structure. I want to know that my effort and energy will turn into a finished product. A completed goal. A dream come true.
My obsession with New Year Resolutions and Goal setting dates back to high school. I have always loved exploring the world of goal planning strategies and trying ALL of the available reflection tools. However, over the years, I kept finding that they were all missing something. In december of 2017 going into 2018, I created my very first “Vision Journal” in an attempt to create a cohesive system that pulled all of these fantastic exercises together in a way that made sense. The 5 steps you’ll read about below is the evolved version of that system and it is the same system that is outlined in the 2021 Vision Journal. It is lovingly designed to help you create goals that are ACHIEVABLE AND AUTHENTIC to who YOU are and where you are in our life.
The following breakdown is fantastic for anyone who wants to get a better understanding on how to create achievable heart centered goals but if you’re looking for a more in-depth experience with guided exercises, then check out the 2021 Vision Journal. You can use the code “5STEPS” for 10% off your purchase.
STEP 1: REFLECT
A rule I have for myself when I’m learning something new is to “always begin with what you know” – you always tend to know more than you think you do! If you want to set goals but don’t know where to start (or even if you DO), I’d recommend journaling through the following prompts:
- What you’ve been learning over the past 6-12 months? What have you experienced and overcome?
- What do you feel is abundant in your life?
- What do you feel like is missing in your life?
- What do you feel proud of?
- What do you want to change?
Doing this can help you see where you are now and what you need from more of a birds eye view.
STEP 2: REVIEW VALUES
Your values shift as you gain more life experience. Your values shift as you evolve and grow. Your values change and as you add more to your life experiences and add more tools under your belt. Changing values is a beautiful thing and not anything to be afraid of. For example, if you get married, or you have a baby then a quick core value reflection might show that you might have ‘family” in your top 5 values for the first time ever, because that is what your attention and focus has been on.
It’s easy to become dissatisfied with your life when you are living in a way that is not aligned with your values, which is why it is SO important to check-in with them on a regular basis.
Additionally, without understanding your top values, you could end up creating goals to work toward something that isn’t even important to you. I know because I’ve done it.
Connecting with your values is a powerful practice, because your value system (along with your belief system) is the subconscious driver that makes a majority of the decisions in your life.
STEP 3: INTENTION SETTING
The word “intention” and the word “Goal” are often used interchangeably but in my opinion, they mean two different things. Goals, to me, tend to be detached from emotion. They are more like the logistics of a dream. A cog in a machine. They are Yang energy. Intentions, on the other hand, are much closer to the heart, they are the broad strokes of color on a canvas painting. They are more Yin energy. In my experience, intentions seem to hold an energetic. You can feel the kind of life that you want or and they sit closely to your “why.”
My business partner and I did a vision recently and when we started our meeting I had NO idea what I wanted our goals to be, but I knew how I wanted to feel. Some of our intentions for 2021 included feeling enthusiasm, accomplishment with ease, and building connection. Intentions are the thread that kind of holds everything together.
If you’d like, you can come up with about 5-10 intentions and take the common theme of those intentions to help you pick one word, a phrase, or an image that helps highlight and clarify how you want to feel. Our word for the business was “Sustainability.” When your intention is clear, creating goals that are aligned with your heart is simple.
STEP 4: GOAL SETTING
The 2 most common mistakes people make when they set goals or new year’s resolutions are:
- They create too many goals
- The goals aren’t on an efficient timeline.
Both of these mistakes can easily leave you feeling defeated. Instead, I encourage you to pick ONE main goal for each area of your life to achieve over the next 3-6 months and BREAK IT DOWN.
Achieving big goals requires discipline, and repetition. Goals do not happen overnight, instead they have a slow build up. This was something that took me a long time to understand and even longer to accept.
To think about: What are the smaller action steps that you can be doing on a daily or weekly basis to help you build toward accomplishing your goal?
STEP 5: ANCHORS
This final step is the difference between achievement and dreaming. “Anchoring” means setting up a tangible support system to hold you accountable to completing your goals and daily or weekly action steps. These are the things that help keep you aligned and on track. For example, my morning routine helps me ground and center myself so that I’m in a good place to be achieving my daily & weekly goals. I also love to schedule time on my calendar to complete tasks which is a much more tangible way of Anchoring. Additionally, for some of my bigger goals I have an accountability buddy to help me stay motivated and encouraged.
It is my hope that you can use this system that integrates values, reflection, intention and goal setting to become the most unstoppable and powerful version of you. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”