How Passionately Do You Want to Reach Your Goals?
Written by: Amber Alexander
Goals. Resolutions. Visions. Daydreams. We all have them. But it is surprising how often we set goals, solidify the end in our minds and work our butts off to get there, all the while feeling overwhelmed or miserable.
It was a huge and wonderful life lesson for me when I learned that it doesn’t have to be this way. When we stop to set goals from a place of authenticity, not only can we accomplish more, but we feel better doing it.
About a decade ago, I really wanted to be a nurse. I went to school, studied hard, got an A+ in all of the prerequisite courses and got all the way up to the point where I was sitting down applying for the nursing program – and something stopped me.
It’s not a something I can clarify, it had no physical form or name to pin on it. It was an inkling. It held me back from submitting my application for a few weeks. During that time, a friend (and now colleague) of mine posted on Facebook about his new health coaching practice and I was immediately intrigued. After one conversation with him, I had the chills that accompany stumbling across something that was meant to be.
This also led me to re-examine my plans for nursing school. What was it about nursing that had attracted me so? When I sat with this for a while, I realized how interesting it was that I would even consider nursing school. I am deathly afraid of needles and use prescription medications as a last resort because I feel that they are relied upon all to often in our culture. It was comical, really.
Had I taken the time to determine how I wanted to FEEL when I finished school and began work as a nurse, I would have realized that the reason nursing attracted me was because I wanted to feel of use, to have a positive impact on people’s lives and their health and at the time, nursing was the easiest way to do that.
Health coaching aligned much more with my values and lifestyle. So I switched course and have never looked back.
Now, the reason I bring this up is not to go on and on about my story, but to illustrate that, had I approached this period of my life with the way I wanted to feel in mind, I would have not only saved myself thousands of dollars in school debt, I would have reached this place in my life sooner. This place where I feel that I have all I need, including a sense of purpose and joy that grows out of that purpose. I would not have struggled to have “enough” for so long.
Don’t get me wrong, I have set myself on the course towards a lot of different goals where I never had the inkling to stop and reconsider. Some of them turned out fine, some were disasters. But none brought the same amount of joy and contentment than the goals where I stopped to think about what each goal really meant, how it affected me and why I wanted to achieve it.
It is really easy to move throughout life doing what we have been taught is the next step in growing up, in being a productive member of this society. It is also easy to feel as if there is something wrong with us when we aren’t satisfied with the school-career-family track that we were set upon at a young age. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that track, I know a lot of very successful and happy people who have found a life they love following that track. But I also know just as many who have spent a good deal of their life feeling as if something is missing; because they are going about it from a mindset of what they should have, or what they want to have.
I want you to stop for a moment and think about the goals you have set out for yourself right now. Write them down. Now go through the following steps as you plan and work towards your goals.
1. Before you go through each goal you have written down, take a moment to look deep inside yourself and brainstorm the way you most want to FEEL in life. Hold these feelings close and keep them in mind while considering every single goal you have set for yourself. Write them down, read them often.
2. Which of these goals are coming from inside of you? These are the goals that, when you read them, they excite you on a spirit level. These are also the goals where you have a strong “WHY” attached to their achievement, reasons behind why reaching that particular goal is so important to you. If there are any that aren’t like this, cross them off or set them aside for a little bit.
3. Of the goals you have left, one by one, read them and envision how you will get there. How do you feel as you work towards this goal? How does it feel when you get there? If there are some goals that elicit a greater amount of your desired way of feeling, move those to the top of the list.
4. As you work through your goals, remain aware of the way you feel. Often times, as we learn and grow from our experiences along the way, we sometimes realize that what we thought was our end goal is something we have outgrown or is no longer a good fit. So, be open to changing course. Don’t ignore the way you feel or what feels right just because of an idea you decided was right while you were busy being the person you used to be.
5. When setting new goals, instead of thinking first of the THINGS you want to obtain or titles you want to achieve, stop and think about the way you want to feel. This will help point you toward goals that are not only more attainable, but will fall deeper in line with your lifestyle and values and they will be more enjoyable as you work towards them.
We all have goals. They are a great way to motivate you and push you along into the next chapter in the story of your life. But it’s also really easy to choose goals because you feel like they are something you SHOULD do, or something that is expected of you. But we have this one precious life, so let’s also enjoy it and find fulfillment in what we do, okay?
As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Amber Alexander follows her passion for vibrant wellness by supporting others in cultivating greater health and joy, specializing in family nutrition and individuals recently diagnosed with autoimmune diseases and/or food sensitivities.
When not working to make the world a healthier place one person at a time, she can be found on her yoga mat breathing deeply, in her kitchen cooking up nourishing deliciousness for her family and loved ones, or out dancing in the woods. She strives everyday to do at least one thing that infuses her whole being with radiance, joy and strength and believes that a hug can solve almost any quandary.
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