Expanding our Perceptions of Goals
Often, the thought of a goal is attached to some sort of tangible outcome, and many times goals can originate from some form of comparison or from a perception of lack. Let’s redefine our goals and dig into a new way of thinking.
Perhaps more often in the western world, we see goal setting with markers of wealth, large house and BMW’s as symbols of our value and worth. But our self worth doesn’t come from competition, winning and exclusion. We can redefine how we obtain goals in this way. Think of a goal as an act of creation. A slight shift in thinking from I must reach my goal at all costs to I am creating from my heart’s desire. This expands our perception. It feels different doesn’t it?
Comparing and competition trip us up, so does perfectionism. A shift in our thinking from the viewpoint of lacking something or that there is not enough to go around, to I am following my heart’s desire, I have everything I need, I am complete and worthy — brings into our awareness, total abundance.
“knowing our goals are obtainable when we truly believe there is enough in our world, that we are enough and that everyone matters is our secret weapon to success”
What are some of the ways I set goals?
For 25 year’s I’ve created a vision board with pictures and sayings cut out from magazines, written in red marker, sometimes scribbled revisions in pencil, of hopes and dreams for the year ahead. We can do this any time of the year not just the beginning of the calendar new year. That is another way we can often get hung up on goal setting, by listening to social constructs that instead of aiding our passion — works toward killing them. You can create all year long. Do what works for you!
Even writing a list of things on a piece of paper, a bucket list if you will, one that is easily seen and referenced throughout our day will serve to keep us on track and motivated. Maybe, you have it in the notes section or as a photo on your iPhone or personal electronic device.
So, what is our goal or rather, heart’s desire? Is it to lose weight? Start a business? Have children? Graduate from college? Make a million dollars to build new visual environments for our aging population?
No matter what our aim is, removing some of the personal and societal pressure is critical. If it is your heart’s desire to achieve, then it is just that — and not our parents, our culture, our education systems desire.
Let’s take, as an example, the passion and desire to lose 10 pounds. We are going to create losing the weight! We may want to begin by writing that number down for reference somewhere. What do we really want from losing that 10 pounds? I venture to guess that we want to look and feel better. What is looking and feeling better? For me, it is having more energy, more stamina, muscle tone, clearer thinking, more joy and laughter, happiness, and flexibility.
Now we have some stuff we can really work with!
Instead of it being a comparison of I want to lose weight so I look like Jane or Rick, we can shift our desire to being happy, flexible, have more energy and clear thinking. The real work is in the acknowledgement that through our moment to moment choices — we have the personal power. Baby steps.
We begin to question what we are eating, observe how we are moving throughout the day, notice what conversations are we having with ourselves and with each other? With our questions comes choice. We know we feel better after we exercise, so that can go on our list for goal setting, right? And how about rest, play, resilience ?
We’ve introduced choice into our curriculum. Maybe we can schedule a yoga class or biking or walking for a half hour each day. We choose water over cola and raw carrots over cookies. Some night, we could opt for sleeping 8 hours instead of 7 and to connect during the day with friends and family that support our heart’s desire. Remember our heart’s desire is really what our goal is, so if someone isn’t supporting your heart then we have the power to re-evaluate the relationship.
How do we stay-the-course?
Here are three core things I do each day that help me in achieving my goals and also build resilience and peace.
- I meditate, pray or read something inspirational each morning. This is the first thing I do.
- Stretching and some form of body movement. Yoga, walking, running, or whatever you feel drawn to, are healthy choices.
- I say thank you, usually out loud, each morning. I’m for the sun or the rain, for the air I can breath and to something greater than myself for guiding me and loving me. Make it your practice, so if you are grateful for seashells, then cultivate your peace that way.
These observations and practices set the tone for the day. They keep me humble — and on track. It helps me to remove comparison and competition, and builds alignment toward my personal goal of teaching inclusiveness and oneness.
Alignment is the bedrock toward the achievement of our goals. And knowing our goals are obtainable when we truly believe there is enough in our world, that we are enough and that everyone matters is our secret weapon to success.
So, what is your next goal?