How to be happy while working toward your goals
Published first on The Chaotic Commute
Time seemed to stand still while I was surrounded by families cheering and screaming “10, 9, 8, 7 … “I felt a pang of desperation and anxiety, as I thought “I’m not ready for the New Year. I don’t know my goals. I don’t know what I want. I’m clueless! And I’m a therapist and business owner, for crying out loud!” Just then, I saw my guy walking toward me and I took a deep breath and reminded myself of something my personal hero Brene Brown said once” “We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”
We all have those moments when we don’t feel ready for new goals or change. It happens to everyone at some point. When I think of new goals, I often feel a mix of hope and discouragement. There have been goals I’ve tried and failed, and goals I’ve tried and kept going.
Being a therapist, I am in the business of hope. I see clients change their lives every day. Kicking horrible habits to the curb. Experiencing freedom when they say “no” to their mother-in-law or boss, lose 20 lbs, and glow with self-confidence. It is why I wake up every morning. I know change is possible, because I see it all the time.
In order to see change, you have to start with your goals
Goals are my one of my favorite parts of being a therapist. Over the years, I’ve created a recipe for goal-setting, which I guard almost as protectively as my mom’s lemon-bar recipe. True story, for another time. I’m just not ready to share that recipe yet. Baby steps, baby steps.
Because I love the you so much …. I’d like to share one part of this recipe with you today! Something that is often overlooked.
It is critical to know the WHY of your goal
It’s the WHY part of your goal. You see, when we set goals, most people get laser focused on WHAT we want. WHAT is the language of your head. WHY is the language of your heart. Knowing your WHY is critical.
The WHAT is pretty easy. We want to lose weight. Get promoted. Read more. Better finances. A Chanel purse. New car. More sleep. A new, gorgeous kitchen.
The WHY can be harder. But, if you know WHY, it will help keep you stick to your goals and you can start to feel satisfaction right away, while you work toward your goal. Think about it, you and I may both want the same thing, but we may want it for completely different reasons.
How to find your WHY
My favorite tool to find your WHY is a list of “Universal Yearnings” from “Transformed: The Science of Spectacular Living”).
Here’s what you do. Take a deep breath, close your eyes. Think about connecting your heart, head, and gut. Read the list. Notice what stand out to you. You may have one word or several. Everyone is different.
I yearn to ….
learn and grow
do what I came here on earth to do
make a difference
fulfill my purpose
unfold my destiny
feel connected to the greater whole
be one with all
For nearly 10 years, my “goal” was to get a bigger home. When I figured out my “why” was to connect, belong and matter to people, I realized I could have all those things — right away! I started hosting parties in my simple home to connect with friends. It was honestly liberating. At my first party, I gave a toast to all my friends and I cried. It meant so much to my heart. And, I had a blast while waiting for my bigger home.
Friend, here’s what I want you to know. You don’t have to wait. You can get what your heart really wants, but you have to figure out what that is. I encourage you to take a moment to connect your goal to your WHY.
Picture yourself in a room with people shouting excitedly “10,9,8,7…” Imagine a big ole’ smile on your face as you feel confident and satisfied with where you are now, and where you are headed–at the same time.
Lauren Schifferdecker, MA, LCPC is a TEDx speaker, author of “Inspire Your Life” ebook, and owner of Inspire Counseling Center. You can get her free e-book and inspiring newsletters via www.inspirecounselingcenter.com