Less SMART more Heart :)
One thing my client's all have in common, is that when they come to me they know they need to make some changes, they know something isn't quite right, but often they aren't sure what exactly. It's often multiple things from physical health conditions to relationship issues or mental wellness struggles to decades old mindset challenges.
We do the work - a lot of soul searching, deep diving and exploring of their emotional history and current landscape. When we have adventured to a point where the mists are clearing and the vision of where they want to be going becomes clearer it is naturally the point at which to set a goal.
A GOAL!!!! This very word can send people running metaphorically (or literally) for the hills. It sounds very corporate. It seems like a succeed or fail scenario. It feels deflating at best and defeating at worst. And i completely get it. I have been there. I have been sat with mentors trudging through the tried and tested S.M.A.R.T Goal setting. Now i am not renouncing years of research and study that suggests this methodology works BUT i am stating that it is not the most enjoyable or preferable format for everyone - and definitely not for me. For those of you who haven't encountered it stands for
For me it is too dry, too win or lose, too rigid and just plain old not enough fun! So what is my solution - take heart!
The process and pursuit of our goals is actually what delivers us the health benefits as well as the lifestyle improvement that we seek, not just the achievement of the goal. What i am saying is, if you enjoy the adventure to the goal, you are more likely to stick to it, try new things and increase your resilience when things go wrong - because let's face it, life happens!
My starting point is to make a list of how i would like to feel on a day in my optimal life. Try it. Would you be feeling 'free', 'connected', 'empowered', 'autonomous', 'loved', 'respected.' or 'authentic'? If you can embody the feelings you would get if you moved towards that vision of your optimal life you can then work back to where you are now. Then you go to your heart once again and ask yourself why do you want to feel this way, why is it important to you, why isn't this version of your life the one you stick with? (There's a lot of work to do around values here but that is for several other posts/podcast eps!)
When you have your why you need to bridge the gap to the what (feelings) we just talked about. You do that by adding in the How's. These are small, incremental changes that you can start to implement.
Here's an example - maybe you identified that you wanted more freedom and autonomy in your life. You may have found that the reason for this is that you feel constricted in your job and are missing out on spending time with your family or friends. So how do you go from here to there? Start small with things you enjoy. You could begin listening to podcasts or reading books by people who have made career changes. You could start to maximise the quality of time you are able to be with your family by creating boundaries around your availability outside of work to your emails. You could begin researching courses that would be accessible to retrain. It is all possible if you take it gently, slowly and with a huge dose of self-compassion.
See it more as an experiment not a test. If you veer 'off-track' get curious and find out why. Be gentle with yourself and enjoy the process back to the track, or if your curiosity provides intel that actually the track was taking you the wrong way all along - make a new track!
'Goals are a good thing - but they need a lot less SMART and a whole lot of heart.'
X Love Fliss X