How to Know What You Want
I just returned from co-facilitating a beautiful weeklong retreat. The retreat focused on dance and goal setting and we bonded, laughed and cried AND worked through our goals for the year. When the women arrived, they had a set idea of "what they wanted." Several expressed surprise (and excitement) when I didn't start our work with how to achieve your goals, I started with spending some time on figuring out exactly what you want.
Here's the thing, oftentimes we think we know what we want. But later we figure out that it's not what we actually wanted. Maybe it was a societal expectation (2 kids and a picket fence??) or maybe it is what our friends, parents or family want for us. In the next few articles, I will take time to detail the process to getting what you want, so then we can go out and get it!
Start by writing for 20 minutes, NO STOPPING, and start with "I want..." Write stream of consciousness and detail what you want in your life. Let go of expectations and let go of fear. Write about the things, people, feelings and places that you want to be a part of you life. Keep your pen moving! Consider all the aspects of life - work, spirituality, how you look, feel and act, relationships etc. LIMITATIONS EXSIST ONLY IN YOUR MIND.
Review the list and highlight or circle anything that comes up more than once. Or, highlight anything you feel strongly about. Do you have a positive physical response (sitting forward, feeling of excitement etc) when reading any of your I wants? Circle them! Then, make a list and estimate when you expect to reach those goals. Challenge yourself! If all of your wants are short term, think about the future and vice versa.
CHALLENGE: PICK OUT THE 4 MOST IMPORTANT GOALS FOR YOU THIS YEAR! THIS IS WHERE YOU START! THINK ABOUT WHY YOU WANT TO DO THESE THINGS. IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ENOUGH ABOUT IT - YOU WILL DO IT! THIS IS WHERE YOU PROVE TO YOURSELF WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH. PICK ONE ACTION TO MOVE TOWARDS EACH GOAL AND DO IT TODAY!
Write measurable specific goals with due dates. Re-write each goal as measurable and pick a date you'd like to achieve it by. For example "I want to be healthy" turns into "I will go to the gym 3x/week for the next 4 weeks."
Write about what it will feel like when you are finished. What will that moment look and feel like? Savor this! Connect to this as the motivation to get started.
Make a list of resources. What parts of your toolkit (whatever you need to accomplish this goal) do you already have? What do you need and how can you get it? What characteristics, friends, supplies, time, energy etc. Fill up your toolbox so you are ready to go.
Create a step-by-step plan. List out all the action step needed to get to that goal. Each step must not contain multiple actions. Then go back and assign a date to each step. Then, WRITE IT DOWN. Use your to-do-list or calendar.
Who else has done what you want to do? Wether is it your bestie or Oprah, do your research and see what they did. This is a study in best practices. Learn learn learn!
Speak it outloud! Tell a coach or trusted friend! Speaking it outloud starts to make it a reality!