Are you sure you’re aiming for your own goals? And what to do about it
Last week I wrote about the importance of action, and gave a suggestion to write a goal that you want to achieve, and then write the obstacles and reasons why you think you can’t achieve it, or might have difficulty achieving it. The next step was to write the specific action that you would take to overcome the old obstacles and move closer towards your goal…
The point of the exercise was 2-fold:
1. that your intention is immediately evident in your actions, and
2. if you’re avoiding taking action then your true intention is to do something else.
What if instead of writing the goals first, you added in one simple step…
Let’s say you feel like creating a goal in my life to complete a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); so you write down all the obstacles in your path and also the actions you will take to overcome those obstacles. Then you half-heartedly do 2 of the actions, and ignore the rest or find other more important things to do.
What’s just happened? Well depending on the person and the history and all the old programming etc, there could be many different answers to that question, so what if you simply did this.
Pick the area that your goal is most associated with, such as relationships, career, business, spirituality, family, health, wealth or whatever it is for you.
Now write down what is most important to you in that area of your life; and please, forget the temptation to write that you’re a saint and you value meditating 12 hours every day if you really spend every day in a bar. Make a list and write the truth about what is important to you and if you’re not sure just, notice your actions in that area, because that’s what’s important to you (though it might have previously been at a level outside your awareness).
Now, rank your list in order of importance with the most important value on top.
These things that are important to you are your values, and there are many different ways of discovering them; I won’t go into all the details here, except to say this, when you discover your values be sure you do not disown any part of yourself. Be honest with yourself.
The reason is simple – if you prioritise a goal that is out of alignment with your true values you won’t be engaged in it, or worse, you might give away your power to others and aim for their goals to please them.
Simply put, to achieve your goals they have to be your own and owned by you.
If they’re your spouse’s or your parents’ or those of your boss who has significantly different values to you, then it’s time to create goals that align with your own values.
Get your pen and write your goals for the area in your life that needs the most attention right now. You can write goals that you know you want, though I want you to also write goals that you notice you might be heading for unconsciously, even though you might not be entirely clear as to why, or might be now realising that you don’t want them.
Before writing the obstacles and actions, write your values for that area of your life, and then rank them in order of value to you.
Do your values and goals align well together? Are your top goals fully congruent with what is genuinely most important for you in that area?
No? Great also, because now you can do a course correction.
This is sort of similar to the space shuttle, which was off course over 95% of the time on its missions, and had course corrections carried out regularly by scientists and astronauts. Well believe it or not, you’re the one controlling your mind and your life, you’re the rocket scientist and maybe even an astronaut, so time to get to work.
As you course correct now, be sure your goals align with your top values and not your teacher’s from 20 years ago, or some idol you used to delegate your power to.
If you are with a partner, get them involved, because you might need each other’s help and support to do this.
You can also change your values, and if that is something you need to do, then become aware of that too.
Be keenly aware and honest as you do this because it will change the course of your life forever, especially if you are working on the area of your life which is currently in most need of an overhaul.
Imagine you sail from Sydney harbour on Monday morning at sunrise, and you’re heading towards New Zealand because someone told you it was ‘beautiful’ there at this time of year.
As you travel further east you realise that it’s getting colder and there’s even a bit of rain coming in, and what you really look for in ‘beautiful’ is actually a warm climate where you can swim. So you reset your sail only by a few degrees, just to get you travelling in a more north easterly direction, and thousands of kilometres and a couple of weeks later you arrive on the shores of Hawai’i.
Is New Zealand beautiful? Absolutely, though maybe not in a cold winter if you’re the type of person who prefers warm winters.
A small course correction now will produce massive results in your future.
Other people often have the best intentions for you with their advice and well wishes; however some well-meaning folks are not always conscious as to when they are imposing their values, and even fears, onto another person.