HOW TO TURN YOUR DESIRES INTO GOALS
So you have all these amazing desires for your life, but you feel discouraged because you are not sure how to accomplish them? Or maybe you have started so many goals in the past, but you feel like you never succeed at them? Well good news, here is how you can turn your desires into concrete goals that you can accomplish.
Setting SMART Goals
The first thing to do it break out your desire into a SMART goal. You have probably heard this before Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Deadline. When you put parameters around your goals you are setting yourself up for success.
So let’s start with specific: you want to make sure you make your goal as specific as possible. I am going to use losing weight as an example. Instead of saying I want to lose weight, be specific how much weight do you want to lose?
Next, you want to make sure your goal is measurable. You need to make sure you are able to have a starting point and what you are working towards. Continuing with the example, you would weigh yourself to get your starting point, and then you would be able to measure your progress as you move towards your goal weight.
Make sure your goal is attainable. Do you believe that you are able to accomplish your goal? You need to make sure your goal is big enough that it stretches you but attainable enough that you believe it is possible to achieve. Sometimes this also means you need to break the goal down into more believable thoughts. Maybe you don’t believe you can lose 35 pounds, but you do believe you can lose 5, start there!
Is your goal realistic? This might mean doing some research around your goal, and understanding what is attainable for your lifestyle. It is not realistic for me to lose 35 pounds in one week. For this example doing some research I realized it is healthy to lose 1-2 pounds a week. So I will aim for losing 5 pounds a month.
Lastly, time deadline: put a deadline on the goal you are working towards. If I do the math if I want to lose 5 pounds a month my deadline would be 7 months from my start date. It is important to put a deadline on your goals because you need to understand what fears are going to come up.
Example of a Smart Goal
Specific: I want to lose 35 pounds
Measurable: Start weight and desired weight
Attainable: Do I believe it is possible
Realistic: Lose 4 pounds a month/ 1 pound a week
Time-Deadline: deadline 7 months
Facing Your Fears
Okay now that you have gotten very specific on your goals what fears are coming up? Take out a piece of blank paper and free write everything that comes to mind. Many times we stay in our negative habit because we are trying to protect ourselves from something. Go through everything that may be holding you back from accomplishing your goals.
I remember when I did this exercise I was afraid to lose weight because I was afraid that if I lost weight it would draw attention to myself and that felt very scary at the time. I didn’t have enough boundaries in place in my life at the time to trust myself.
Go deeper and keep asking yourself why you are afraid of the things you put on your list. Ask yourself why 5-7 times and uncover those subconscious fears that are holding you back. Also, notice if you are struggling with wanting to do many goals at the same time. This is a version of your fear coming through. To accomplish your desires you need to focus on one goal at a time.
Changing Your Beliefs
Once you uncover your fears you are able to have awareness around them. The most powerful tool you can have is awareness because you are able to catch your thoughts when they are not serving you and change them. Something I love to do is to notice when I am thinking a lot of fearful thoughts around my goals and I will say out loud to myself these thoughts are not surviving me I don’t want to think them anymore.
Also when you are starting to have discouraging thoughts take note of all the things you have already succeeded at. Keep a list handy. This can help you continue believing in yourself.
Another way to help change your beliefs is to make your goals fun! Where is the pleasure found within your goal? For me, I love to go to the gym because I get to put on worship music and sing along while I run! That is fun to me!
Notice Fear, Shame, and Negative Feelings
This is completely normal and will come up many times while you are trying to achieve your goals. Have a plan ready for when it does. Don’t let it be a surprise every time that derails you for weeks/months/ years.
Learning to Stay Accountable
This should really be called learning how to trust yourself. When we start so many goals and never follow through it can be really difficult to trust ourselves to follow through this time. Every time you take a step towards your goal you are building trust with yourself. Continue to use your plan around negative feelings towards your goals to help stay accountable.
Also, it is important to reward yourself (yes like when you were five!) For me I know that when I am done with a workout I love to take a bubble bath. So I make sure I have my lush bath bombs on hand at all time so I can reward myself with some self care by taking a bubble bath.
It Is All About the Journey
This is where the journey becomes a success, and accomplishing your goal is icing on the cake. As long as you are continually trying to achieve your goals that are succeeding. One of my coaches Sam Brown says to “use goal setting as a personal development process.” You are never failing you are either learning or growing. Every negative thought or habit is a chance to ask yourself why and learn something new about yourself. Every step is a chance to get closer to your goal.