how to write goals with feeling

Awhile ago, I read a great article in O about goals and creating.

Author Martha Beck advises writing down what you think you want. For example, “I want to lose 30 pounds.” Or, “I want to start a business.”

Then ask yourself how you think you’ll feel when you’ve accomplished your goal. For the first it may be, “I’ll feel fit, energetic, confident” and for the second it may be “I’ll finally feel in control of my life, freedom.”

Sometimes there’s a disconnect between what we think we want and the way we want to feel. For instance, many people who start a business feel anything but free or in control — in fact, they may feel as though they’re always working and that life is more stressful than it was before. And for some, a weight loss goal may seem overly daunting.

So the author recommends using adjectives to help you re-write your goals, beginning with how you want to feel. If you want to feel “fit, energetic and confident,” your goal may seem more specific and achievable, and you can support your goal with smaller and achievable steps like “eat more vegetables, exercise regularly, take a pole dancing or burlesque class.” And, if you manage to take those small, manageable steps toward feeling the way you want, you may find yourself on your way to losing 30 pounds after all.

So when it comes to feeling more in control of my work-life balance, income and freedom…well, I haven’t figured that one out quite yet.

dumping distractions

Yesterday I dumped a guy. Damn! I had forgotten how good that feels!

I suspect this sounds a little harsh. The truth is, I cancelled a date with a reasonably nice guy because he doesn’t have what I want. Yes, I know I need to practice dating again. And I’ve decided that I can accomplish this within certain parameters. It felt good to recognize that this guy was not in line with the direction I’m going in life, and to say, “Sorry. I don’t want to do this.” Making an empowered choice, one that nurtured my highest self, was deeply satisfying.

In small ways like this, I am rediscovering the power of affirmative choice. I spent nearly a decade developing great clarity about what I don’t want — this part is usually pretty easy. I’ve heard many women say, “I don’t want to be alone.” I’ve probably said similar things myself in the past. Transitioning to a positive vision of what we want — e.g. “I want to share myself with someone truly special” — is a deeper, more profound, knowing.

So I’m going to adopt the philosophy I take into the fitting room while shopping for clothes. I don’t buy it unless I’m in love. True, I fall pretty easily. But I need more clothes than I need men or hobbies or other diversions and flirtations that get between me and my ultimate bliss.

This challenge goes beyond being able to vote “YES!” to myself without hesitation. It requires discipline. I’ve always considered myself a bit of an opportunist — dreamy and flowing and allowing myself to be blown in the direction of the wind. More recently, I’ve also become easily distracted, possibly even developed (or come to recognize in myself) adult Attention Deficit Disorder.* So I’m going to have to stay focused, work my plan and keep my eyes on the prize. Here’s what I intend to do:

  • Develop and refine a clear vision of what I want
  • Believe that it’s out there and that it’s available to me
  • Stay focused; don’t get caught up with distractions (no matter how pretty and shiny they may be)

What pretty, shiny distractions are standing in the way of you having what you want or being the person you want to be? Which of these are simply and easily eliminated — dumped — by stating your truth?

*I realize the legitimacy of this condition and, no, I have not been diagnosed.