3 Questions That Make Goal Setting Easier and More Meaningful
It’s that time of year again. The New Year. People are reflecting on the past year and planning for the future. It’s a time of excitement, and also sometimes of bewilderment because of all the many things we want for our future life.
I want to share with you the most impactful questions I’ve been asked over the last couple of years that have transformed how I decide what I want to manifest in my life, and create clarity so that everything I do is aligned with my deepest wisdom and true self. These question make goal setting easier and more meaningful. You can use them now as you create goals for the coming year, or throughout the year as you make ongoing decisions. These questions create a solid foundation upon which all other action steps can take shape. Like a North Star, they make knowing which way to go, which actions to take, and which decisions to make, all easier and more aligned.
- What are your Top 2 to 3 Values?
This exercise comes from Brene Brown’s work. It’s not easy to pare down your values to 2 or 3, but that is the point. Life pulls us in all kinds of directions and we are called on many times a day to make decisions about what we will say yes or no to, or what actions we will take. Knowing our key life values means we can test those decisions against our values. “Does saying “yes” to this align with my values or not?” “Do these actions align with my values?”
If you have a life partner, it is also great to go through this exercise together, so you can learn what values each holds most dear.
100 values are listed here: https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Values.pdf
Instructions for selecting your top values:
Pick 2 or 3 in accordance with the following instructions. I find it best to strike off the ones that I quickly know are not my top values and then work through what remains in more detail, asking the following questions.
A value is a way of being that you hold most important. The thing you believe above all else gives you direction. What are the 2 or 3 that speak to you the most – without which you wouldn’t be the same person at your core of who you are? Ask yourself – what do these values generate in my life? What would be missing without them? Without these I would not have this…. With these values I am capable of this…
2. What are you committed to?
It’s like the old saying “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”. In today’s world there are many competing pressures. Answering the question “What are you committed to?”, really causes you to put a stake in the ground and say “I am committed to this”.
I get it, committing to one thing can be scary, especially if you are someone with a lot of ideas and desires, like me. But fear not, because you don’t have to commit to this forever, just a reasonable period of time. For example, in your business, you might want to consider committing to one focus for 6 months, then evaluate how things are going and consider whether to re-commit for another 6 months. The length of time is less important than making the commitment. Without commitment you will find it difficult to get a toe-hold in any one thing and won’t make forward progress. And, worse, it will feel like you are being pulled in many directions.
3. How do you want to feel?
This question is the central question of The Desire Map work of Danielle LaPorte, and asking it changed how I approach goal setting entirely. You see, this question really gets to the heart of why we set goals in the first place. For example, we may want to leave our corporate job because we want to have more freedom to spend time with our children. How will we feel when we have more freedom to spend time with family? We might feel free, connected, loved. So, although the external goal looks like “I want to start my own business”, the internal feeling goal is actually “I want to feel free, connected, and loved”. Knowing this means that we can ask “How can I feel more free, connected and loved RIGHT NOW?” This is how we bring more happiness into our lives right now, instead of always waiting for “when I leave my job” or … insert any other “someday” here.
If you need some feeling words, you’ll find lots of inspiration on Danielle Laporte’s
I hope this help you create a solid container into which you can bring all the goodness of 2020 into your life.
Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!