Goals OR Intentions? Part 2/2

My previous post had the best of goal setting that I have seen.

Danielle La Porte alluded to how it is essential to feel you DESERVE the goal you set.

And… here’s more thoughts on why goals are a bad thing.

We often set goals from a place of lack. It’s possible to set a goal when you’re feeling great, and you just want to move in a different direction. But even once that is set, in my experience, once there’s a set goal in front of me it’s really, really difficult to strive and feel happy about not having had achieved it yet. Or, if I’m not making enough progress in time, it’s really, really hard not to feel down on myself.

Even if, from the perspective of core desired feelings or values or being, we are actually moving in a better direction, or we have moved to a different goal, or we just feel better – it’s really hard to pull that piece of paper down of my wall without a sense of failure. Shortcoming.

JP Sears here makes some great points about whether you are becoming who you want to be, and think you are – and how creating goals sets up the construct between an ‘old me’ and a ‘new me’. And that involves a rejection of who really are, in going after who you want to be.

It’s interesting that JP Sears actually thinks goals are a good thing – but what you need to ask is what part of you is creating your goal?

The insight that struck me, is that setting a goal is often to reject yourself. And if you do that, you’ve set yourself up for failure. Because achieving that goal wouldn’t resonate with the real you in the first place.

“Goals (wanting to improve) are not consistent with contentment (being happy with where you are).” – Leo Babatua

I first read the idea of having no goals in this post at The Minimalists:

 

100 Days with No Goals

“As for my new novel, I intend to finish writing it—I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life—but I’m enjoying the process of writing it, and if I never finish, that’s okay, too. I’m not stressed about it anymore.” – Joshua Fields Millburn.

Now when I first read those, I felt a bit empty and unfocused. I felt a bit of despair and a lack of purpose. That was a few years ago.

I have regretted not doing things year on year, and when I set goals to do it I often feel so much better for having achieved them. In the absence of goals, then, what do you replace it with – in order to ensure that you grow?

Kyle Cease in this video explains why we should set intentions. 

 

I love this video. I watched this the other day and it really hit me.

“Move yourself out of a sense of a do, and more into a sense of be” / “Allow yourself, more and more and more, to just be you.”

So, while marker pens can make my goals bold, and help me focus, and it’s a step up from how I used to be, I also see that the intention to simply do more good things every day e.g. meditate or write is a more grounding process.

So, of course, goals are important, and necessary to start to move forward. But there is a darker side to goal setting and I would like to either feel better about the entire process of setting and achieving (or not achieving) goals, or, feel more free altogether and simply become more of who I am as an intention.

When I feel at my best, I am open to possibilities, happy, and free to simply own who I am. I know, deep down, what I want. The question is, how do I accept where I’m at now, and also strive for a new goal? Similarly, how do I accept where I am now and feel proud of myself and have confidence, unless I know what I’ve achieved so far? Writing out goals helps with that, and helps me to see both my strengths and my weaknesses, with evidence. Instead of being swayed by my changing perceptions and the opinions of others, I have my own bold and trusty marker pens and paper.

So what do you do – do you set goals, or intentions? How do you set goals and how do you feel about them?

Goals OR Intentions? Part 1/2

Here’s my two favourite videos on goal setting.

So, I’ve continually gone back to this video by Clark Kegley. Since July last year, I’ve created a goal list each month. When it didn’t come easily, I listed everything I would ever want to accomplish, and pared it down to my 3 categories: adventure, health, and work (contribution, achievement, etc).

He also kinda got me into marker pens. Goals are way better to tick off with marker pens.

I’ve been pretty happy to see the goals bright and bold and ticked off – or not. I really like all his videos, and his channel dedicated to growth and learning new things to become a better person has really inspired me to drive for more each month. It’s not about the specific achievement, it’s about growing in the time that you have. It’s working for me, it’s making me prouder of what I do each month, and driven to make my goals new, interesting and bigger each time.

If you’re not growing, you’re dying – Tony Robbins

HOWEVER

Danielle La Porte has been really close to my heart for years. And this interview with Marie Forleo is how I first found her. From such an ‘ambitious cat’, it was a relief to hear Danielle articulate all the less-than-good feelings around goal setting, and come up with a wonderful new solution.

The concept of finding your core desired feelings also alludes to whether those goals are from you or simply to be seen as successful, or approved, by other people in your life (family, peers, society). How do you know? Knowing how it feels is the one true way to test why you want something. Expansive, or contracted? Is it your own intuitive joy, or some feeling of vague obligation? It really shifted my perspective and the more I worked through The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul… the more I brought out a clearer picture of who I want to be, inside.

“The goal isn’t about the goal, it’s about the way I want to feel.” – Danielle La Porte

Even when I couldn’t bear my goal list, or when I didn’t want to achieve anything. I get those days.

This concept also navigates the way setting goals often – not always – comes from a place of lack. Learn to love the process, not the outcome. Instead of saying you’ll be happy when x, how about finding a way to be happy now? Fulfilled. Loved. Worthy.

Enough.

(By the way, my present core desired feelings? Love, Expressive, Free / Possibility, Ecstatic, Grounded. That’s me, yo.)

HOWEVER

Should we scrap goals and not set any at all? 

In my next post, I’ll explore the case for that.