Finding and setting the right goals


Sometimes when it comes to setting goals it can seem overwhelming. We might have no idea what to put down as our goal or we might have too many things on the list that makes it seem impossible. There are times when the goals that come to mind are goals that we think we should have. We should lose weight, should do more exercise, should stop smoking, should drink less, should call our parents more… If we approach the goal from a place of what we should do, it often doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter how many or how few goals we have, what matters is having the right goals. So how do we find the right goals?

The right goals don’t have to be anything mighty or grand, they don’t have to be something that anyone else will understand, they just have to feel right for you. When you think of them or write them down, you just feel good - excited, motivated, calm, curious, serene or some other pleasant emotion.

The right goals for you are those that are in line with who you are and your values. Your values are the things that are really important to you - it may be Connection, Discipline, Growth, Family, Partnership, Nature… They affect the decisions you make, how you feel, and how you act. The problem is that often we are not aware of our values. If we set a goal that is not in line with our values, it will be very hard to achieve it. Every time we try, we will feel ‘negative’ emotions that are trying to remind us of our values and make sure we do things in accordance with them.

Take loosing weight as an example, this is a common goal for many people and it’s also one that many people struggle to achieve. Values that could motivate someone to lose weight might be one of the following: Beauty, Agility, Attractiveness, Care, Comfort, Discipline, Dynamism, Energy, Health, Balance, Vitality or something else. Keeping the top values in mind, will help to achieve the goal and to feel more ‘positive’ in the process.

So which are your top values? For every goal you think of, which of your values is behind it?  Brainstorm, look through lists of values and pick out the 1-3 top ones that fuel your desire to achieve a goal. There are no right or wrong values - it just has to feel like a fundamental part of you. Then refer back to this value when you need to remind yourself why you are doing something.

Remember: ‘negative’ emotions may be drawing your attention to things that are going against your values or reminding us what is important to us.

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