Hello SOTGC community,
If you want to be truly successful in life, goal setting is not enough. Yes, goals matter; in fact, they matter a lot. The trouble is that most people are not aware of the single-most important part of the process.
If you want to live the “good life,” one with meaning, then any endeavor you decide to take on in life should start with this – intention.
There are hundreds of business books, personal development articles, and even well-meaning coaches
that can walk you through a process to help you set (and ideally achieve) your goals.
You’re probably already familiar with the acronym SMART when it comes to goal setting. It is widely used, and it is certainly very helpful.
A few versions of the SMART model can be used, and, in case you haven’t come across this useful approach, here is my favorite version of what SMART stands for:
Specific (the goal should be very clear … description is key)
Measurable (you need a way to be able to track your results)
Attainable (in other words, reasonable and realistic)
Relevant (degree to which it will meet your needs)
Time Bound (the definitive timeline for your outcome)
Although I use the SMART model with my clients as part of the Lifestyle Creation Process, it alone is not enough to get you towards living a life on purpose so that you feel you are aligned with purpose.
In my experience, the people that achieve the utmost success and happiness build their goals on a foundation of intention.
Goals and intentions are often thought of as one and the same, but they are actually quite different.
Intentions are linked to the meaning behind your goals. Put very simply, intentions have to do with the “why.” When you clearly understand why you have set your goals, you are much more likely to be energized by the meaning behind them, and this will help you succeed.
Let me give you an example:
I spoke to a woman recently who felt she was overweight, and it was making her miserable. She had picked up one of the countless magazines that had promised to help her “get her body bikini-ready by summer.” Yup, you know all know exactly what I am talking about (and if I am being completely honest, I have been lured in by those magazine covers too!).
She had decided that she was going to make it happen once and for all … she was going to lose the weight. Although the magazine led her to believe she’d get those results, they did not happen. She is like so many women that really yearn to lose weight, and follow a generic plan, only to feel frustrated because it did not work.
Clients often come to me with specific health and wellness goals in mind, and this particular woman wanted to lose weight. Before even working with her on the SMART goal setting model, I asked her a question …
“Why do you want to lose weight?”
Her response was, “so I can have my body bikini-ready for my upcoming beach vacation.”
Now, to some of you, that might seem like a perfectly reasonable answer, and it is. The reality is that her answer was much deeper than that. In order to get there, I asked more questions, and my questions often started with “why …? ”
At the end of our exploration, she came to realize that the real reason she wanted to lose weight had nothing to do with having a bikini-body … what she actually wanted was a more soulful connection to her husband.
After some more dialogue, she realized that she needed to feel a deeper connection with herself first, and she felt that it was very hard to achieve that kind of self-love while she felt disempowered by her “failure to lose weight.”
By working together, we were able to help her get clear on her true desires. And with that understanding, we then set out to establish her intention. In this case, her intention was, “to live her life with radiant health, self-compassion, and to love deeply.”
With this intention as her foundation, she was now ready to set her weight loss goals. If she had continued on with the idea that all she really desired was to have a bikini-body, there is a much higher likelihood that she would not have been successful in losing weight.
Although some of her initial goals were the same (exercise and food related), she was now aligned with the why behind them. This is what would ultimately help move her towards the intended vision she had for her life.
The reality is that achieving your goals, whatever they may be, isn’t always easy. There will always be challenges, and we’ve all been thrown enough curve balls to know that first hand.
Intentions are your guiding lights. They help you see your path, and that clarity can make the difference between just merely living, and living your life the way you would love it to be.
If you have ever felt frustrated because you are not achieving some of your health and wellness goals, I invite you to contact me for a free Achieve & Align Strategy Session. We’ll work together to help you get clear on what you truly want so that you can start on the path to living the life you desire!