It’s early January and our inboxes have been flooded with various emails about how to set effective goals for the year ahead, each with a different perspective and angle. I personally enjoy the New Year as a time to wipe the slate clean, to check in with my heart and to re-align my inner compass.
Many people feel a certain resistance to setting ‘goals’ for the year. I know I have in the past. The whole process can feel too masculine, pushy, or ‘corporate’. I do, however, believe that the act of tuning into your heart to listen to what wants to be expressed or created through you is essential to creating a life you love. Without some form of heart-centered intention or goal, we can drift aimlessly in a sea of possibility without having anything secure to anchor ourselves onto, and nothing to work towards that will allow us to really stretch and unleash our full creativity and potential.
A clear, heart-centered goal acts as an internal compass to guide your daily decisions towards your ‘true north’, allowing you to more intentionally create a life you love.
A heart-centered goal lights you up just thinking about it. The thought of reaching it uplifts, inspires and motivates you.
Heart-centered goals lead to ‘inspired action’; tasks and actions that feel exciting and joyful. If you’re feeling the need to set some powerful, heart-centered goals for the year ahead that will actually get you to where you want to be, I recommend you use the following process. This may take some time, but I promise you it’s worth it.
How to Create Powerful, Heart-Centered Goals That Actually Work in 6 Steps
STEP 1: ACKNOWLEDGE & CELEBRATE EVERYTHING YOU DID AND EXPERIENCED IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR
Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit for everything we do do, and instead focus on what we think is still missing. The simple act of documenting, acknowledging, and celebrating everything you did in the previous year lights the fires of passion, purpose, and creativity for the year ahead. Gratitude and appreciation for all the goodness that manifested in your life provides an inspiring and exciting platform from which to springboard into your dreaming and goal setting. The easiest way to do this step is to write it all down, making sure you document:
- What you DID;
- How you GREW;
- What you LEARNED;
- Which new CONNECTIONS or networks you established;
- And any other highlights of the year that feel significant.
To effectively map out exciting and magnetic goals it’s important that you first tune into a vision of your future that makes you feel really excited when you think about it, as well as your purpose. There is a subtle but very important distinction between your vision and your purpose. They’re very closely linked, but you can think of it this way:
“If your vision is the map, your purpose is your inner compass.”
– Jeffrey Davis, Tracking Wonder
Your vision is the final destination you desire to arrive at. You need a map to show you where you are now and where you want to end up (your vision). Then you need a compass (your purpose) to help you continuously point yourself in the right direction, in order to reach your final destination. Your vision summarises the qualities of the life you would like to live, while your purpose defines the details of how you serve others through your work.
If you need some inspiration for possible feelings, take a look at my Core Desired Feelings Library inspired by Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. Click here to go to the Core Desired Feelings Library.
STEP 4: ENGAGE IN DIVERGENT THINKING TO DREAM BIG AND IMAGINE QUANTUM LEAPS FOR YOUR LIFE
Don’t you think it’s a pretty amazing thing that the only thing limiting us in life is our imagination? That we can literally do anything we want if our heart and soul want it badly enough? We get to literally dream up the life we want to live. As Price Pritchett says in his book You2:
“Seeking the quantum leap means violating the boundary of the probable. It means achieving well beyond the obvious. So don’t limit your desires to what you think you ‘can have’ …. start going after what you ‘want’. This means you must give yourself permission to dream, to risk. You must set yourself free.”
– Price Pritchett
- Will this goal help me feel the way I want to feel?
- Is this goal aligned with my authentic heart’s desires?
To be effective, your goals need to feel like a stretch (but not too much of a stretch that it feels overwhelming), and they need to feel exciting!
Whispering Heart Coaching