How to Meet Your Goals – An Unconventional Approach

Artemis aiming for the targetI’ve had a love/hate relationship with the whole concept of GOALS for…. well, maybe my whole life.

While on the one hand I have dreams and visions of what I want to achieve, where I want to go, who I want to BE in this world; on the other I am a rebel at heart who hates rules, structures, and following anyone else’s path.

As a young child in the 1960’s, trapped in the rigid Catholic school system, I felt forced into routines that squelched my creative imagination, a round peg forced into a square hole (to mix up a cliche).

That left me wanting to make my own rules and forge my own path—which, in many ways, has made my life a grand adventure full of surprising twists and turns and amazing encounters that I could never have imagined had I dared try.

Now, I can see that I DID set goals and set out to accomplish them…. just not in the conventional ways. 

As a business owner, operating an unconventional shop and healing center while raising a family, I became fascinated with productivity, reading avidly on the subject and trying out different systems. I kept a Franklin Planner for years, read The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People multiple times, and created organizational systems where nothing had existed before.

The Yin and the Yang

Looking back, I can see that I naturally have a strong, analytic left brain side, along with an equally fluid and creative right brain aspect. I kept trying to get the left brain to dominate the right brain so I could stay on top of things and get it all done.

As a young female business owner, I felt like I had to lean hard into my masculine (or Yang) side, in order to look and feel successful and productive.

The truth is, BOTH the male and female aspects served me well in creating and maintaining that business. I can see now that when I got too obsessed with achieving goals—the old school way—and with being perfectly productive, my business actually LOST some of the whimsical wonder that attracted customers in the first place!

Now, many years later, I  have a new perspective on achievement and goal-setting.

Although I haven’t dumped the word ‘goals’ by the wayside, I prefer the term “Intentions”. It feels less hard-edged and demanding. 

It doesn’t matter what words you use though—if you want your dreams, visions, goals, or intentions to come to fruition in the physical world you will likely need more than to ‘Just Do It’.

I have come to understand Alignment is just as important as Action. And both are essential.

Here are some truths that I have learned about how to meet your goals:

1. Start with how you want to feel

It’s pretty easy to focus on what you want to DO when you go to write down your goals. Maybe you want to write a book, run a marathon, lose 30 pounds, or double your income. Before you do that, take a step back and consider how you will FEEL once you have achieved this lofty aspiration.

Really dig in and write down some adjectives or scenarios that describe the feeling you will have when you are 30 pounds lighter or twice as wealthy. Who will you be? Write this down and keep it somewhere that you can revisit it. By tuning into those feelings you will find motivation and momentum to keep moving forward. Plus it allows you to use the power of your own thoughts and energy to manifest the fulfillment of your desire.

2. Aim high, yet acknowledge your personal situation

Make your goals a bit stretchy. The best ones feel a little appalling like how could little old you actually get there. And yet, it’s counterproductive to set intentions and goals on a timeline that will be extremely difficult for you achieve, given your life circumstances. So you need to find a balance.

For instance, if you are a single mom with six kids, and you set a goal finish a novel trilogy in a year—you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m not saying it’s impossible. In a co-creative Universe, anything is possible. However, we are physical beings with bodily needs for things like sleep, food, and a modicum of care. Keep a balance in your life and you will be on the path to success.

3. Focus on just a few at a time

My biggest obstacle in manifesting my intentions is that I tend to try to focus on too many at once. This splits my attention, and I end up spinning in circles and not making progress toward any one of them. I’ve realized that consistent attention and action toward a few prioritized intentions will reap much more rewarding results!

4. Keep them front and center

Another mistake I’ve made is to write down my goals in a fit of inspiration, and then tuck them in a drawer (or a folder on my hard drive) and forget to revisit them. Go ahead and and write down a big list, but then prioritize your few and stick them up where you can see them! Or put a reminder in your calendar to pull them out and review them. We are evolving beings. Sometimes you’ll find you need to tweak those intentions a little. Revisit them often and make adjustments as needed.

5. Give them a time frame

Okay, this might fall slightly into the conventional or ‘old school’ ideas about achieving goals, but it’s one that makes sense. A mastermind leader I once worked with had a motto, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” I’ve come to realize he was very wise. I’m really good at dreams. When I don’t give them that deadline they often remain just that—dreams.

6. Visualize Yourself Already There

Don’t just bust your behind working working working to get there. Sure, there will be action steps taken on the physical plane. But start with your imagination. It’s a bit like #1, tuning into how you want to feel, but goes further. Really picture yourself post-marathon. What will you be wearing, who will you be with? What choices will you be making next? Create a strong vision of you as already there to return to again and again.

This falls into the Alignment that I mentioned above. It is just one method of aligning yourself with God, Spirit, Universe to open yourself to receiving success.

7. Celebrate mini-wins along the way

Often we get so caught up in wanting to get there, that we forget to acknowledge and celebrate how far we’ve come. Take time each week to pat yourself on back for those things you HAVE accomplished, as well as for your other multiple achievements that may not be related to your immediate goals.

If you attend to this step, celebrating and rewarding yourself for the good things you do, you will get a double reward with a surge of energy to keep going.

8. Seek Out Support

There’s nothing like an accountability buddy, or a friend, or a group of like-minded people to get you back on track even when obstacle after obstacle shows up in your path. Find someone or a group of someones to whom you can declare your goals (there is great power is stating them out loud), and who can cheer you on, give you ideas when you feel stuck, and believe in your success.

Plus, it’s just plain more fun that way.

Not sure who you can ask to be your support person? Read on…

Manifest and Get it Done!

If you’re another unconventional soul and this got you feeling motivated…. If you’re excited and ready to meet your goals in 2018, check out Manifest and Get it Done in 2018. A new Online Manifesting/Accountability Circle. We’ll be working with the ideas above and more, helping each other to make those intentions manifest THIS YEAR.

We start in early March. Click HERE for more info.

Do you have any unconventional ideas about how to meet your goals? Please share in the comments!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Kathy Crowley

    I love this, Sarah! I, too, am someone who participated the rigidity of Catholic School. I have considered myself blessed in life to have a balanced left and right brain; I love organizing and developing my own structure while letting my creativity flow within it. I am so comfortable now in acknowledging my inner rebel and letting her do her thing. There is such synchronicity in reading this post; I spent time this morning writing my intentions in anticipation of “Manifest and Get It Done” (So excited for this to begin!!). I will go back to them now and do some visualizing; seeing myself with what I have accomplished next year, and how I will feel when I get there. Talk to you soon!

    • sarah

      Wow, we certainly have a few things in common Kathy! Awesome that you are already working with your intentions. I’m excited to kick of “Manifest and Get it Done” too. It has already given me so much motivation and helped with my focus. “See” you soon.

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