We all have heartfelt goals – inner visions of a bigger version of ourselves. They are the way we grow into more of who we are, not because we aren’t enough, but because we are here, I believe, to continuously grow and evolve.
However, when we set heartfelt goals and start down the road to achieving them, it’s common for the initial enthusiasm and drive we have to wear thin as time goes by and this often leads to us either giving up, or putting the goal aside for a while.
There are many reasons for this, but I believe one of the most common is that we haven’t prepared ourselves on an inner level.
What does this mean?
Well, when one looks up how to set and achieve goals the most common answer that comes up is to make them SMART.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
This is a fantastic guide to follow, but there is another aspect that we need to take into consideration – the use of imagination and feelings.
There are FOUR key steps we can take before we start moving towards our goal that, when followed, put us in a strong position to achieve what it is we feel drawn to.
These steps are:
- Hold space to truly imagine the heartfelt goal
- Explore all your reactions around achieving the goal
- Develop a strong connection to your feelings around achieving the goal
- Integrate the goal into current reality by breaking it down into realistic steps
The perfect place to work with these four steps is in a journal and below, I’ll talk you through them.
STEP ONE – Hold space to truly imagine the heartfelt goal
As George Bernard Shaw wrote:
“Imagination is the beginning of creation”
When we first start to think about a goal it is vital that we give ourselves the time and space to truly imagine what it would be like achieving it as this makes the goal more real. Imagination is a powerful force. Studies have shown that our brains can’t tell the difference between what is imagined and what is real, and that when we imagine something vividly, we produce the same chemicals as we would if we were really experiencing it.
STEP TWO – Explore all your reactions around achieving the goal
When we set a goal, we have both supportive and unsupportive thoughts around achieving it and initially, we focus on only the positive. Whilst this is normal, what happens is that we miss out on a key step in goal setting – understanding our potential doubts. We need to pay attention to our unsupportive thoughts at the very beginning because they are showing us something – they are showing us what potential seeds of doubt are likely to come up in our minds later down the track.
When we have an awareness of our reactions before we start moving towards a goal, we have clarity on exactly what we are taking on the journey with us – and this empowers us.
STEP THREE – Develop a strong connection to your feelings around achieving the goal
Fundamentally we are feeling beings. If you were to look back over your life right now and recall events which are forever held in your memory, you will likely remember the feelings.
When we set a heartfelt goal, developing a strong connection to our feelings around achieving it helps us anchor it deep within our being and increases our desire to actualize it.
STEP FOUR – Integrate the goal into current reality by breaking it down into realistic steps
When we first start to explore a heartfelt goal, it exists only in our mind. Our current reality continues day by day, whilst we build images and ideas of a new and more fulfilling way of being.
Once these images and ideas take hold of us, we can’t let them go. Frustration sets in when we start to see the stark differences between where we are currently and where we want to be.
This is the point where we make a choice – will we continue to hold our heartfelt desires in our minds, or take steps to make them a reality?
If we don’t take steps, they remain in the domain of fantasy – a creation of our imagination.
Just as an artist paints a masterpiece one single brushstroke at a time, so we can travel the road between where we are now and where we want to be one step at a time.
This stage is highly creative, and journals are the perfect place to get clear on exactly what steps we need to take to achieve our heartfelt goal.
Breaking the goal down into steps is the stage where we take the creation of our imagination – our fantasy – and turn it into reality.
How many steps we need to take in order to reach our heartfelt goal and the time it takes to get there depends on the goal.
I hope you have found this useful. If you are interested in working through these steps in a supportive environment where you can ask questions and be guided through the steps, I invite you to look at my online course, More than a Journal – an introduction to the art of journaling, where I teach these steps. More information can be found here: https://belindabennetts.co.uk/more-than-a-journal-online-course/
Alternatively, if you prefer working one to one, I offer coaching in this both in person and via zoom or Skype here: https://belindabennetts.co.uk/personal-development-courses/