Some of you who have been following me on Instagram (which you can do right here) knew that I spent the last few weeks abroad in France with my friend Tori Pintar. Part sightseeing trip (we spent a whole day touring the American-led beaches of Normandy), part visioning trip (lots of deep conversations), part working trip (because currently, it feels like I’m never not working), Tori asked me one day if I had any “fun goals” for 2018.
Examples she gave me were things like “Go on a backpacking trip with my girlfriends” or “Run a 10k” or “Make homemade pasta.”
In a word, the answer is no.
Not because I don’t think goal-setting is worth it. In fact, I think it’s really important.
The way I set goals for work (and life, but it mostly all blends together, and balance currently is a bit of a myth) is reviewing the previous year, and then deciding how I want to FEEL in 2018. Not what I want to DO.
The difference is this: if I’m setting goals based on how I want to FEEL, I’m focusing more on changing specific habits that make me feel like shit. Which is a lot easier to see a reward from than some arbitrary goal that’s not in line with what I actually want.
Here’s an example:
You say “I want to lose 10 pounds” so that you can feel sexy and confident with your partner (or with potential partners, for those of you dating). So you sign up for a race in the summer, and join the gym on January 1st. And after a few weeks, you realize it’s cold out, and you hate driving to the gym when it’s snowing, and This is Us is on, which is way more interesting. And you want to make chili, and relax on your couch, and spend time with your spouse or roommate, or your own damn self.
So all the while, you’ve “failed” on your goal of losing 10 lbs, because the goal wasn’t the losing of weight, it was the fact that you wanted to feel sexy and confident and connected to your partner (or to yourself). Which means it would have made more sense to identify the feeling first, and then build the goal around it.
So, how do we do this in practice?
Step 1: Review your year and highlight the disasters.
I reviewed my 2017, and realized, it was way too fucking busy. I was griping at my partner, I traveled incessantly to so many different places that I can’t even remember them all. I fought with my partner due to our collective stress, and I can’t even remember how many camping trips I planned that weren’t just “throw the camping bins in the car, and hope for the best.”
This is NOT how I wanted to feel this year. Instead, this year, I wanted to be SEEN (which is my word of the year). To me, being SEEN means taking risks, not apologizing for the mistakes I will make, and being more in front of people, despite the fact that it’s going to sometimes be a junk show.
Super fucking abstract, and hard to set goals from, right?
Step 2: Figure out what the FEELINGS are that make that big word above happen.
For me, the five words to support being SEEN are:
BIG, CORE, EASE, POSITIVE, ELEGANT
When I’m setting goals this year, EVERYTHING I do needs to make me feel one of those five ways. If I have a goal of running a 5k, I have to say “Does that make me feel BIG, CORE, EASE, POSITIVE, or ELEGANT?” And if not, I trash it. And if so, bring it on.
Some of the goals I set for Q1 include hiring someone onto my staff (oh, PS I’m hiring, so tell all your friends to apply here). That is going to make me feel both BIG and EASE because hopefully by December, having a person on staff will allow me to do more visioning, and also, being a company of 2 instead of 1 where I am delegating feels REAL big.
Step 3: Write down 4-5 actionable goals that fall under each word.
For POSITIVE, it means being sure that everything I do will be a success, so that means launching my first online event course, hiring an employee, and asking to be interviewed on podcasts, etc. For BIG, it means trying things I’ve never tried before, speaking on a REALLY big stage, and planning MORE for the Boss Lady Community in Q2). Then, pick three collectively for each quarter (sometimes they overlap), and then break down the steps weekly and daily to hit those milestones.
Step 4: Remember that it’s the small efforts, daily.
I don’t ever do this perfectly, and I fail ALL the time, but I’m positive that remembering how I want to FEEL helps motivate me instead of an arbitrary goal that isn’t alignment with my feelings.
So, that said I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!