You are driven. You have dreams, wants and desires. That’s why you set goals – to make those dreams a reality.
But there’s something missing.
Maybe you’ve asked yourself…
“Why do I feel so empty inside? I thought this is what I wanted.”
“Why is it that no matter how hard I try I don’t achieve what I want?”
I know I have.
I’ve been a competitive athlete for 32 years, so I’m familiar with goal setting. I’ve set goals and I’ve achieved many of them. But after a while the rush of the highs were followed by lingering lows. My wins started to feel like empty victories, training became a chore and eventually I lost my enthusiasm.
I was making the worst mistake that most people make. And it leaves you feeling empty, unfulfilled and frustrated.
The mistake is focusing on the destination.
And there are a few problems with this.
1. It can create anxiety around the goal’s looming due date
2. When you’re so focused on the prize; you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the process
3. And finally, once you achieve your goal- you’re left feeling empty. Maybe even thinking, “is that it”?
So, it’s back to the drawing board and you set more goals - and work to achieve the next one. When does it ever end? When do you actually feel that sense of fulfilment?
Or worse. You don’t even achieve your goals! So you beat yourself up, stress and feel like a failure.
Reverse Goal Setting
This concept was first introduced to me by Benjamin Harvey from Authentic Education. It’s not centered around setting and achieving something…it’s based around feelings.
The trick to reverse goal setting is to focus on how you want to feel everyday not what you want to achieve.
The point is to have smaller, bite sizes goals you can set every day to ensure you don’t forget to enjoy yourself…every day!
Ask yourself – “how do I want to feel today?”
This is not meant to replace your goals but compliment them. In life, everything you do is for a feeling.
For example – You eat healthy food because it helps you feel more energetic. Going to the movies with your partner makes you feel connected.
Or producing a great work report makes you feel proud.
Because you are fulfilling an important need you will consequently be progressing towards more of the lifestyle you desire anyway (without the pressure of goals).
Loads of people are trying this with great success. Take Angelo, a client of mine who was so stressed about uni and work he had lost his enthusiasm and was only focused on finishing his exams. We worked together to change his perspective and put a more effective system in place. As a result, he was able to switch from feeling like he was just surviving until after exams to being able to feel more enthusiastic and enjoy every day.
So, I challenge you to give reverse goal setting a go and bring the feelings you want to feel to your every day.
I’d love to hear how you go!
“I’m not interested in destinations, they’re not particularly important. But the journey is very important.” - Tina Arena
Until next time…remember that YOU have the power to steer your own course.