We Don't Set New Year's Goals Because We Want More Things To Do.
We set them because we really want new things to FEEL.
For every goal we set in life, there is an underlying emotion that drives us. For instance, we strive to earn more money so we can feel the security that results from having our finances in order. We want to lose weight so we can feel confidence and self-respect. We want romantic relationships so we can feel deep intimacy.
So as I coach my clients and help them design their 2017 plans, I'm less interested in what their specific goals are as I am the feelings that those goals will create. Once we identify the underlying emotions that drive them, we can look for ways to feel those feelings in the present moment, rather than push our happiness and fulfillment off until we hit an arbitrary future goal.
And what I've found fascinating over the last year is once we identify what we want to feel, we will oftentimes give our power away to other people and things, expecting them to fill us up with these emotions rather than create them on our own.
This is a very unproductive approach, as we deflect responsibility to show up for ourselves and our dreams instead of owning our power to design the life we want. It also puts unfair pressure on the other people in our life who we expect to "complete" us.
One of my clients has a list of key emotions for 2017 that includes freedom and independence. She has a whole list of reasons why she is unable to create those feelings now, including uncertainty about her career and ongoing family drama that distracts her.
But it wasn't until we began to talk about her relationship that we began to uncover some deeper issues. On one hand, she claimed to be in love with the man she is seeing. On the other hand, she didn't see a meaningful future with this person, who is simply not emotionally available and can blow hot and cold as to his commitment.
Knowing that her needs aren't being met, I asked her to tell me what it is that draws her to this man and keeps her in the relationship. She talked at length about how much she admires him for travelling on his own, exploring new cities on a whim. He had such a sense of independence and freedom that she found magnetic.
Independence and freedom? The two core emotions she wants to create in her life next year? Hmmmm.
So I asked if she's drawn to this relationship because she feels truly cherished and safe, or because she sees a glimpse of the qualities that she wants to create, but feels powerless to do so?
A person who embodies freedom and independence would not settle for the breadcrumbs of connection in their romantic relationships, They would hold out for a committed and unconditional love.
And that's precisely the lesson this client will need to learn to progress on her personal growth path and find lasting fulfillment.
I see this scenario play out in a number of different ways. We don't just outsource our emotional fulfillment to our partners, we do it with our family ("If mom had loved me more, I'd feel more secure"), our career ("If the company just realized my value and gave me that raise, I'd be happy"), and material things ("If I just bought that new BMW, I'd feel like I'd be equal to my successful brother").
So as you set yourself up for the New Year, I encourage you to not just list your goals, but to list what emotions you want to feel. Then ask yourself where you have been outsourcing the fulfillment to other people or things.
2017 is the year for you to take back your power and design the outcomes you want on your own.
And if you need a coach and mentor to help you uncover what's blocking you and get results FASTER, I have a great special for the holidays. When you invest in an 8-session coaching package, I will throw in two extra session for free. Use the freebies for yourself, or gift them to a friend who is ready to make a change. All the info is on this link