For a long time, I’ve been working on sorting out my head and life. I’ve been on courses, tried new methods and loved every minute of it. But deep down, I feel I have struggled to understand what it is I actually want.
There’s a lot of things that people can list as their wants, but for me, they are only ever “likes”. I’d like to have a flash car, but then why would I need one?, I’d like to have a bigger house, but it would just feel empty, I’d like to have more money, but what would I do with it. Not knowing what you want can be a real challenge when it comes to setting goals.
Since just before December 2017, I’ve been working hard to identify what I want, and it’s certainly true that you get what you focus on. I duly set myself some goals and read that it’s a good thing to write the goals, down. Not just once, but every day! Well this tied in nicely with a journal I had purchased to keep me moving forward so that was quite easy. I was writing in the journal every day so I just added this exercise to it.
I noticed my goals were evolving each day and after a couple of months, I am really comfortable with them, even though they are “big hairy goals”.
Let me explain the concept of big hairy goals:
If you set yourself realistic goals, you might achieve some of them either in entirety or partially, which is great, but, if you achieve some of your big hairy goals in entirety or partially, you would, by the very nature of how big they are, have achieved much more than the realistic goals. Clever concept right?
I didn’t know what I wanted, but the goals I set have evolved and grown and I noticed that my highest priority is security. If you read my last post, you’ll know that Mark, my other half, needed to have a real chat with me about not taking action, even though I know the correct path to take. I realised this links right back to my value for security.
Even though my goals seemed, frankly, ridiculous, when I first wrote them, (and they are massive) they are sitting really well with me. They seem to be “sticking” much better than any other goals I have set int he past.
Right now, I’m listening to The Values Factor by Dr. John DeMartini on Audible, and the penny has dropped! The reason these goals, big and hairy as they are, have stuck, is because they are based on my values. Everyone’s values are different, so the first stage to figuring out what you want is to figure out what drives you in terms of your values.
Much like everything I have learned, this now seems entirely obvious but looking back, I can see why I haven’t figured this out before now. Our internal and external lives can be in direct conflict with each other for social or other reasons. That creates incongruence which upsets us emotionally. I experience this as what feels like a bag of stones sitting in my tummy, I can’t swallow it and it hurts. As humans, we often yearn simply to just be like others and many of us struggle to accept we are different (all of us are, which is what makes this ironic).
I hear a lot about the concept of being “authentic” and I have tried very hard to live like this since a major event in my life almost five years ago. People often struggle with this as they aren’t used to authenticity, more used to being “British”, i.e polite and avoiding of difficult topics. The more authentic I was, the more I learned about people and the more people learned about me. How many times has someone said “hey, how are you?” and you’ve just said “fine thanks, how are you?” when you really weren’t fine and would have loved to talk through the issue but were scared in case the other person was just being polite?
Bizarrely, whilst I’m writing this, I’m feeling I’ve veered off the topic slightly, but this has made me realise that congruence or authenticity is also a clear value for me. And it links right into my security value, i.e. I want to become financially free for security purposes but I have to do this ethically and authentically, otherwise it won’t sit well with me.
So back on track, many people really champion the writing down of thoughts and goals, and I think you can see how much this has helped me in this short space of time already.
Don’t know what you want? Write some goals, rewrite them every day until they “fit” you authentically and then keep writing them every day anyway. This will help you to articulate values based wants. Writing does bring out a lot that speaking can’t. Trust me, my written work is much better quality than my verbal work 😉
If you don’t know what drives you, or you goals don’t “fit” you, read the book above. There’ll be lots of “aha” moments I promise.
Buy a beautiful notebook or journal and diarise time each day with it. Mine takes five minutes, not a lot of time for quite a lot of impact.
If you think you don’t have time for reading or learning about this, find time, do things like listen to ebooks and podcasts in your car instead of music or when you are out running or walking or even at work if you can. Turn off the television 5 minutes earlier so you can jot down your thoughts and rewrite your goals.
Figure out what you want, what really drives you, it’s often not quite what you think, I am surprised by mine but the clarity of knowing them means I can now plan my future in a way that will be much more sustainable.
Dr DeMartini has a website you can sign up to where you can analyse your values to get you started: http://www.drdemartini.com/values/login