Let’s talk some more about what it takes to step into the empowerment of turning your vision into reality. We’ve talked about intention and making sure that what you’re visualizing is authentic, compelling, and exciting—the components required for you to commit. So now you’re at the point of feeling committed and clearly envisioning the outcome you’re aiming to reach. The question is: How exactly do you get there?
That’s where goals come in.
Goals are the action steps that keep your process going. They are specific and often short-term benchmarks on the way to your bigger destination, always referencing your underlying intentions. For example, let’s say that you intend to be financially independent. You might set a goal of getting a job that allows you to afford an apartment by yourself. Then, you can break down that goal into even smaller action points, such as getting certified in a marketable skill that you know you have a talent for, researching the job market, polishing your résumé—even practicing for a job interview.
Visualization can be a key component of setting and achieving goals and a way to immerse yourself fully in the inspiration of the bigger picture. To continue with this example, maybe you’re good at more than one thing, and you’re not sure which type of job would make you happiest. You can sit down and visualize yourself getting trained and doing the job, really creating a three-dimensional inner experience, and see what comes up as you build your vision, always staying open to what your deepest truth tells you, rather than listening to external expectations that may not have come from you. This type of exploration is key to what I help you do as a coach— crafting action steps that align with your intentions and helping you refine or change goals as more information and experience become relevant.
Sometimes, goal-setting can seem unnecessary or boring—if you’re excited about where you’re going, why do you need to take the time to break down the steps to get there? Here are some of the ways that goals are valuable:
- Goals help us take smaller steps along the way, so we don’t get overwhelmed by the “bigness” of our intentions.
- A stated goal helps us to recognize when adaptation is needed or when a goal can’t be met. If you don’t have a clear sense of the action point you’re trying to achieve, you won’t know when change or refinement is necessary.
- Goals are a very useful marker of progress. We feel good when we achieve a goal we’ve set, and we build on that feeling to keep us moving forward.
- Goals help us to define the details needed for success and keep us on track. Done right, they build momentum while helping to define choices and direction along the way.
- How do you Okay know if you’ve set a goal the right way? It can be easy to blur the line between goals and intentions and set a goal that doesn’t break down into steps toward your bigger picture. The acronym SMART is a great tool to test whether your goal will serve you well. Take a look at your goals and ask whether it meets these criteria:
Specific: A vague goal isn’t a goal you can accomplish because you don’t truly know what it is. A vague goal would be, “I want to improve my skillset so I can be a greeter and client liaison at a naturopathic clinic.” A specific goal would be “I want to learn to touch-type so that I will have the data entry skills listed in the job descriptions I’ve seen for the position I want at a naturopathic clinic.”
Measurable: You need to be able to tell when you’re making progress with your goal.
Attainable: The goal needs to be something you can accomplish with the resources you have within your control. Taking an online course to learn to touch-type is an attainable goal. Learning to type 200 words per minute, on the other hand, probably isn’t attainable.
Relevant: The goal should be relevant to your intentions and your bigger picture. How does the goal fit in with what you want?
Timely: The goal should have a time frame associated with it and a completion date you’re aiming to hit.
When you have goals aligned with intention, you are empowered with useful tools to make your vision a reality.
Need help with purposeful, effective goal-setting?