You’ve Set Your Goals, But How Will You Nurture Them?
For the first time in three years, we’re allowed to worry about something other than a global pandemic!
Come 2023, you can almost smell the goals in the air- the perfect replacements for cookies, cake, and all of the excesses that invariably mark the last week of December. So if you’ve given up on goal-setting because it just never seems to work, may we encourage you to give this particular podcast episode on goal-setting a listen?
If you have indeed set goals and have every intention of exceeding them, let us be the wind beneath your wings in this article.
Why do so many goals fall flat on their faces?
Having a goal, and working towards a goal, are two very different things. This isn’t to say that we as individuals are lazy, or not motivated enough. Sometimes, it comes down to the simple fact that life happens.
James Clear’s Atomic Habits is famous for a reason- it advocates a shift in identity over a shift in what we do. For example, if we want to begin to learn a new skill, identifying with that skill can help our minds shift into the right gear. We can tell ourselves, and others, “I am a budding driver” or “I am mindful of what I eat”, and these statements are a lot more powerful than saying, “I am learning how to drive” or “I am trying to eat healthily.”
One small step for words, one giant leap for our goals.
Another crucial aspect of setting goals is nurturing them. What do we mean by this? Nurturing a goal can be as simple as
Spending 15 minutes a day working towards the objective
Gathering and curating information that could help us achieve our goals
Exposing ourselves to diverse viewpoints from people who have achieved similar objectives in the past
Being mindful of what triggers come up when we try to accomplish a goal
When we set goals, they are usually aspirational. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we feel more inspired than we feel afraid of this lofty goal we’ve set for ourselves. What is a problem, though, is assuming that the path to getting there will be linear. Roadblocks aren’t just common, they will positively be there.
In a span of 365 days, life will invariably happen, and we will inevitably break our practice. The key to getting back is to treat it like the journey that it is.
So, how do I nurture a goal?
Gardeners will agree with us here- nurturing a garden begins with pruning.
What aspects of your life are you willing to shift around in order to make space for your new goal?
More importantly, what is your priority order for your goals? Which ones are non-negotiable, and which ones are somewhat optional?
By accepting that we have time and space for just a few things at a time, we allow ourselves a chance to pursue whatever we choose with more intentionality.
The next step toward nurturing your goals is to gather information. The curious cat never actually died- it ended up with nine lives instead. By casting a wide net around things that
Fall on the fringes of things that interest us
We can expose ourselves to the sheer diversity that is life on planet earth. Some of the most successful people in the world spend their time like so
Deep work hours
Pursuing other interests and hobbies
In doing so, they expand their horizons and add new ideas to their toolkits. But, how does this benefit your goal?
Every growth system benefits from diversity- we often work better in January after Christmas break, or right after a happy milestone. The mind is a creature of curiosity, and when it is fed with enough diverse information, it has a way of thriving and being able to do even more.
Our recommendation here isn’t to spend an endless amount of time scrolling through social media apps, but to be mindful of what you put in your mind. You can choose to explore a different topic each month, or try a different activity.
And then, you can give yourself a task- what can you bring to your goals from these experiences that you have?
Have Fun With The Process
When a goal is unmet, or you give up the pursuit, it does not mean that you are a bad person. It simply means that you ran out of the fuel needed to sustain something for longer periods of time.
By nurturing your goals and having fun along the way, your source of joy is no longer just the meeting of the goal, but enjoying every moment along the way.
So, how will you be nurturing your goals in 2023?