Over the past few years I’ve been questioning everything.
Everything I’ve believed about myself, about the world, about the divine, about “right” and “wrong”, about the way things work…
I regularly ask myself “is this really true?”
And one of the things I’ve noticed about we humans is how quick we are to adopt other people’s beliefs and philosophies on face value. We see someone who is successful, maybe a leader in their field, we listen to them and adopt their success strategies.
Rarely do we stop and explore whether what this guru is telling us is actually the best fit for us.
And often it’s not – simply because we’re wired differently.
Which brings me on to what I have been exploring this week.
And it is this idea that we should set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (the bigger and scarier the better).
The philosophy being that if we aim high, then even if we don’t hit our goal, we’ll get somewhere close – and achieve more than we would have done if we’d set a lesser goal.
For many people this is the exact motivation they need.
But I’ve discovered the opposite is true for me (but of course I do like to be quite contrary!)
I am currently on a health and wellness journey and I’ve set myself a step target to reach every day.
In the past I’ve set this to 10,000 because that’s the norm right?
However the previous two months (when I didn’t have support and accountability) my step count had been way down – some days I didn’t even hit 1000!
Sooooooo, because I didn’t want to “fail” and trigger my “you’re rubbish” story, this time round I decided to set my goal at 6,000 – ignoring the voices that told me “it’s too low”, “you should be aiming higher”, blah, blah, blah.
I discovered that by setting my target to something I knew I could easily achieve each day – something magical occurred.
Instead of counting steps becoming a chore – something I had to do because I’d said I would:
It became fun!
And not only have I been achieving them every day I am motivated to see how much I can smash my target by – the higher the number the better!
I’ve even started a competition with myself – to beat my August monthly step count (going brilliantly so far!)
I’ve learnt I love walking first thing (it’s such a magical time of day and it makes me more productive).
Who knew? I’m actually a “morning person” after all!
Now, counting steps might seem trivial – I mean it’s not exactly saving the planet is it?
However, when we transform our experience of the little things, our whole experience of life shifts.
Have you noticed how we humans seem to be addicted to striving?
Our focus being on hard work, solving problems, overcoming obstacles, moving through challenges?
“no pain, no gain”
“life’s not fair”
“I want doesn’t get”
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with hard work (and I love the challenges life throws at us!)
But in truth – it’s not that life is inherently difficult – it’s our experience of life that’s difficult.
For example, two people can experience the exact same circumstance in life – one will fly through it taking it all in their stride – the other will struggle finding it excruciatingly difficult and painful.
Same circumstances, but a totally different experience!
Which is actually GREAT news for us!
It means we don’t have to constantly strive to change our circumstances to give us the success and happiness we crave (that’s a path that leads to dead ends, brick walls and constant disappointment).
Instead we can work on transforming our experience of life by focussing on our relationship to the circumstances life throws at us.
Transform our relationship to life and EVERYTHING shifts.
Which means getting acquainted with ourselves – really acquainted with who we actually are (not who we think we should be)!
For me one of the things I’ve discovered is that setting easily achievable goals is actually fun and motivating (although there was a time when I needed to completely rebel against setting any goals because they fed into my “not good enough” story.)
So, I’m curious, what is your relationship to setting goals?
- Do you set big goals and are so motivated that you take all the action and go out and achieve them?
- Do you set big goals but are thwarted at every turn?
- Do you set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound) goals and achieve them?
- Do you not set goals at all, preferring to simply go with the flow and do what motivates you in the moment?
- Or maybe you have an entirely different relationship to goals that I’ve not thought of?
I’d love to hear so do share in the comments below.
Until next time,