There are lots of ways we can discover our potential and see what’s possible in our life. One very powerful way is through the process of goal-setting. You may ask —Why set goals? There are lots of reasons. One convincing one is that goals add meaning to our lives. We do this not just by accomplishing any goal but by working toward something that we value and is meaningful.
Goals help us see new possibilities.
A lot of people set goals that I label as should goals. These are goals that other people, family or society think you should do. Often these should goals do not resonate with you on a deeper level and leave you feeling unfulfilled even when you achieve them. The goal will sound perfectly fine on the surface such as work for a well known corporation, start your own business, get promoted to VP, manage a team, get in shape and lose ten pounds, volunteer or start a family. Setting a goal that does not interest or inspire you will only frustrate you. Stay away from these goals as they will rarely bring greater meaning to your life.
To clarify, the issue is not the specific goal.
The issue is whether your goal is a should or value goal for you.
Value based goals are aligned with a core value that is important to YOU such as adventure, respect, learning or connection. So if healthy living is not a core value then getting in shape will never be fun, even though health is a top priority value for others. Similarly, if independence is a core value then working your way up the corporate ladder and working for someone else may not be as fulfilling as starting your own business. And even more shocking, if family is not your top value then starting a family may take a back seat to building your business. Once you fine-tune your goals to align with your values, you will feel a renewed sense of motivation and purpose.
Full disclosure, accomplishing a goal that is aligned with your values is still not a walk through the park. You will always have speed bumps that come up on your path. It’s actually your ability to move outside your comfort zone through short term challenges that helps you build confidence and believe in yourself. This leads to a positive upward spiral which motivates you to explore what else is possible. Setting a goal that matters to YOU can be life changing and open your world to true success.
You know you have a meaningful goal when it speaks to your heart.
Alissa Finerman is an Executive Coach and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, speaker and author of Living in YOUR Top 1%. She works with managers, C-suite executives and teams to leverage strengths, shift beliefs and achieve meaningful goals. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked with Ross Stores, Petco, BNP Paribas, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Brookfield Property Partners, Neutrogena and Bristol-Myers Squibb. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and follow her on Facebook