During a coaching session, a client once mentioned how she would need to have her ‘game face’ on for an upcoming interview.
Why do you need a game face? I asked. That sounds like hard work.
What? You mean I can just be myself, she asked.
We both laughed.
It’s important to be authentic of course, but no one ever said it was easy.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all just told the truth?
If you’re looking to make positive changes in your career, it’s so important to let go of the need to control how you’re received.
There’s an innate drive within us to please others to protect ourselves from being thrown out of the tribe, but we need to resist the urge to mould ourselves into what we believe others want to see. Otherwise we’ll never be free.
To accept the promotion. Give up the successful law career to become a teacher. Start the business of your dreams. Or ask for the long-overdue pay rise.
Our success depends on our willingness to detach from how others might view us so that we can be who we are.
Truthfully this is more of a constant shedding than an instant change but you can make shifts surprisingly quickly.
Here is the advice that’s helped me the most:
1) Take nothing personally.
This is a nugget from Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and there are few things I’ve learned that have been more valuable.
When you release yourself from reacting personally to events. ‘The interviewer hated me.’ ‘My boss didn’t ask for my opinion in that meeting.’ ‘My friend didn’t call when I was sick.’ You let go of the stories you make up in your head, most of which are not true but which cause enormous suffering.
By the way, I still catch myself out with this so remember, humans are meaning-making machines and we are hard-wired to make up stories, so don’t be hard on yourself. The main thing is to recognise when you do it and then let it go.
2) Focus on how you show up instead.
How can you show up authentically and let yourself be seen? Which action will make you feel as though you’re doing the right thing by yourself.
When I say this I don’t mean that you should go and blow off your commitments without a care. It’s more about behaving in a way that’s in alignment with your values and true self.
For example, if you know that being honest about the challenges in your previous role is going to make you feel like less of a fraud in the job interview then tell your truth. Let go of the need to control the outcome. Newsflash: you can’t do that anyway!
There are so many situations where letting go of the need to control what others think can lead you into a greater connection to your true self.
Like networking situations that cause worry and stress over whether you are good enough.
Or social events. Or apologising when you feel you need to. Or telling someone how you really feel about them.
When you practice this way of being, it will change how you approach everything.
You will feel braver and truer.
Admittedly it’s not the easiest option out there.
Far easier to put on your game face, though in the long run a lot more costly.
I love to knit.
I picked up a pair of needles a couple of months ago and was instantly smitten.
Of course I’m not particularly skilled at it yet. I haven’t knitted since I was a child and it doesn’t come naturally.
The ladies in the yarn store raise their eyebrows when they seem me coming.
But my new pastime has taught me something important.
The act of creating something with my own hands is so satisfying that the dropped stitches and mis-purled rows don’t mean a thing. I persevere regardless.
I’m not going to tell you that doing what you love will lead to amazing career success.
The truth is that’s pretty unlikely, at least until you become skilled at what you love.
For years I tried in vain to find my passion.
In those days I believed that if I did enough soul searching I’d figure it out.
But my passion wasn’t something that could be figured out by thinking, only through doing. By pursuing new interests, going to new places, meeting new people or even trying out different jobs.
Without pressure or judgement.
Of course there’s an element of risk involved in this approach. You might fail. It may not turn out to be everything you’d hoped.
But when you lean into what you love, even if it’s a hobby, it starts reshaping your attitudes and changing the choices you make in other areas of your life too.
Doing what you love opens you up to more of what you love.
Start with one thing you’re curious to try.
Be prepared to suck at it in the beginning. Be open to enjoying it anyway.
Your passion is not something you accidentally trip over one day like a forgotten pair of shoes in the hallway. It might not cause a light bulb to click on in your head.
It’s something you actively create through the choices you make, day by day and year by year.
If you want to do something you love then my advice is: be curious and let yourself follow that curiosity without judgement.
It may all start with a pair of knitting needles, but you never know where it will lead.
Want more advice like this? You can download my 4 Step Guide to Creating the Right Job here.
Be a lamp, a lifeboat or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. ~ Rumi
This is one of my all time favourite quotes.
Because when we focus on being a light to others, it also helps to heal our own pain and I have found this to be very true when it comes to money.
When you experience the joy that comes from contributing to something as part of a collective, whether it’s ending poverty or starting a community project to enhance people’s lives, it can be hugely motivating. You will want to do more, be more and contribute more. It changes your mindset from one of lack and want to one of sufficiency and potential. That’s incredibly powerful.
This is the real freedom of having a healthy and mindful relationship with your money. Of course it benefits you and your family, but the ripple effect reaches further than we can imagine.
By the way, today is Day 13 of the Money Mindfulness Challenge. If you want to check out the tips I’ve been sharing to help you become more empowered around your finances, you can find them here or here.
So how can you be a lamp today?
Start looking for opportunities, you’ll find them everywhere once you turn on your antennae.
Maybe it will be sharing your story with someone who is struggling financially, or sponsoring a child. It could be thinking about what kind of role model you want to be for your kids (this has been on my mind a lot lately).
Please share your ideas in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
This week I’ll be talking about dealing with your biggest financial fears and reclaiming your power around money.
Today is the first day of our Money Mindfulness Challenge and I’m really excited about the lessons I’ll be sharing with you over these next 30 days. It’s been over four years since I started studying my relationship with money and building a healthier attitude towards it. What started as a bid to attract more wealth through money manifesting trainings, gradually evolved into a more mindful way of life that freed me to live in a way that was grounded in sufficiency instead of lack.
Having grown up believing there was never enough money and that money was in fact the work of the devil, it was life changing to realise I had the power to direct what money I had, regardless of how much or how little that was, to make a positive impact on the world. For me this was the missing piece in all of the money trainings that focused on bringing more wealth into your life, they never addressed the effect of our rampant consumerism on the environment. How we spend the money is just as important as what we attract, and when we spend it well, with thought and conscious intent, we infuse that money with positive energy. We give it a soul.
I learned that it’s not just about accumulating wealth so that you can feel secure, it’s about what you do with that money to create a life of meaning for yourself. It’s also about feeling safe that there is enough to go around and that you have the resources and know-how to always take care of yourself.
Over the next 30 days I want to share the lessons that have helped me to cultivate a more positive relationship with money, change my behaviour around it and address my underlying addictions (yes this can be shopping but avoidance is another).
I’m hoping this will help you to build a life of sustainable prosperity and wellbeing. You don’t have to do every single one of these challenges, but I highly recommend the money cleanse which we’ll be starting in week 1. I know frugal living can sound harsh but what I want you to discover as I did, is how incredibly freeing it can be. Having said that, I believe in having fun too so it’s not about spending zero money all month long. But being mindful of your spending is one of the core principles of our work for this challenge. I’ll be doing it right along with you.
Please note too that this course is not about financial advice. I’m a coach not a financial advisor. What I have witnessed through my work is how our views about money can lead us to kill off our dreams. I’ve coached enough women on their careers to see this in action over and over again. We decide that we can’t have what we want because we would never be able to earn enough or we’d have to give up a stable income. It takes courage to deal with these limiting beliefs and take a leap of faith.
If you feel stressed out and anxious around money or if you’re just plain frustrated with never having enough to cover the bills, I want you to join me for the next 30 days. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you will save a few dollars or maybe you will create more ease and happiness in your life like I did.
We start with a Full Moon Intention Setting Ritual.
Why? Well I’m a big fan of rituals and as I’ve found, working with the phases of the moon can supercharge your intentions and illuminate your true path. We’re going to be talking about each phase of the moon during the challenge. Tip: If rituals are not your thing, don’t force yourself to do this one. This challenge is all about going with your intuition and what feels right for you.
Here’s what you can use for your ritual (this is totally up to you but here’s what I use):
Your favourite herbal tea
Now ask yourself this question:
What is the change you want to see this month?
In yourself? And in the world?
This is big so take your time to journal and meditate. If you’re coming up empty, just write the question in your journal and leave it be. The answer will come in due course.
It can help to ask:
What has become intolerable in your life? What are you no longer prepared to put up with? What do you think is blocking you from living the life you want right now?
Your intention could be a circumstance or a certain behaviour or pattern that you recognise in your life. Maybe you can’t keep savings in your bank account or you have a habit of always spending more than you earn and tipping over into debt.
The change you want to see in the world could be as simple as deciding that you will contribute as little as possible to landfill this month. Maybe you start donating to a charity or a cause you care about. Remember that it’s ok to start small. That’s the whole point.
Now that you’ve set your intention, follow along with the lessons on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be posting daily with the hashtag #moneymindfulnesschallenge. Please follow along and share your own successes, challenges and ideas.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Lynne Twist’s book The Soul of Money that I try to live by:
When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.
There is a reason why this update hasn’t been posted until now, and that’s because April went a little nuts.
There have been new clients, job interviews, PR opportunities. There were also many happy events, including reunions with old friends, social events with new ones and family celebrations including my son’s birthday.
As it turns out this abundance challenge has taught me a whole heap more than I bargained for about what’s truly important in my life.
You may remember at the start of the month, my goal was to create extra income to manifest my dream of buying a home. This has been something I’ve been working hard towards for a long time now, and it seemed like I was in the final stages, where just one last push would get me through to the finish line.
Instead, by the end of week 3 I was forced to take a good hard look at my goal and what it was really costing me. I’m a goal-driven person. I do not like to give up at all. But this didn’t feel like giving up. It felt like a release and a sweet relief. I had been pushing way too hard, and let’s face it, it’s not supposed to be that hard. For those of you who love Tarot, I was the embodiment of the Four of Swords last week. I’d had enough of being in the driving and pushing, followed by exhaustion and recovery cycle. I decided that I can still buy a home but I don’t have to do it right now.
As someone who has a pattern of overwork and trying really hard to achieve my goals, it was jarring to have the realisation that success doesn’t always have to be hard won. I can make a different choice.
So at the end of this challenge, rather than pursuing my goal at all costs I’m choosing freedom.
This decision has opened up a lot of space in my life. If I don’t have to get the mortgage, I don’t have to work full-time hours, which means more time for family and to work on my business and that feels expansive.
I’ve also started a practice of following the phases of the moon which has really helped me make sense of things and release what’s no longer serving me. I’m getting a sense of what being in flow feels like, instead of pushing myself to the absolute limit.
As I write this post, the moon is full and in one of its Yang phases, which means it’s a time for taking action and the perfect time for doing release work.
If you want to do a releasing ceremony to mark the full or disseminating (waning) moon, here are some ideas.
1)Write a journal prompt: What do I need to release at this time? See what comes up for you.
2) Do a check-in on your goal. How are you feeling about it now? What has changed? Are you happy with the progress you’re making? What do you need to let go of to make this happen?
3) Is this goal still serving you? This is one I never thought of before but it came up for me this month. Is it time to reevaluate your goal?
4) Write a forgiveness list. Think of everyone who has upset you, caused you grief or made you angry this month (including yourself). What was the positive intention behind the person’s actions? Write that down too. Now find a fireproof bowl or go outside and burn your list. Breathe. How do you feel? Lighter?
I hope you’ve learned as much as I have about what abundance really means for you through taking part in this challenge. As I discovered, it’s ok to do things your way. Your way is the right way even if it goes against the grain sometimes. All I know is I’m very grateful for all of it and I’m finishing the month on a high and excited about what is coming next.
On that note, I have something new lined up for May and I think you’re going to love it. We’re going to be talking about how to be more mindful with your money, not so much in terms of budgeting, although we’ll cover that too, but how you can direct the flow of money in your life. This is about taking back your power around money. I can’t wait!
We start next week. Don’t forget to follow along on social too.
We’ve reached the halfway point of our challenge. I don’t know about you but it’s been a tough week thanks to Mercury Retrograde, littered with plans that went sideways, and problems with contracts and paperwork. I feel relieved to emerge on the other side with Mercury going direct again today, and a New Moon in Aries tomorrow.
I’m so ready to move on from the emotional, heavy energy of last week.
Having said that, I had to appreciate that there were lessons in those challenges around taking charge and being more of a boss in certain areas of my life. Maybe that’s what Mercury Retrograde can do for us – hold up a mirror to what needs to transform. As we move into the New Moon, ask yourself: What do I need to leave behind? In what ways am I not being me?
Another big lesson for me this week was around making choices that are in alignment with my goals. I have a tendency when trying to manifest more money to say yes to everything, especially when they’re the kind of opportunities I’ve been hanging out for. As I found out this week, you really have to be discerning. Abundance takes many forms and more work is not always the right way to create it. It may sound counterintuitive but more work is rarely the answer!
It’s good to remember that it’s absolutely fine to say no to whatever opportunities the universe brings to your door this month. If it’s not quite right send it back with gratitude. It will allow you to be even clearer with your intentions.
The silver lining was that I remembered what I really wanted was to get started with my fundraising project. I found a not for profit I really want to raise funds for a while ago but have procrastinated over reaching out. I feel like a total novice when it comes to fundraising but like anything else it’s a skill that can be learned, so I’m putting a callout through my networks to get advice. It will feel so good to get moving on this and it goes back to one of my big life goals of philanthropy so I’m glad to be making space for it. Think about how you can give instead of get this month. Not only will it be more fulfilling to help others, but according to the universal law of polarity, when you give you must also receive (I’m pretty sure it’s in the Bible too but don’t quote me on that #lapsedcatholic). Of course I know you don’t give in order to get, but it’s important to give with a cheerful heart and trust that your needs will also be taken care of.
On the home front I’ve been decluttering (again) and creating my home space the way I want it to be, setting up an alter, making it feel as cosy as possible and honouring the change in seasons. We’re deep into autumn here in Melbourne so I’m nesting and grounding myself in appreciation for what I have now – a great way to create positive energy around attracting the new home that I want to buy.
I’m still tracking every cent that comes into my account (more refunds as it turns out – what is going on with that?), and trying to stay in gratitude for every blessing that comes in. There have also been interview requests from journalists and lots of interest in tarot readings from members of my community.
There’s a lot going on this week so stay in the loop on Facebook and Instagram. Let me know how you’re going or tag your post #abundanceinapril.
We’re one week into the Abundance in April challenge and I have to say the energy has been intense around here. I’ve started to build momentum although progress has been slower than I would have liked as I’ve been recovering from the flu.
Having said that, I’ve had so much to be grateful for this week including extra time off to enjoy school holidays with my son, a doubling of employer contributions to my retirement account (out of the blue), an unexpected $70 refund, help and support from friends, negotiating a better deal on a business software package, free parking and some great feedback from clients that I’ve been working with.
With all of that I feel like a lot of new opportunities are emerging but haven’t quite come to fruition yet. In the past this would have made me stall or give up. It’s obviously not working so what’s the point? But now I know that this is really all about navigating the mystery – that in-between time when you set your intention but it feels like nothing major is happening. It’s when you have to take action in faith even though you can’t see results yet. Faith is so important and in the past, this has helped me to overcome so much resistance to what I wanted to create in my life. I’m drawing on this strength again this week to put my plans into action and act on my guidance even when I feel nervous and unsure.
Apart from what has flowed in here is what I’ve learned this week:
1) To stay in gratitude and be thankful for every blessing
I’ve tried to make it a habit to wake up in the morning and give thanks right away for my day and what lies ahead, even if I’m feeling not so great. It definitely gets the day off to a positive start. It’s been easier to do this because I’ve set up a practice most days of writing down every good thing that happened during the day, from the 5c coin to the colleague who helped me out to meeting a new and helpful contact. As it turns out, there is a lot of good stuff happening in my life every single day that I haven’t always paid attention to.
2) The importance of reaching out and asking for help from your community
Because I’ve been ashamed in the past about my financial circumstances, I still find it hard to reach out and share or ask for help from others. I’ve tried to break out of that this week by being in community and sharing what’s going on with my friends and accepting that support and encouragement. This is hugely important and one of the reasons I’m involving you, my community, in this too. We’re all in this together. No one can do this alone, no matter how independent we feel and want to be.
3) To deal with my money blocks in a more compassionate way
This week I discovered that I’ve still got some blocks around what I deserve to have in my life and I’ve become aware of all of the judgements I hold against myself for not being where I want to be financially. The danger for me is getting stuck in that place of beating myself up (which is really just a form of resistance) and letting it go. This has been my main work this week. And by the way it’s common to find that emotions come to the surface for healing when you make changes like this. You’re transforming your relationship with money here and it’s not easy. So patience is required and a bit of love and self-care too.
My intention for this coming week is to get more into the flow of money and abundance and take actions with more ease, rather than pushing myself, and I’m really looking forward to what this week will bring.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for updates during the week too. I’ve also got my weekly reading on careers and money going up on Insta tomorrow so watch out for that.
I’ve been working on my money blocks since 2014.
That was when I realised my marriage was falling apart and I was going to have to go it alone with a young child.
Needless to say, getting myself sorted financially has been a major focus these past four years.
And I’ve learned a lot on that journey.
But I’ve noticed that every time I set a new bigger goal for myself all of my old (or maybe new) stuff comes up again, and I run the risk of falling back into my old ways.
- Like complaining about my circumstances even though I know they’re just temporary.
- Acting out of fear or desperation.
- Or not taking the actions I know I should because I’m afraid of what people will think.
Of course all of this negative thinking just attracts more of what I don’t want!
This year I’ve set myself a big goal – to buy my own place. Back in 2014 I never thought this was possible for me. It’s hugely exciting and a little confronting at the same time.
I’m throwing everything at this one to make sure it happens ASAP.
Which brings me to this month’s challenge…
I had this idea to focus on more Abundance in April because I need to raise my own money consciousness to another level so that I can do more, be more and give more.
And I thought what the heck, maybe you might like to join me?
You may be thinking well that’s great and all but how can focusing on the concept of abundance really benefit me?
Well if you sometimes feel a bit hopeless when you look at your bank account. If you think goals like buying property or launching a new business are beyond you, or you’re just sick and tired of living from pay check to pay check then this challenge is for you.
We’re going to literally take apart those self-limiting beliefs that are stopping us from achieving our goals and start taking actions that bring us closer to what we really want.
Some of them might challenge or scare us, but I’ll be here to support you if you run into any snags, and I’ll be documenting how I go on the blog and on social media throughout April to let you in on everything I’m doing to make this happen in my own life.
I want to do this for myself but I also want to support you.
Plus I think it’s going to be a blast!
Are you in?
Here are the guidelines for Abundance in April to keep us on track and in the right headspace for success:
1) Gratitude is a must
The only way to get out of lack mode and into the space you need to be in if you want to attract more abundance is to feel gratitude for where you are (yes even if it sucks at times). It’s also great if you have a habit of complaining about money. Ahem.
2) Track every bit of abundance that comes in
The abundance that comes to us is not just monetary. It’s also about time, resources, fun, love, freedom – all the things we really want (because it’s never really about the money). So I want you to track every bit of good that comes your way. Already in April I’ve had extra days off and two Kiva loan repayments. There is magic in noticing everything that lands in your lap. Do it every day. Write it down in your journal, or track it with an app but make sure you notice and give thanks for it.
3) Let your money flow out as well as in
This is so important and something I had to learn the hard way. Hanging on too tightly to those purse strings will block the flow of money into your life. It helps to think of money like water, sometimes it crashes in like a wave and other times it slows to a trickle but it’s always in motion. When you pay a bill give thanks for the services you receive, buy your friends a coffee, loosen up a little if you tend to be a tightwad (no judgement if this is you – I’ve had tough times too!) and see if this has any affect on what comes in.
4) Allow more abundance in
What opportunities do you have to bring more money in? This may take a bit of digging particularly if you don’t have a business, but the more you can make it a habit to think this way, the wealthier you are going to become. Just to give you a few examples: You could sell stuff, ask for a pay rise, put a callout on Facebook for extra work like babysitting, mending, writing, baking or sign up for Airtasker. Those are just a few to start with. I’ll be sharing more about what I’m doing on the blog in the next couple of weeks. But the key is to attract the opportunities that are right for you – you’re the only one who’s going to know what these are. Be open and aware of any thoughts, feelings or ideas that pop up around this. Don’t dismiss them as coincidences. If I have my way you will never believe in coincidences again after this challenge!
5) Look for signs and celebrate when it’s on the way
Look for tiny signs that your abundance is on the way (like my Kiva loan repayments – I knew that things were being stirred up when I saw that). Sometimes just deciding that we’re going to change our situation and outlook can be enough for the energy around us to shift. Celebrate every tiny win (even if it’s just your boss buying you a coffee – track it!). Smile when you pick up that 5c coin off the sidewalk and give thanks to the universe.
6) Have a cheer squad
There’s no use going to all this effort to change your mindset and your life if you surround yourself with negative vibes. That doesn’t mean you need to ditch your friends but you do need to be mindful of the people you surround yourself with. If they’re Debbie Downers who complain about money all the time, maybe tell them about this challenge or at least explain that you’re making an effort to be positive about your money and you need them to be supportive.
7) Remember your why
What is your big fat why for doing this project? Maybe you want to break a pattern of never having any money left at the end of the month. Or you want to take a really fancy holiday, or like me, you’re trying to get the deposit together for your first home. Whatever it is you need to have it front and centre in your mind to galvanise you and get you off the couch when you have a bad day. Do what you have to do to keep it front of mind whether that’s creating a vision board above your desk or writing it on your bathroom mirror.
OK so here some mantras to help you get off to a flying start in this first week. If things get tough or you find yourself starting to slide into negative energy use these to snap out of it.
- It is safe for me to receive
- I am worthy and deserving of more abundance in my life
- I am becoming a wealthier woman each and every day
Let’s go! I can’t wait. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #abundanceinapril.
I’m so excited for us:-)
Are having a midlife crisis? If you are, chances are it’s not much fun (cue the desire for sports cars, alcohol, affairs and anything that might give you a temporary high).
We rarely view this time of life in a positive light, but it can be the catalyst for a more fulfilling life, providing you with an opportunity to chart a new course toward the future you always wanted but were afraid you couldn’t have.
I’m no astrology expert, but there are reasons why we experience this upheaval in our middle years. Just as our Saturn Return (or quarter life crisis) can trigger events that move us toward adulthood, astrological cycles mean that we experience a midlife crisis around the age of 40-42 when we’re forced to take a look at what’s no longer working in our lives. Having reached life’s midpoint there’s this ‘now or never’ energy as we realise it’s our last chance to create the life we imagined for ourselves in our 20s.
If you resist these changes, things can start to fall apart either in your relationships or career. From what I’ve seen in my own life and those of my clients, it’s not uncommon for both to fall apart at the same time (don’t panic if you’re about to turn 40 though, it doesn’t have to happen this way!). In astrological terms these transits are the Pluto square, the Uranus opposition, the Neptune square, and the Saturn opposition. In essence, these transits are pushing you to evolve further into your authentic self.
During my midlife crisis I was going through a divorce while building my skills and knowledge in a new industry with a young baby in tow. Yes it was challenging. Yes I was dealing with a great deal of loss. But the important thing is that it ultimately led to a much brighter future for me, and it can for you too.
So how do you know if you’re having a midlife crisis?
You might feel restless or confused about who you are now and what you want out of life. Maybe you’re questioning your values and priorities. Are you leading the life you wished for? Continuing on with your old life may even start to seem impossible. This is why you often see people abruptly leave jobs and marriages, or sell their house to go live in Paris for a year. The old way of living is no longer in alignment with the person they are becoming and it’s more painful to stay where they are than it is to change.
If this is happening to you, here’s what I would suggest:
1) Don’t be afraid to let go
The first step is to stop feeling like a failure and to release the shame of not having everything figured out by age 40 (no one does!). When you understand that this process will lead you to a better future, you can start taking action with a little more courage and lean into the changes. It’s never too late to change your life.
A midlife crisis will often coincide with a spiritual awakening, a growing awareness that there’s more to life than what you’ve been led to believe so far. This could mean anything from developing a meditation practice, seeing a kinesiologist, getting coaching or counselling, attending a church or reading personal development books. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it helps develop your self-awareness and tune into your inner guidance.
2) Give yourself permission to want what you want
Figuring out what you really want is a critical first step and it can take a bit of time to unearth. It’s amazing how we go through life without giving serious thought to our desires, often because we don’t believe deep down that we can have them.
It can also be confronting when you realise there’s this big yawning chasm between what you want and your current situation, but now is the time to be honest with yourself. Your midlife crisis is an opportunity to let go of all your old beliefs and patterns, and replace them with new ways of thinking that will support your path to a happier life.
3) Visualise your future self
When you think of your future self, what do you see? Pay attention to your secret dreams, the ones you don’t reveal to anyone. They might be based on thoughts, feelings or visions you have about your future.
When I was going through my career transition I had visions of myself as a teacher which at the time, seemed unlikely, not just because I was absolutely terrified of public speaking, but because I had no idea what I could possibly teach others. This vision or idea wouldn’t go away so I came to understand that it was part of my path, and since then I’ve led many workshops and even given a keynote (miracles are possible!).
Who do you see yourself becoming? Your answer will give you clues about which steps to take next.
If you’re anything like me, you will be carving out time this month to set goals and make exciting plans for the year ahead. Whether it’s time to plan a girls’ trip to New York, learn to knit or finally write the book, there’s nothing like a new year to give you the momentum to finally get moving.
I’ve tried a multitude of goal-setting methods over the years. Some have helped me to make big shifts, while others lay forgotten in my journal all year. What I’ve learned is that there’s a lot more to goal setting than writing a list of new resolutions each year. But you know that already or you wouldn’t have read this far.
Here is my favourite method for setting goals you can stick to and achieve mainly because you’re actually truly excited by them (this is so key). I can’t stress enough how important it is not to set too many goals for yourself. You’re going to feel so much better about achieving one major goal than you are about half-assing 10 different things.
1) What do you want to experience this year?
A six figure income? More time for yourself? The wind blowing in your hair as you finally take that road trip you promised yourself? Think about how these experiences will make you feel. Do you want to feel inspired, energised, affluent? Write it all down.
2) What do you want to make more time for?
Latin dance classes, reading books, margaritas with friends, sex. I know you’re already busy but what are you craving more of? What would you do if you had an extra couple of hours a day? Add that to your list.
3) What contribution do you want to make?
In your job, your family, social groups, the world. Maybe the contribution you want to make this year is to your work, a charity organisation or maybe it’s to your marriage. You have to decide what’s most important and prioritise it so that it actually gets on your calendar.
4) What do you want people to say about you after you die?
It might sound like an odd one for goal setting but in essence this question means, who do you want to become? You can never ask this enough in my opinion.
Now review your list because it’s time to get serious.
5) Which of your goals/desires are in conflict?
For example if you want to have a baby this year, but you also want to have a gap year working with children in Cambodia, you’re going to have some major challenges making them both happen!
Evaluate which ones are the most important to you.
6) What will bring you the most joy?
Which are you most excited about? What will be easy? Who can help you out?
Next consider where you most want to make a contribution and your ‘what people will say about me after I die’ list. Which of your goals will help you to embody those qualities? Where can you have the most impact?
When you finish you should have no more than three goals.
Three is probably doable if you’re not too busy. One goal is just fine.
I highly recommend setting quarterly goals to work towards and then breaking it down again month by month. You might even decide to focus on one goal per quarter so that you can stay focussed (this works for me).
Remember that we tend to overestimate what we can achieve in a year. But please don’t let that put you off doing this exercise. Because as Seth Godin once said:
The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.”