Let’s look at the traditional goal-setting basics and how we can tweak them to apply to intangible goals.
(1) Motivating – what you want must be meaningful to YOU
This one is clear: It’s YOUR life so it should be all about you–not in a self-serving way but rather in a way that fulfills the mission for which you know you were born. As contradictory as it may sound, even though you are focused on this very personal journey, your mission is far bigger than just you.
(2) Specific – the particular state of being, the subtle shading of it that is meaningful to you
If you find your state of being general and vague, go back to previous posts that contain questions designed to help you pinpoint your personal definition of the state of being and how that feeling physically manifests in your body.
(3) Attainable – the state of being must be something you think you’re capable of, even though you may have to work at it
(4) Measurable – the measuring guides are internal driven
A few years ago a friend of mine realized he had a very glum outlook on life. One of the techniques he used to measure his progression from glumness to a lighter outlook was to take a minute–literally, a minute or less–each evening to jot down in a small notebook his overall glumness versus lightness for the day. Over time he could see the improvement in his mood. The added benefit was that he had briefly noted tasks, situations, people, times of day, and the like that helped him feel happier, and this was invaluable information to further support his change to a more positive mind frame.
Even though the goal of “being happy” seems as if it can’t be forced to fit a timeline, you can measure progress using my friend’s notebook technique, for instance. While “being happy” by a certain date may be unrealistic, you can still measure progress.
(6) Write down your goals – good to have the reminder handy so you can press the reset button as needed.
(7) Action plan & follow through
Every day do at least a little something that makes you happy and stop doing, even a little bit, that which doesn’t make you happy! 🙂
In subsequent posts I’ll give more concrete examples and suggestions for concrete things you can do to make your intangible goals real. Let me know in the comments below if you have questions about what we’ve discussed so far. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,