“But what’s your WHY?” It’s the question that can be the hardest to answer when trying to figure out your purpose.
For the longest time – I couldn’t figure that out. But the more I tapped into it, the easier it was to stay consistent and actually reach my goals.
Because going after something for success, status, or to please other people isn’t good enough. And while doing something for the fun of it is a great place to start, it’s hard to keep that momentum up when you’re not clear on why you’re going after your goals.
It’s easy to drop off, get discouraged, and let go of your goals when you can’t figure out what the point of it all is, right?
If you’ve ever come across a vegan with a strong why for what they’re doing, you’ll get this concept right away. Having a mission like that isn’t just a goal for people with strong whys – it becomes their lifestyle.
There’s so much power in belief and in knowing the purpose of our pursuits.
Sometimes those whys aren’t rooted in our hearts and can be problematic, but the most sustainable goals are part of our identity and belief systems.
Yet, we get caught up in the instagram highlight reels of Bali retreats and crafting the perfect banana bread, and forget about how to tap into our own vision and align our goals to who we want to be.
We tend to opt for what sounds good, feels like what we “should” be doing, or just feels like the logical next step. Because honestly, it’s easier sometimes than digging in and getting clear on our purpose.
In order to get more clear on how to craft vision aligned goals, let’s dive into how to tell if your goals might not be purposeful.
Here are three roadblocks in goal-setting.
We craft goals with an outcome in mind – and often believe that we need to struggle in order to get the things that we want. And I’d argue that isn’t the case for vision-aligned goals.
While we will always have to do things we don’t like doing, we don’t need to suffer through in order to get the results we want.
If you’re constantly feeling like you’re forcing yourself along your path, find a different route to the same goal where you can actually enjoy the process. Perhaps it’s a slower route, but at the end of the day, consistency beats any quick-fix if it’s only temporary.
Life is the process. It’s not a destination, and it’s important to remember that as we go after any goal in life. You’re here right now – living your life. Stop chasing things that don’t matter, and remember to enjoy the present moment.
Well before Instagram, people were trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” We often create goals because we think they look impressive to others or we want to prove something to ourselves, because we feel insecure. It’s a perfectly good pursuit to always be working on becoming better, but it’s not a competition.
Work to keep improving. But work toward being your best, instead of the best – and everything will shift.
When you’re crafting goals based on income, pageviews, or follower counts, you’re crafting goals that are ultimately outside of your control. And when you don’t hit them quick enough, you’re likely to get discouraged.
I still set number-based intentions that I’d like to hit, but I set goals based on what I have control over. For example, posting to my Instagram account 3x per week and connecting daily with my audience is something that I have ownership over.
However, whether or not I get a certain number of new followers isn’t always determined by these actions. And when they don’t happen can leave you feeling powerless instead of empowered.
Now let’s dig into vision-aligned goals.
Rooted in values and vision
Your goal needs to be rooted in your bigger picture, and a why for what you’re doing.
You and someone else can have the same goal, but the intentions behind them could be entirely different.
Let’s say we’re dreaming of running the Boston Marathon because it’s impressive and we’re determined to do something that people say we can’t do. But we’ve never run in our life, and we absolutely hate running.
I couldn’t jump to the conclusion on whether this is a value-based goal, but having a goal like this makes me curious about the intention. Is it a goal for the sake of feeling impressive? Or is it a goal to push yourself and see how far you can go, and what you’re capable of when you put your mind to it? Is it both?
What’s the meaning? What are your intentions? I believe we should ask ourselves that before every goal we set in order to evaluate what we truly want – and whether it’s driven my status and ego, or by our inner desire to expand ourselves.
We’re such intuitive beings, especially us females, and often, we sabotage ourselves from the very beginning of goal-setting by doubting our ability. We need to believe that even though this goal is challenging, we can do it.
So often I hear people saying, “we’ll see how it goes” or “I hope it works out this time.” And you can already tell that they’ve set themselves up for failure. We must believe in our goals, or we’ll prove ourselves right.
Lifestyle layout approved
What do you want your life to look like? A lot of times our goals contradict what we want our lives to look like. And yet, we wonder why we haven’t been consistent. For example, taking a job that requires you to travel a lot when you want to have a tight-knit family and have a baby might not be correlated with your bigger picture vision.
A lot of times we can still go after our goals in a different way when we’re clear on what we want our lives to look like.
For example, actors will sometimes opt for taking a job in television instead of in movies, so that they don’t have to travel as much. They’re still getting to act and pursue their dreams, but the path they’re taking is more in line with their overall vision.
There will be times in which your goals make it so that you temporarily have to do something that isn’t aligned with your big picture goals. You might work a night shift, until your employer allows you to switch to a day shift in your job. Or you’re going to college in order to get the job that’ll allow you to get where you want to be.
I believe that is part of the process, but again, we can find ways to enjoy the journey as we work toward the lifestyle we want.
How to adapt your goals
All that said, our lives can take us to crazy places we could’ve never dreamed about or put on our vision board, and I think that’s wonderful. We should always be open to new possibilities and never be so set on our vision that we’re not open-minded on the how. But without some direction, we can get totally lost.
It’s worth the time and energy to hone in our WHY and our vision, even if it takes a completely different direction. The how can be adjustable, the why will remain consistent.