Did you know that only a minuscule portion of the world even sets goals? We’re talking about less than 10%. Did you know that, of that small pocket of people, it’s estimated that only 8% of them are actually achieving their goals? These statistics make me want to cry for the human race.
Surely we can do better than that, right? I think it’s so tragic for me because I know what setting goals and working towards them have done for me in my life. I would have missed out on so much growth and attainment if I had not gotten clear on what I wanted for myself. In fact, in my course I devote one whole module to goal setting and achieving — it’s that important to me. Below, you’ll actually find a resource that I have my course students reference when they are setting their goals and creating a plan of attack.
I specifically reference “SMART” goals in the title because it seems to be the most popular method of setting goals but if you searched out ways to set goals, everyone that has ever successfully achieved one of their goals could tell you a different or unique way of setting them. The interesting thing is that the thing I’m going to share with you today was probably something all of those people used when setting and achieving their goal, but they didn’t realize it, so none mention it specifically.
Before you jump into the whole creating “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound” goals, you need to first focus on one super simple thing — and that is what are you actually trying to achieve? I’m not talking about wealth untold, or a better body for summer. I’m talking about going much, much deeper.
You know those people that you come across every now again with the super flashy cars, multiple houses, and they have an air to everything they say and do? Those people may like fast cars but the real reason they spend their money in the way they do is because that possession makes them FEEL something that they desire, which is likely a sense of superiority. They want to feel special or like they have something above others.
Now this isn’t just about people that are wealthy. Let’s talk about athletes. Olympic athletes train their whole lives, and in many cases cause serious physical problems from how hard they push themselves. They do all this training and sacrificing with the hope that they will be able to achieve a Gold Medal. But what does that Gold medal mean? To them – everything! To someone passing on the street – nothing. That medal represents a feeling they were working for whether it’s accomplishment, self-worth, achievement, success, etc… you get where I’m going. It was the feeling of standing on the winner’s block that drove them through the hard days, not the small gold medal.
Okay, let’s break it down even more. One thing that I’m sure every person on this planet has in common is that at one point in their life they wanted to make someone feel proud of them, which in turn made them feel special or proud of themselves. To attain that feeling, a child could clean their room without prompting, a spouse could bring home a thoughtful gift, an employee could go the extra mile, and a student could volunteer to help others in the class. They were all aiming for a feeling for themselves or for someone else.
You see where I’m going with all of this right? Attaining goals isn’t really about possessions or accomplishments at all, they’re really about trying to creating a feeling inside of yourself. Whether that be power, success, value, joy, peace, hope, or even vindication or revenge – we are emotional beings and we crave feeling something.
A lot of people will stick with the basic 3 emotions (happy, sad, and anger) when they think of emotions, but there are literally HUNDREDS of emotions that we feel throughout our lifetime and when we are setting our goals we have to be certain about what feeling we are actually trying to accomplish.
For example, why did I choose to follow this line of work? Why do I create courses, and write articles, and give podcasts, and free resources? What it my motivator? Hope. I want to give people hope, and in turn it gives me hope that we as a collective whole can make a difference in the world.
Now that you understand what has been missing from your goal-setting strategy take some time to revisit your goals and figure out what you want to feel. If you don’t have any active goals at this time, first figure out what you would like to feel more of and then make a goal that will help you achieve that.
And now as promised, below is a free resource you can download that will help prompt you to figure out which emotion(s) you’re actually aiming for. This is an incredible resource to get you thinking beyond the basic emotions and to understand that emotions are much more complex that just feel happy, sad, or angry!