Writing (and Engaging) Goals that Matter
Can you imagine trying to open a coconut with your bare hands? When I was around ten years old, this is exactly what I wanted to do on a humid summer day at the beach. So I started early. I went searching for a coconut that looked like it had just fallen. I found one, brought it back, and started to work! My cousin and I each had one, and we began tearing every little fiber we could get to. After about six hours, I had managed to tear off about half of the coconut’s husk. I was exhausted and my fingertips were numb, but we were determined. We continued the next day. Once we removed most of the husk, we got to the hard shell. And at that point, we realized that opening it with our bare hands was not going to happen.
The question is, why would I want to open a coconut in the first place? In retrospect, I see that I had set a goal: to open a coconut using my own hands. The goal worked, since I engaged to try to open it, applied different strategies, and learned as a result of it. My goal was simple, action-oriented and based on my belief in abundance. As we approach the end of the year (or any other time for that matter), it’s natural to wonder what we’d like to do the following year. So let’s explore goal setting and get determined to feel empowered to go on a mission—like the coconut adventure.
Setting goals can be a messy process. Usually, we don’t spend enough time thinking about our goals, and we don’t take them seriously because they often feel pushy and empty. This has happened to me when I focus on goals that are solely externally driven. You know—goals that focus just on end results, financial gain, praise, or external validation. Those are consequences, not motives. If my coconut adventure had been externally driven, I would have focused only on drinking the coconut water. I would probably have given up after my fingers went numb and asked my parents to buy me one. But what good is that? We would be missing the point. No, opening the coconut was about the experience. It was about going on a mission. It was about believing that the world is abundant. If you work hard enough, you can tap into wealth.
Why are goals important? Because they compel you to move! Great goal setting helps provide clarity and inspiration. You’ll know you have a goal worth pursuing when it’s written in a way that excites you! It feels like an adventure. Goals are about experiencing more internally, and proving less externally. However, goal setting takes some goal cleaning: they can’t be vague. A lack of movement (progress) toward your goals is often a lack of clarity. Instead, write goals that express what you desire, and makes you feel empowered knowing that it’s ultimately your choice to act on them!
- Commit to find the goals that make you excited!
- Elaborate three to four goals with clear and powerful statements.
- Write them down.
- Use “I am, I want, I can, I will”.
It’s important to understand that pursuing your goals should feel like an adventure. Make them big and bold, but attainable. Decide which is the most desirable goal, then give it your full energy one at a time. This will clarifies your priority and will make you focused. Writing goals that matter, and using the “I am, I want” phrases is about accepting the challenge.
Back in that summer, I wanted to open the coconut to experience that nature is abundant. I realized that instead of paying for one, I could go find one. It provoked in me such a natural desire to go looking for a coconut to open, that I hardly thought of it as work. However, I learned that abundance requires more effort to get past that hard shell! But as long as you allow yourself to pursue what you believe in (or want to believe), you’ll tap into energy you have long forgotten. What would you love to set out to do? What new adventure would you like to sail to?
Juan F. Diaz
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