The traditional approach to goal setting is to decide what you want to do, then figure out each step you need to follow to get there. The trouble is that if you get too caught up in the how of it, you sometimes aim too small because you can’t clearly see all the steps to the big goal, or you end up doing what you think you should be rather than what you really want to.
An alternative approach to goal setting is to simply focus on what you want. This opens up the space for the process to unfold in ways you may never have considered. Take the obvious first steps towards your goal then allow life to show you the next step at the right time. For this approach to work, you need to be very clear on what would truly fulfil you and make you happy.
There are many ways you can establish this. Here’s one you might like to try:
- Set aside about ten minutes of undisturbed time for yourself.
- Divide a piece of paper or a document into three parts and label them ‘Experiences’, ‘Growth’ and ‘Contribution’.
- Set a timer or alarm clock for 90 seconds. Working fast ensures that you are using your creative right brain, rather than your logical left-brain.
- Without worrying about any limitations such as time and money, start brainstorming the first of these aspects: What would you like to experience? Don’t think about it – just write whatever comes into your mind. Areas of your life to think about for each question could be work, family, finance, love, health, spirituality, creativity, etc.
- When the alarm goes off, set it for another 90 seconds and brainstorm the second aspect: How would you like to grow?
- Repeat for the third aspect: How would you like to contribute or give back to the world?
Put the final result up somewhere you can see it often to remind you of what you are aiming for. As your goals change (which they may), adjust it as necessary. Then simply be open to following every opportunity that takes you in the direction of these goals.