Join me this week as I share how I’m approaching goal setting for 2024.
I’m popping in your feed today with an episode that is top of mind for me, and I’m sure for you too. I’ve been having conversations about goal setting for 2024, and talking about it made me realize that my approach to setting goals has changed dramatically over the past year or so.
Here’s what I share in Ep.58: How I’m Approaching Goal Setting for 2024:
- How I’m approaching goals for 2024 – including how I’m thinking differently than I used to.
- An example from my personal life about how to implement this new goal setting philosophy.
- Two resources to support you in clarifying and setting goals that really matter to you – one free and one very low cost.
Three Questions I offered to support you in goal setting:
- What are expansive and spacious goals, that matter to me, and that help me grow into and become a better friend to myself along the way?
- How do I approach my goal so the outcome, or outcomes, are a by-product of the way that I show up?
- What is a general direction I want to aim at, that I feel is calling to me that I feel resonance with, and how can I show up for myself most days (daily-ish) to support myself in getting there?
- Want to begin a daily journaling habit? My Daily Writing Prompts are supportive and thoughtful prompts to befriend your creative self. You’ll discover what you believe is possible for you, what you want, and what’s in the way right now. Learn moreLearn more HERE
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Full episode transcript below:
Welcome to today's episode, How I'm Approaching Goal Setting for 2024. Hi there I'm popping in today with an episode that is top of mind for me, and I'm sure for you too. I've been having conversations about goal setting for 2024 and talking about it made me realize that my approach to setting goals has changed dramatically over the past year or so. I'm going to share a roadmap with you for today's episode, before we dive in. So first I'm going to share how I'm approaching goals for 2024, including how I'm thinking differently than I used to. Then I'm going to share an example from my personal life about how I'm implementing this new goal setting philosophy. And finally, I'll share two resources to support you in clarifying and setting goals that really matter to you, one free and one very low cost. Let's dive in. Okay, so first up, I can hardly believe how differently I am thinking about goals for next year. I used to be someone who set very specific goals, because that is what we are most often told to do. And I often felt a lot of fear and apprehension around them. And I know now that that is because my goals and my goal setting process was rooted in striving and perfectionism. I think I was excited about them, but I was excited because of what I thought accomplishing them would mean about me. I wasn't particularly jazzed about the journey to get there. And that is what I think the biggest overhaul in my process is. I would say that the biggest change is that, this sounds cliche, but I am focusing more on the journey rather than outcome. And I'm going to explain this. I do want to say here that to me, this is the most important thing you can take away from this, and if you take away one thing, let it be this - ask yourself this question: what are expansive and spacious goals, that really matter to me, and that help me grow into, and become a better friend to myself along the way? I'm going to repeat that: what are expansive and spacious goals, that matter to me, that help me grow into, and become a better friend to myself along the way? This question, in my humble opinion, is where we should be setting goals from. It's rooted in a place of care for yourself and care for your experience of life. And depending on where you are in the goal-setting/striving/perfectionism process, this might chafe you a little bit. I know it definitely would've chafed me a little bit, a few years ago. Because I would've been like, who cares? I don't want to think about that. I just want to achieve what I'm thinking about and achieve what I think is going to get me somewhere. And I'll think about that later. I'll think about being a good friend to myself and, you know, caring about my experience of life. That was just on the back burner to achieving what I thought I should be doing. And maybe that question sounds really like a relief to you or supportive and like, just like a deep exhale because oh, I get to approach what I'm creating from a place of really, I would say, staying in relationship with yourself rather than putting yourself on the back burner, forgetting about yourself, and achieving at all costs. And then I come back around and then I'll take care of myself later. This is a more integrated way of looking at that. We're going to keep your relationship with yourself, intact with whatever you create. I have come to think that that is the most important thing that you can do. Here's what this question looks like for me, in my life, at this time: it means focusing on the process. And viewing goals that I set as, how do I approach my "goal" so that the outcomes are a by-product of the way that I show up? I'm gonna repeat that again. How do I approach my "goal" or "goals", so the outcome or outcomes, are a by-product of the way I show up? Again, this is like such a critical, salient point that I'm sharing here. Like a seed that we can plant that you can come back to and, or a way for you to frame your goals for 2024. That's my hope. But if this isn't resonating with you yet, just let these questions. Let's like deposit them into your memory bank and you can marinate on them and see what percolates for you, what emerges for you. When you focus on the question, how do I approach my goal so that the outcome or outcomes, are a by-product of the way I show up?, this focuses on the micro behaviors, rather than your macro behaviors or macro choices. In my opinion, the absolute worst way to do goal setting is to set absolutely huge goals for yourself that really terrify you and you have to wait until the end of the year to be able to ask yourself or know, did I make it? In my opinion, this can really damage our relationship with ourselves. Which is so not the point. And I'm making a plea here for you to not do this. And I just have to say again, I am speaking from experience here. This is one of my areas of fascination that I think a lot about - is the cycle of goal-setting and cycle of achievement. And I feel like over the past year, couple years, I've really backed up in the process to get really curious about how do we even make the choices that we make to set out on a goal? And the ways that that impacts or influences what we create. So that's what this episode is really kind of circling around is: what are we going into the process of where we set our goal, at the starting line, with? What have we prepared ourself with what. Like, how are we treating ourselves and relating ourselves as we're setting out on this goal? If we think of a starting line of a path or a track, whatever resonates for you, how have you fortified yourself to begin this process? That is what I'm really thinking about and what I'm talking about here and what I'm applying to my life as well. If this is interesting to you, something that you can look up is, the concept of process goals versus outcome goals. And I have a segment in a course that I created a little while ago that I'm going to share a link to the video in the show notes so that you can watch me explain my take on this concept. When I recorded this, that video probably a little over a year ago, and I feel like I understood it intellectually and I was starting to really grasp it when I recorded it. And now I feel like I get it viscerally. Like I really understand this. So it's a process, we learn information and then it's a process for us to digest it and then really integrate it into our like visceral, known experience. So a link to that Process Goals vs. Outcome Goals video will be in the show notes. You can also Google it. There's a lot of information out there about it. But I'll say the essence of it is focusing, it's like what we're talking about, it's focusing on the process and your micro behaviors, that's another way of seeing it. And then seeing what you can create in your outcome as a by-product of focusing on the process. It's a different way of going about it than a lot of us are taught to set goals and work towards something. The way that I now see goal setting is this: what is a general direction that I want to aim at, that I feel is calling to me, and how can I show up for myself most days (this is my daily-ish concept) to support myself in getting there? I'll repeat that again. What is a general direction I want to aim at, that I feel is calling to me that I feel resonance with, that - another way I think about this is kind of like whispering at the edges of my consciousness like something that just feels like it's kind of hanging around and piquing my interest - and how can I show up for myself most days (daily-ish) to support myself in getting there? Okay. So I shared three questions with you in that first section. And I'm going to repeat them one more time, just in case you're listening to this and driving or focusing on something else. Okay the first question I offered was: what are expansive and spacious goals, that matter to me, and that help me grow into and become a better friend to myself along the way? The second question I offered is how do I approach my goal so the outcome, or outcomes, are a by-product of the way that I show up? And the third question is: what is a general direction I want to aim at, that I feel is calling to me that I feel resonance with, and how can I show up for myself most days (daily-ish) to support myself in getting there? Okay. Now we're going to go into the example from my personal life so that I can demonstrate how I'm implementing this. So, a couple of weeks ago, my husband, Matt and I were walking around Town Lake and we were talking about our spending, spending money. And I brought up that maybe we might want to set a goal to save more next year, even as our expenses are very likely going up for personal reasons that I haven't really shared about yet. So rather than focusing on how hard it would be to save more, especially with our expenses likely going up, this was my point of view: instead of fretting about we're spending too much money, how are we going to save when we're spending so much potentially - I look at it like it's data. Do we want to save more? That's a question that we all get to answer. How does it feel to spend as much as we have this year? I focused on taking that inventory of, is this a choice we want to make? Do we want to save more? And how does it feel to spend as much as we have this year? I focused on taking that inventory, and then I set an aim to go from there. A past version of me would have immediately said, let's save X number of dollars per month. Like I would just dive right into it. And I probably would've picked a very ambitious number that would have been stressful. Because again, that's what we're all taught to do with goal setting. And I wouldn't really have an idea of how we would do it and no real plan to accomplish it. I would just throw it out there and there is a dopamine hit when you do that, when you set a big goal, that sounds amazing to create. You have no idea how you're doing it but you're not focusing on that yet. Right now, you're just focusing on the excitement of I'm setting this huge, huge goal that I'm going to like stretch for. And I'm not really setting a foundation for myself of how I'm going to create that. That's how I used to think about goal setting. Again, I think that's how a lot of us are taught to think about goal setting. I'm just going to keep saying that, because maybe resonate with this, maybe you don't, but if you do, there's no shame in it because we are all taught a certain way of looking at things and my hope with recording this is to offer a different point of view. One that I have spent a lot of time cultivating very intentionally. I am a expert at beating myself up about things. And I'm also, I would say on my way to being a reformed expert at beating myself up about things. So rather than setting this huge goal to save X number of dollars per month with no idea how I'd do it and no real plan to accomplish it, it would just be like the something I threw out into the ether and then just like, wasn't really grounded in anything. Instead of doing that, what I did this time and, my mind went here pretty immediately, from this like befriending myself point of view - which if you've talked to me, you've probably heard me say that I'm all about befriending ourselves - so I'm looking at it differently when I'm thinking about how do I befriend myself? How do I use this as a practice of befriending myself and growing into, something, a new quality, that is important to me? I said, let's set a goal to save 10% more next year. And you might think, because I definitely would've thought, that, that seems to minor, that's that could be inconsequential, you know, like 10%, pfft, that's like not really a worthy goal. And I might've even thought, like, I wouldn't feel very proud if I accomplished that. That's like not a huge number. You know, like I could just, I could see myself going there. But when we set realistic goals that focus on micro behavior changes, it compounds so, so, so, so much. And this expansive, spacious approach doesn't depend on willpower and obedience. Which we all know will falter and operating from willpower and obedience is so much pressure on yourself and to depend on those working for you. So I'll just expound on this here, because we actually talked to more about this yesterday to concretize it. Instead of saying we'll save X dollars per month, we're actually going to look at it quarterly and save 10% quarterly. So looking in three month batches and our plan is to put it into a brokerage account and invest it. That is very easy now to do, right. We're not leaving any loose threads of like, what are we going to do when we have this money? Do we just put it in a savings account? Then you have to make more decisions right. Now we know what we're going to do. It might change, we might get new information or more information and make a different decision. But at least for now, we know that quarterly, we will be taking 10% and putting it into a brokerage account. And then I made a note for myself to check in quarterly to assess how it's feeling. Asking myself, the questions that I started with, which is, do we want to save this much? How does it feel when we're saving this much? How does it feel when with our spending, et cetera? So staying the word that's coming to me as attuned, staying attuned, like staying in step with like, how's it feeling? Are we feeling happy? Like, is it feeling good? Are we probably more than meeting our needs? Et cetera. Not just like setting a goal in cement and then never looking at it again and accomplishing it at all costs. That, I used to do that too. And it's very not interesting to me anymore, because if it is not in service of me, befriending myself and having the experience that I want in life, then I'm not interested in doing it. I've done it. And I just don't feel like it's valuable to me to continue to do that. The farther that I get down this 'befriending myself path' as a lifestyle, the more interested I am in seeing what can happen when...? What can happen when I plan meals I'm excited about at home? What can happen when I stay attuned to my feelings so that I don't make purchases that quote, make me happy? What can happen when...? I'm talking about this in the context of my saving 10% more goal for 2024. But I think we can apply this literally to anything. What can happen when I give myself adequate sleep? For thinking about creativity, what can happen when I keep one of my mornings free a week? Just to see what wants to emerge, what I might want to do. What can happen when I am not feeling particularly creative and instead of forcing myself to sit through the session, I go outside and I take a walk and I take in nature and trees and fresh air and birds? What can happen when...? What can happen when...?, to me is the question for focusing on the process - again, I'm thinking here about Process Goals versus focusing on the outcome. The outcome sounds like, how can I create this? How do I do this? And I think we all know that when you ask questions like that you constrict because it's, how do you know? You can't possibly know how you're going to create this big goal that you have. So if you take yourself out of that lane: how can I, how do I? And instead go into the lane of what can happen when I... xyz?. Then your curiosity is online, then you're tapped into your intuition. Then you are taking an information around you and seeing what is emerging for you? What is pulling at you? What's interesting? What's nudging at you? What can happen when...? And focusing on the process, is a lifestyle that is inherently rooted in befriending yourself. Making your life, everything you want it to be and I think it gamifies it a bit, which makes it fun and feeds the dopamine cycle that we will all complete one way or another. Some of us complete it by being supportive of ourselves. Some of it completed by striving. I think it's really fun to consider what the outcomes can be when I approach goal setting and life.\ By befriending myself. In my experience, it's a very cool process and it takes time to make those transition. But, to my earlier point it really compounds over time. You can start really small and you can see impacts and just keep building like that snowball effect. If you don't know what the snowball effect is, it's when you build a snowball and then you start rolling it downhill and it gathers more momentum, and usually more mass in the snowball, and just grows bigger and bigger and goes faster and faster. The benefits of focusing on the process, what can happen when I...?, Process Goals, befriending yourself are multifold. You do not put off living the way that you want to until you've created your goals. That's such a major one. In fact, your goals are entirely dependent on you showing up in your day to day life the way that you want to when XYZ happens, whatever you're aiming towards. But you're showing up that way, again, those micro behaviors today. You get to experience that quality of life TODAY before you have attained, achieved, created, whatever, the thing that you're working towards. Okay, so we just went through the example from my personal life. And now I'm going to share two resources with you to support you in reflecting on 2023 and goal setting for 2024 that I hope feels expansive and spacious. That is my intention. If you're looking for a lighthearted and supportive way to reflect on 2023 and plan for 2024, or if you're listening to this in the future to reflect on the past year and plan for next year, I'm including a link to my Year Review workbook in the show notes. It is totally free. And it's the process I use each year to reflect on the current year and plan for next year. I'm a few years in and my top piece of advice is to plan supportively and leave space. You have no idea what the next year will bring into your life. None of us do. Leaving space for new developments allows you to create your life the way you want to. And it allows for life to lead you or for you to flow with life the way it's currently meeting you. If you want more support, I'm also including a link to my very low cost Take Aim Workshop. In the Take Aim Workshop, I walk you through the Year Review process and more. You'll learn my exact process to review, reflect, and powerfully plan your goals for the next year. You'll also learn how to tap into your inner wisdom to review the current year and apply that wisdom to next year's Aims that you set - aims is what I think of in terms of setting goals. And you'll discover next year's goals that actually matter to you, that really matter to you, that really light you up! And I walk you through the workshop portion. We complete the workbook together step-by-step so there's no overwhelm and there's built in accountability. The take aim workshop is currently $22 and it will be going up to $35 on January 15th, 2024. If you enroll by the end of the year, by the end of 2023, I'm offering a bonus. You complete the workshop by January 12th, 2024 and set your three Aims, share them with me, I'll review and create a video with feedback, places to tighten up questions to go deeper, places to set like those concrete goals so that you know whether or not you did them, et cetera. Okay. So there we have it. I hope that I have quote sold you on how to approach goal setting from a place of self-kindness and exploring what you want to experience in life. Rather than striving and perfectionism, which I know so well. And I bet you do too. A younger version of me really needed to hear all of this. And what I'm sharing with you today in this episode is hard won wisdom. I spent years grappling with this and many, many "tries and fails", I put that in air quotes too, to get here. Please do take advantage of both the free and low cost resource I shared with you today, as well as the link to the video for the Process Goals vs. Outcome Goals. I am so glad that you are here and then we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Bye for now.