November 17 2016
A chance encounter on the Queensboro Bridge at Mile 15 of the New York City Marathon changed one runner's motivation mid-race.
Before we even step foot on the goal-setting playing field, part of the work is understanding what’s hijacked your past successes and why the goal ahead is so important. Your mindset is the engine that keeps you motivated and focused for the long haul. Fuel and nurture it before you begin blazing down your goal-setting path.
Here are four simple topics and journaling questions to get you started.
Being honest with yourself.
What has really been holding you back? Have you been playing the fear card when it’s really just about prioritizing? Have you been surrounding yourself with people who’d rather commiserate than celebrate? Or is the core issue that you’re simply scared of change? Trapped in a routine that works ‘just enough?’ Goals take work. They take sustained effort and commitment. But, before you can take the first step in any new goal or dream, you’ve got to be honest about what’s traditionally held you back.
Reflection: If I’m being truthful, what’s really been holding me back from my goal/dream is….
Cleaning up your environment.
Look around—are you actively supporting your goals or are you perhaps your own worst enemy? Our environment is everything from the people we surround ourselves with, the job we give our time and talents to, the fridge and pantry that give us energy and fuel and the spaces in which we dwell and dream. Are you currently thriving in your environment? Does it make you light up with possibility or does it stress you out? What changes could you make to support the goal you are working toward? Start small, but make them meaningful and purposeful. Give yourself the best chance possible to be successful as you embark on your goal.
Reflection: Three small intentional actions I could take to create a more supportive environment for my goals/dreams are…
Giving yourself permission.
Are you sabotaging your goal-setting journey before it even begins? Are you waiting for someone else’s approval to tell you you’re ready? Worthy? Capable? Do you feel selfish or guilty for putting yourself first in pursuit of a dream? If anything is the dagger to personal transformation and success, it’s believing that we’re not worthy of it. It’s nearly impossible to chase a goal if you’re questioning whether or not you deserve it. This is perhaps the most potent shift we can make—to give ourselves the permission to dream bigger and chase what matters. We should no longer consent to playing small and dimming our own light. When we work to become the best versions of ourselves, everyone benefits and everyone wins.
Reflection: When I’m feeling uncertain or unworthy about taking the next step toward my goal or dream, I’ll remind myself that…
Honoring the journey.
When we fixate solely on the goal, we deny ourselves the true beauty of the journey. Our culture has a thing for showcasing the wins and successes and very often, social media looks like a perfectly polished highlight reel. Less often then, and seemingly without a place to do so, are we honoring the glory and hard-earned grit of the near-misses, the hard lessons, the almosts and the just-shys. Celebration should not be reserved just for the victories, but also for the effort and discoveries along the way. Goals, at their core, are empty canvases. Their depth and meaning are contingent upon the artist’s interpretation, all the while knowing that what is created may only ever be understood by the soul of its creator. But the courage to attempt—the willingness to step in, let go, try, mess up, and begin again—is the only way you will ever discover the masterpiece you are truly capable of creating, and living.
Reflection: Why does this goal or dream truly matter to you? And what does success look like through your eyes?