What do you really want?
I bet, if you are like me, you have been thinking about goals for the start of 2012. Each year begins the annual ritual of anticipated success, ending with broken promises and shattered dreams. OK, maybe some goals are actually achieved, but for many of us we look back on a littered highway of unmet expectations.
Coming into this current year I wanted to approach the planning part a little differently. First of all, I didn’t torment myself with starting off the year all glittery and made up to look like my perfect self. I wanted to reach in deep and create goals based on my true needs and feelings.
In the past I would create goals based on a good idea. A goal might have been “have a job that pays me 50,000 a year” and then I’d go look for “a job” that fit that criteria without much thought to what I might like to do. The result has been work that stressed me out and didn’t end well.
However, what if I looked at work as a way to fulfill my feeling and needs? Looking back at what worked and didn’t I can begin to identify what might suit me better.
I want work to satisfy my need for security (money, health care, structure), or ownership of a project or my work. Some additional needs I may want fulfilled through my work:
Presence, Discovery, Exploration, Learning, Making sense of life, Shared consciousness, Excitement, Safety, Self-Care, Shelter, Sustainability, Competence, Consciousness, Contribution, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Community, Choice, Freedom, Independence, Inner power.
It would seem like there are lot of them here, but remember work fills many needs, I don’t want to neglect them for the sake of brevity. I want to honor my needs so that when the end of the day comes I am not resentful but filled up and happy. Also included in the list will be feelings:
Dazzled, Energetic, Encouraged, Quiet, Confident, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Open, Invigorated, Inspired, Satisfied, Proud, Lively, Amazed, Safe, Passionate, Awed, Engaged, Vibrant, Joyful, Refreshed, Absorbed, Amused, Enlivened.
Once I have identified my needs and feelings I can more clearly clarify what kind of job or goal would fulfill my needs and wants. Applying this strategy to different areas of my life I create goals that I am more eager to achieve and can set actions around them to further meet my needs. Want to discover your own feelings and needs? Melissa Zwanger, MA, MBA, Leadership Specialist for Visionaries, has created a wonderful document for you. Here is the link to determine your own needs and feelings.
Below I posted a tip from Rich Goodfriend about how to strategize when setting an action, goal or intention. Using this technique around any action I might take really helps me identify whether it will bring value to my life, instead of unconsciously saying yes and being dissatisfied as a result.
Sample tip from Rick Goodfriend, Founder – World Empathy Day (WEday)
The Tip: For this week as you start to do an action, ask yourself, “Does this really meet my needs or values?
This is a strategy to make sure your actions will meet your needs.
Example: Action: I want to take a trip to a National Park.
Need Met: Relaxation, Beauty of Nature
The drive is 4 hours- It is longer than I want yet if I take it slow and stop on the way it may be more relaxing. I enjoy driving. Need Met
I would like a change of scenery. This trip will definitely would do that.
Is there any other strategy that may work better? Not really at this time.
I now feel confident that this strategy will meet my needs and more. Try this exercise and see if it is more effective to meeting your needs and bring more ease to your living and relationships.
There is value in setting your 2012 goals to really meet your needs and honor your feelings. Goals become juicy and vibrant and more exciting. You want to jump up in the morning to meet your needs and get things done. Go ahead give it a try. And December 2012 tell me what you accomplish. I am confident you will feel better about life.
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