The trap of setting goals

Did you get caught in the trap of setting big resolutions or goals for yourself in January, and now feeling that as we arrive in February, you've taken two steps back instead of moving forward?

January has always been a time of year when so many of us make resolutions, set BIG goals and tell ourselves that we need a new relationship, another job, a different hairstyle, a new exercise routine or diet.

These lists of resolutions and goals are endless, and I've been listening to people throughout January telling me that once they make these changes, life is going to improve or get better.

There is nothing wrong with setting goals and looking for something new, but goal setting can be draining and demotivating, and it's often a waste of time and energy.

Because we think that the weight loss or the new hairdo or the new relationships will make us feel better, and maybe it does for a little while, but the sad news is, the feeling almost always wears off eventually.

And then we spend countless amounts of time and energy trying to figure out why how we feel about ourselves hasn't changed?

It's like when we get our nails done, they instantly look and feel great. Our friends shower us with compliments about how lush they look, and then the varnish starts to chip, so we find ourselves picking at them and disappointed that the varnish has worn off so quickly.

Goals and resolutions are a little like nail varnish; we need to keep applying it for everything to look and feel shiny on the outside.

We don't see that we need something more substantial and meaningful than a goal or resolution. We need a deeper connection to ourselves, more self-compassion and self-love. And to be honest, that's an inside job!

No amount of changing jobs, relationships or getting our nails done will ever help us do that.

When we spend our lives fixated on getting the next best thing, or the fastest fix to our problems or feelings of lack or low self-worth, we become addicted to the external world and spend our lives craving the next best thing to make us feel good.

I love that Dr Gabor Mate calls this the "Hungry Ghosts". We become a shell of who we are, drifting from one thing to another to feel good, yet the very thing we have been looking for has been right there inside us all along.

If you want this year to be different, turn your focus inwards instead of outwards.

Set an intention around how would you like to experience your life instead of setting big hefty goals, and use this intention to help you focus on the experience you want and the actions you can take that will create that experience. 

You might think this doesn't sound any different to setting a goal, but it is very different to setting goals, and it's a far more compassionate and kinder way to be towards yourself.

Goals are often fear-based and come from a place of lack, whereas intentions and actions come from alignment and choice, driven from a present moment perspective. And it's the only way we become genuinely attached to the result and have the internal motivation to succeed.

I dropped setting goals years ago after realising that how I feel about myself, my life, and my relationships don't come from pushing myself harder, fixing myself, chasing the next big shiny thing or even setting big goals. (And yes, I love big shiny things!)

But, how I feel about myself is based on my daily choices to be gentle, kind, and compassionate towards myself - towards others. How I feel about myself directly reflects how much I am willing to know who I am and to love who I am from the inside out.

If you must set goals for yourself, choose something that will enable you to connect deeper with yourself. And learn to love yourself from the inside out.

Sit down quietly today and ask yourself, "How would I like to experience my life?" and "What actions can I take that will create that experience? And let the wisdom of your soul guide you.


Avril 💕💕

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How to love yourself more and increase your self-worth!
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