Every year, thousands upon thousands of us make goals for the new year ahead. Many of these often focus on the concept of separateness and ultimately serve only us in their pursuit and achievement. If we each dedicate just one resolution to the greater good and collective community … well, that just about can change the world.
Every year, I commit a few hours over an afternoon or two, to plan my year. I try to check in and do this every three months – so guess who is due for their dorky little planning sesh? I use the term ‘plan’ very loosely as I try to create a sort of vision for the year ahead and always seem to end up a ‘to do list’ of sorts. Resolutions and goals are rife over the new year period – people seem to rattle off their ambitions for the year like items on a shopping list – ‘lose weight’, ‘travel’, ‘buy a house’, ‘save money’, ‘join a gym’, ‘hunt down Channing Tatum, find out where he lives and show him the adorable and oh so subtly persuasive power-point of why you two are destined soul mates …’ you know, the usual. Sometimes we smash our goals. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes those things that we were sure we wanted change and we end up consciously and intentionally abandoning it.
I’m a huge fan of Danielle Laporte’s approach to goal setting. This beauty so passionately advocates for reversing the whole goal setting shebang and flips the system on its head. She writes that we should firstly unpack what drives us – the underlying desire or coveted feeling that we are truly, at heart, trying to achieve. In her incredible book – The Desire Map – Danielle provides readers with an opportunity to dig into their subconscious, their heart and soul, and uncover what they’re truly craving. Perhaps ‘wanting to lose 5kg’ is ultimately a desire to ‘feel more sexy’; perhaps your goal of ‘wanting to undertake further study’ translates to a desire to feel ‘intelligent’ and ‘powerful’. Danielle says by acknowledging the emotional drive behind these seemingly surface level or material goals – we create bad ass, supercharged, goals with soul.
I, this year, planned to take Danielle’s approach even further. We so often create goals that feed the ego – the concept of separation and individualism. The goals we set often focus on individual gains and typically with the intention to improve or work on the external aspects of ourselves and our world. This year I’m-a dedicate my goals, desires and resolutions to the betterment of myself as a part of the whole. To really unpack how I can use my time, energy and resources to contribute in a big, bad ass way to my world and community. To get out of my own head and to dedicate myself to a year of service, a year of difference. Instead of resolving to ‘get to the gym 5x a week’ – let’s use this underlying drive of ‘activity’ and ‘engagement’ to instead create an intention to find (or create!) local community programs that encourage physical activity in children, elderly or disabled members of the community. Instead of resolving to ‘earn $150K this year’ to achieve financial freedom – let’s use this desire to improve our finances in order to allow us to be more generous. Commiting to giving instead 10% of our monthly earnings instead of the individual desire to earn a higher wage, fuelling us instead to earn more to give more.
My challenges this year are around the desire for a deepened sense of ‘connection’ and ‘community’. To launch a book club that focuses on discovering and sharing words of wisdom, inspiration, spirit and health. To make a commitment to reconnect with nature and get outdoors every single day and pay homage to the beauty that surrounds us. To appreciate and love my body, metaphoric warts (although I did have one on my right knee once) and all, and ‘be the change’ I wish to see in the world. A world of self acceptance, a world of connection and harmonious living, a world of unity and shared, collaborative passion. Join me, won’t you?
TOOLKIT FOR HEARTY GOALS
Vision Boarding – We are, by nature, very visual creatures motivated by imagery. Pictures evoke immediate and profound emotional responses that language alone often can’t elicit. Say for instance if you were reading a news headline detailing a global catastrophe – you’d probably feel sadness, empathy and perhaps anger. But if we can see the damage, witness the emotion in our fellow earthlings eyes … our emotional reactions are incredibly heightened. Vision boards build on this premise, the images appeal to our visual senses. They serve to capture, visually, what we see for our lives. Images of us surrounded by nature; words like ‘connection’, ‘love’ and ‘alignment’; a yoga pose you want to nail; themes of health, vitality and vibrant living. Put your board somewhere you will see it everyday. Be sure that the collaged images get you fired up and set your heart a-flutter. USE that momentum and ROCK IT, gorgeous.
An Interview with yo’self – What do you in your heart of hearts desire for yourself over the year? How do you see it panning out? What are your desires? Inspiration comes from engagement – get yourself out there, get your hands dirty and see where your inspired path takes you. Dream big and uncover what sets you alight and pursue it.
Affirmations – Upon waking every morning, affirm that today you are ‘one step closer to achieving your goals’, ‘day will present you with more opportunities to achieve and live your truth. Repetition is key – repeat your mantras like a woman (or man) possessed (apparently we have 60,000 thoughts a day, make sure at least 50 of these are affirmative ones); keep going and continue with your affirmations until they become a reality and be wary of any subconscious blocks to your success.
Each year will bring us 365 days, 8760 hours and 525, 600 minutes – if we dedicate even the smallest fraction of these to honour our goals of connection, community and compassion – what a magical, world changing year lays ahead.
Blessings and B.A.Gs (Big ass goals, baby!) x
PS. Like this article? This was originally printed in the incredible Happiness and Wellbeing magazine. I wholeheartedly endorse this soul-soaked publication and am SO proud to be a small part of this monumental mag!