By: Cordelia Bloom
Before jumping into the article, please enjoy this short book insert from renowned positive psychology coaches, Caroline Adams Miller and Michael B. Frisch titled Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide:
“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way.
You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now…And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
Is a Goal a Purpose?
Take this moment to think: what do goals mean to you?
Setting goals has always been a tricky thing: it can have all sorts of meanings. For some, it can be thrilling due to inspiration or motivation, a purpose or a sense of; and for others it could literally provoke a sense of dread or of overwhelm, or even a confinement of sorts.
According to Tchiki Davis, a writer, program creator, and well-being expert, with the following tips we can learn how to get started and organize which personal goals would be easier to achieve (n.d.):
- Set challenging goals (and not out of reach. This gets us to push ourselves a little harder).
- Focus on goals that matter. (We must be sure to focus on goals that are meaningful to us distinctly. This helps in making sure “it sticks”.)
- Commit. (It’s unlikely to disappoint ourselves once we truly and fully commit to a goal.)
Some of you are probably getting either pumped right now, or growing in a state of panic. A way to make this process easier (and maybe less daunting) is to balance out our goals and decide if we rather get more accomplished within a season, or if it’d be best to break them down (our larger goals) in chunks.
That sounds a little better, right?
Accomplishing More With Seasonal Goals
Seasonal goals can be two things: goals that we set specifically for each season, or our major goals broken down into smaller ones that we’d focus on seasonally (Deanna, 2023).
There’s an exciting banter factored into creating seasonal goals because these can particularly keep life exciting! For example, if we’re welcoming October and the fall season, then some of those goals may include finding a pumpkin patch festival, or making DIY Halloween snacks and goodies, or hosting a hot-apple-cider shindig.
Depending on which way we’d prefer to organize ourselves—if either I decide to break down my larger goals across the year, or you decide to focus on a seasonal level—thanks to lifestyle guru, Deanna, she recommends we use the following tips to guide us with our goal-setting process (2023):
- Focus on energy: energy tends to shift between seasons. Our energy will determine how much we can realistically get done.
- Start with the big picture: typically it’s easier to plan goals when we know the big end-goal. We should work backwards from the end-goal and then figure out what needs to happen each season (or three, or six months).
- Think holistically about the goals: we must remember that we’re more than how much we make or the career we have. We should focus on all areas of life too! What would be a personal goal, or a learning goal? Or a financial goal? What about a relationship and/or emotional goal? Health and/or spiritual ones?
- Write them down: invest time in mapping out the goals, it can be hard to remember them all. Notate the fun seasonal goals along with the milestone ones.
- Keep all the goals measurable: if we can’t measure progress, it’ll be unlikely to reach any goal.
It can be disheartening when we’re looking at the whole year ahead while having so many things we’d like to accomplish in mind. Where would we even start, right?
By organizing ourselves and never losing sight of either the big picture or how to measure progress—we must focus on one step at a time. And to make it a bit easier, we can divide that focus seasonally.
It’s vital to remind ourselves of what has been accomplished thus far! To-do lists can be an amazing way to keep track, and journaling too.
Blending Goals With Journal Prompts
Planning a future is no mere task! Much less goal-setting. By creating these, however, we’d work on a life we desire. Journal prompts can help us build an actionable roadmap to our ideal future (Keithley, n.d.).
If your mind is still bouncing and doesn’t know where to start, let’s think about it in a generic and less intimidating way. Have you ever thought about what affairs or exposures we all have in common? There are about five experiences that we, as human beings, strive for in this world (Davis, n.d.):
- positive and warm relationships
- autonomy–we need to direct and own our behavior, decisions and freedom.
- personal growth
- life purpose–find the answer to the million-dollar question “why are we here?”
These are great starters for journaling—we can use at least one of these experiences to write about and see where it leads us.
Goals matter. Every dream and passion inside every one of us has been placed there for a reason. We owe it to ourselves to discover what they are and see where it takes us. There are innumerable and wonderful journal prompts out there! I’d invite you, my dear reader, to search and find what calls out to you.
The following journal prompts, however, can help guide us into creating a life that fulfills our heart and supports our mind, body, and spirit (Keithley, n.d.).
- Is there anything that scares me about my goals?
- Why is it worth it to me to push past my fears to achieve my goals?
- If I could be doing anything with my life right now, what would I be doing?
- What’s stopping me from doing the things I truly want to do?
- Are my current life priorities aligned with my goals?
- What goal can I achieve in the next year?
- What’s one small step I can take each day for the next seven days to help me meet my monthly goals?
- Where do I see myself in ten years? What holds me back from living the life I imagine?
- If I created a vision board right now, what would be on it?
- In my ideal future, where would I live? What would I be doing? Who would I spend my time with?
- What gives me confidence? How can I tap into my inner confidence to take the leap to achieving all my goals and dreams?
Use this opportunity to journal with The Love Story. Have you been able to pinpoint on any specific goals that you’d like to set for this upcoming season? The Love Story is a safe space that welcomes everyone to write freely, while participating in workshops, where journal prompts are often used to inspire. Journal with The Love Story by clicking the link below.
Adams Miller, C., & Frisch M. B. (2010, December 7). About this ebook. Retrieved from https://www.everand.com/book/431790609/Creating-Your-Best-Life-The-Ultimate-Life-List-Guide
Davis, T. (n.d.). Personal goals: Definition, 30 examples, & tips for goal setting. The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/personal-goals.html
Deanna. (2023, August 25). How to set seasonal goals to get more done. Life by Deanna. https://lifebydeanna.com/how-to-set-seasonal-goals-to-get-more-done/
Keithley, Z. (2022). 33 journal prompts for goal setting & future planning. Welcome to Zanna Keithley. https://zannakeithley.com/journal-prompts-for-goal-setting/
Miller, K. (2019, July 4). 15 best goal setting books to read. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-books/