Sara Louise Fox
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A Different Approach To Goal Setting

And What “Start With Why” Means To Me

Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why, is awesome (watch his TED Talk for a flavour)... but I found myself in a bit of a conundrum...

You see, I find it a bit hard to see the future... or, should I say, to picture one specific future. Every time I do one of those visioning exercises or meditations, I get a different vision… that’s if I get anything at all. This means I have lots of why's - my family, my fella, and I could go on.


Woman smelling flowers

Does that seem familiar to you? (If you’re a fellow multi-visionary please let me know in the comments – it’s always good to know I'm not alone).

The experts say that the most successful people have/had a big vision. And I wanted one too! But the problem is I’m a bit multi-passionate (aka indecisive) and as long as I feel good and the people I love are smiling more than they are not, I’m generally happy... which is great, but it doesn't really help with setting goals and, in turn, planning... well... anything. So this is what helps me…

I started with a feeling.

That’s right, my why is how I want to feel.

Each year I pull 'The Desire Map' by Danielle LaPorte off my bookshelf. It offers a way of setting “goals with soul” based on the principle that behind every specific thing we want to be, do or have, is the desire to feel a certain way. The process takes you through to identifying a few Core Desired Feelings (CDFs) that you want to feel and then working out how you can feel that way.

I find this a helpful approach for a number of reasons...

  • As I’ve said, it caters for the multi-passionate among us.
  • If you know how you want to feel, you can more easily identify the goals/intentions that will help you to feel those feelings as you run your business or just go about daily life.
  • It becomes easier to identify whether you’re on the right path or not by asking: “Is this making me feel (insert CDF here)? No? What else can I do to create that feeling?)
  • You can begin to enjoy the journey to your destination, rather than thinking “I’ll be happy when…”
  • The actual words you use can shift and evolve as you do.

What’s the next step?

LaPorte's 'The Desire Map' takes you through the process properly, but you can start with these six steps to see how it makes you feel...

  1. Look at the different areas of your life (e.g. relationships, business/career, finance, health, spirituality etc) and brainstorm words that describe how you want to feel in each area. Then narrow it down to those words that most resonate with you.
  2. Look at where there is overlap and combine those words. For example, I know that I want to feel connection (both to my Self and my Source and to other people), in my relationships, my business and my spiritual life.
  3. Keep combining and connecting words until you get down to around four core desired feelings (it might be three, it might be five, or you might find there is one overarching feeling).
  4. Display these words somewhere you will see it while you are doing your planning for the day/week/month/year.
  5. Be curious about how you can feel more of whatever it is you want to feel as you plan for next year?
  6. Pay attention over time. Notice if any of the words start to feel not quite right or begin to evolve/morph into something else. Notice what things you are doing that don’t make you feel good and work out how you can do them in a different way or not at all (if they have  to get done, who can you delegate to?)
  7. Review and evolve your cored desired feelings whenever it feels right for you.

Over to you...

How does that sound? Have you used this process before? Or do you have another way of doing things entirely? How do you want to feel in 2018? I love to read your tips, tricks and insights, so please share in the comments box below.

About the Author Sara Louise Fox

I am passionate about women in business achieving success in a way that works for them and making the changes they need to make in order to make that happen. However, though change can be exciting it can also be scary, triggering behaviours that might not make sense to you (procrastination or self-sabotage anyone?). I help entrepreneurial women to navigate change with more clarity, confidence and courage so that these behaviours can be dissolved and they can move forward with ease and flow. If that sounds good, I'd love to hear from you!

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