It’s time to talk about that wellness goal…you know the one. The goal you’ve been wanting to tackle for the last six months, or even a few years (we won’t tell anyone). It’s that one you haven’t made any progress on. (HINT: the one you’re thinking about right NOW.)
Stop beating yourself up and bring that scary beast out into the light and get ready for some goal clarity ?
Use our two-step goal-getting process to figure out if you should continue along the path of the goal, change it to meet your needs, or ditch it altogether.
Hot tip: don’t rush through this – take your time through the following to create the change you wish to be in your world.
Step 1: Categorize & Clarify
What category of wellness does your goal, habit, or practice fall into? Here at tuja, we’ve determined 6 specific wellness areas:
- Emotional Health: this could include goals like seeking holistic therapy or counselling, developing self-compassion, or managing strong emotional responses more skillfully.
- Intellectual Health: this might include reading in your spare time versus Netflixing or learning a new skill or creative endeavour.
- Spiritual Health: goals like meditation, prayer, making time to connect to the higher power of your understanding, finding meaning and purpose in your everyday life.
- Physical Health: goals that have to do with nutrition, sleep, movement and sexual health would fall into this category.
- Occupational Health: goals that have to do with your work or career would fall under occupational health.
- Social Health: goals that surround relationships, communication, intimacy, community or the planet.
CLARIFY WHAT YOU WANT (and what you don’t!)
Now, let’s figure out what you really want when it comes to your chosen wellness area.
Make a list of both tangible things (i.e. “a job that allows me to be more active” or “a spiritual mentor”) and adjectives (i.e. “calm, peaceful, energized” or “strong, connected, knowledgeable”) that you want to have when it comes to this area.
Now let’s also explore what you DON’T want. Make another list of tangible things you don’t want, or descriptions of how you don’t want to feel (i.e. “a desk job,” “being accessible by email 24/7” or “burnout, doubt, alone.”
Does your original goal fit in with what you said you really want (and don’t want)?
If there’s a disconnect, where is it? That disconnect might be why you haven’t actioned the goal or why it’s stuck on the back burner.
Now you can clarify the goal to match what you want or change it altogether!
The goal I’ve been putting off is running a marathon. When I do the above clarifying practice, I realize that what I really want around my physical health is community. This clarifies that the goal might not be running a marathon but finding a fitness community I can join: i.e. group fitness or a running club. I also realize that I really want cardio health, which I can create by training for a shorter distance run vs. a marathon.
Getting clear about what you really want will help you refine the goal, so it’s more meaningful.
Step 2: Asking Some Tough Questions
Time to delve in deeper. This step separates the idealists from the realists. It’s time to ask yourself some tough questions.
- Question #1: “So, really, why haven’t I completed this goal yet?” Answer it honestly.
- Question #2: “Is that really true?”
- Questions #3: “What’s really holding me back? What’s really getting in my way of completing this goal?”
These are tough questions to ask and might make you feel a bit uncomfortable. (This is actually good news – discomfort means you’re in the growth zone!)
Back to the marathon goal, maybe the first answer is, “I haven’t done it yet because I have no time to train.”
When I ask myself if that’s really true, I realize that if I just stayed off social media for one hour each day, I’d have lots of time to run.
So what’s really holding me back? Well, maybe I don’t actually want to do it! Perhaps this is someone else’s goal. Maybe many of my friends ran marathons, so I think I have to do it, but I actually don’t want this goal.
Asking these tough questions can be the trick! It’s helpful to have an objective viewpoint to offer some guidance. An objective view would be someone outside your scenario who has no emotional investment, and because of that neutrality, can offer their thoughts for more clarity (for example, a supportive mentor or coach).
Once you start to see clearly what’s really holding you back, you can’t unsee it. This often leads to motivation to either re-commit, ditch the shallow goal without meaning, or adjust it so that it feels more inspiring.
Now that you have more goal clarity, one of the biggest challenges is actioning the goal! What would help you remember to take action?
Write the goal on a sticky note and put it on your laptop? Create a daily reminder in your phone? Put your running shoes at the door to remember to run?
For our top 5 tips to form a new habit, check out this article to help make it happen!