Goal Setting Process
So, you have something you want to accomplish. Your intuition is speaking to you. You have a calling within your heart. And you’re ready to commit to doing the work it takes to bring it to fruition. These are the starting points of any goal setting!
To set goals and achieve them in an intuitive and spiritually inspired manner, you can’t be so rigid in your methods. You need to be rigid in your embodiment.
While there are lots of different methods of setting and achieving goals, they aren’t nearly as important as the ego mind makes them seem.
Because the ego mind likes structure, rules, and predictability, having a plan to follow usually makes it very happy. The problems and discouragement begin when we’re overly strict about following those rules.
This structured goal setting process is indeed very important. Which is why we’re going to be discussing how to do it in detail. In this podcast episode, we’re going to talk about how to set effective goals, how to achieve them, and how this all relates to the magic of manifesting.
But, I promise that all of this work will be for naught if you don’t choose to approach your goals with a manifesting growth mindset.
The Universe needs two things from you when you’re manifesting a goal: hard work and openness.
Hard work because you have to prove you’re willing to do what needs to be done to make room for your manifestation.
Openness because the Universe needs room to work its magic in order to send you something spectacular. Something that’s so much bigger and better than you’re currently imagining.
Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about the phases of manifesting. In this post we’ll focus on the mindful action phase.
SMART Goal Setting
What makes a good goal? You may have heard of the concept of SMART goals. I am not an expert in this method, nor am I claiming any sort of creation of the idea. But it is a very helpful acronym for what makes a good goal that you can attain.
SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timebound.
Here’s an example goal that we’ll work with for this episode: In one year, I will have a completed, self published book available for purchase online and in retail stores.
Notice how it’s not wishy washy, it meets most of the criteria of a SMART goal.
All goals should be specific. Just as with manifesting, you must know exactly what you’re going towards. Otherwise, you’re going to burn out and lose motivation.
This specificity is vital to manifesting as well. Be very clear on what you desire to accomplish and bring into your life. If you don’t, you’ll lack direction and focus.
Goals feed lifestyle changes. But usually, we don’t think of our lifestyle changes as “goals.” A goal would be to complete your first draft of your book. While a lifestyle change would be to become a writer. See the difference? They compliment each other!
Measurability is what makes a goal a goal. This is why lifestyle changes aren’t typically “goals” because there’s no clear indication on when it’s been accomplished. More of a transition into a different way of being.
Actionable is the next component of a successful goal. If there aren’t any clear actions you can take to bring you closer to the goal, then you need to get more specific. “Become an author” isn’t specific or actionable enough. “Finish my manuscript first draft in 30 days” is much more specific and actionable.
Your goals have to be realistic yet challenging. They have to push you to do something different than you’re already doing. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be feeling the itch to commit to the goal. At the same time, don’t set your expectations so high that your goal seems unattainable in a relatively short time frame.
Speaking of time, having a time frame for your goal can help you set up your action plan. But not all goals do well with time frames. And being too strict about time could potentially diminish the Universe’s ability to help you manifest your goal.
The best way around this is to use a “loose” time frame. Have an idea of when you’d like to have this goal accomplished, ideally within the next year. But if you’re doing all the things and it is taking longer than expected, don’t sweat it.
The work behind the goal is more important than the time it takes to get there. All in Divine Timing!
Now that you know what your big goal is, it’s time to do a goal brain dump. Write out all the steps you can think of involved in pursuing this goal. Then, you can categorize them and put them in sequential order.
Alternatively, if brain dumps aren’t helpful for you, you could work in a more linear fashion. Either working backwards from the end point or working forwards towards the end point.
The idea is to illustrate the actions you need to physically take to get closer to your goal on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Depending on the size of the goal, you could even do quarterly and/or yearly action steps.
How to Achieve Goals
No goal can be achieved without a growth mindset. Instead of believing that all your current traits and abilities are permanent, believe that you are malleable.
Make the choice to embrace growth. Believe that you can learn any skill necessary to accomplish your goal. Decide to love the process and focus the bulk of your attention on the journey.
Have just as much fun navigating the path to your goal as you will living your goal!
Next I’ll outline the basics of how I have always approached my own goals, even before they were all spiritual in nature. I find this system works very well for me and I wanted to share it with you:
Your big vision
Start with your big vision, and be as specific as you can be.What do you want your life to look like in one year? What about five years?
Consider all areas of life: physical, mental/emotional, relationships/family, career, hobbies/interests, and spiritual. Where does your goal fall? Are you working to achieve just one goal right now, or are you setting out to transform your lifestyle?
Focus your attention on the result, not the steps you’ll take to get there. Emphasize the sensation of the accomplishment.
Example: Envision your book cover, the price, the availability in retail stores, how many words total, people reading it and enjoying it. How does it feel to hold your book? To see it in stores? To see other people reading it? What will it feel like to complete this project?
Then, it’s time to start breaking down this big vision into milestones. Remember that we are setting up systems for new habits, not necessarily reaching a finish line.
Think about your milestones having been reached when certain habits are made or broken, you learn a new skill, you pass a certain threshold.
Be honest and realistic with yourself, but also don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. You want to be slightly uncomfortable. You want to think, “Oh man, that seems like a lofty goal but I can totally achieve it.”
If your goal is too unrealistic, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If your goal is too easy and within reach, you won’t grow or learn as much.
After you have broken down your vision into at least three milestones (more milestones will likely make it seem more achievable for you), now you can begin planning out your daily habit changes that will eventually result in your realizing your vision.
Your milestones may seem like items on a checklist, and that’s okay. These are indicators to you that you’re on the right path towards your goal.
Each time you surpass a milestone, celebrate! And mark it off that checklist!
Example goal: My entire book word count goal is 30,000, to be done in 8 weeks. That would be 3,750 words written per week. That is between 500-600 words written daily.
Further milestone examples could include getting a book cover designed, finishing the first draft, editing the first draft, and creating marketing copy. Any sort of task that must be completed that will bring you closer to the sensation of your end result is a milestone.
In this section, “goals” and “habits” are interchangeable because goals aren’t accomplished without habits.
Consider your nearest milestone. Then consider the future version of yourself who has reached that milestone. What are they doing differently than you?
Deep down, you already know what to do. It may not seem that way because your current habits are likely the exact opposite of what you really want them to be. But you do know.
Your soul, your heart, and your intuition knows. It’s time to get the ego on board with all the other parts of you before you can start establishing new habits!
Now that you know what you need to do, there’s nothing left but doing it.
It’s best to start with small commitments daily. Don’t set yourself up for failure, don’t expect your habits to change overnight. But do challenge yourself and hold yourself accountable.
Example goal: Every day I will sit down to write at least 500 words of my manuscript draft.
Weekly goals are different from your daily goals. We’re still working on building habits, but on a slightly larger scale. And as we go through monthly goals, the lens zooms out even further.
Your weekly goals should focus more on the slightly bigger milestones you gave yourself, but not the biggest ones.
Each week you can select a task that brings you closer to that milestone.
The key here is to not distract from your daily habits and milestones just yet. Ideally, your weekly goal can either be completed in one sitting, or in just a few minutes a day.
If the goals start to become too lofty, we’re going to overwhelm ourselves and shut down completely.
Select your “medium sized” milestones from your brain dump and assign them to a specific week on your calendar. Then when that week arrives, get it done!
Ideally, your weekly goals will compliment your daily goals. Keep the overlapping to a minimum. Your weekly goals are more like strides towards the end result, while your daily goals are more like baby steps.
Example goal: Each week I will focus on one piece of the physical aspect of my book: cover design, book description, author bio, copyright page, table of contents, etc.
If your daily goals are baby steps, and your weekly goals are strides, then your monthly goals are giant leaps!
We are zooming our goal-lens out even further to encompass more of the bigger picture of our goal.
Here is where we take our “large” sized milestones and spread them out over the course of the year (or so) that we are pursuing this goal.
These are the types of milestones that are sexy. These are the milestones that make you call your mom so you can brag about how amazing you are.
They invoke a sense of accomplishment in us before we even attain the end result. They’re likely some of the first milestones you came up with in your brain dump. Such as completing your manuscript, or hiring a cover designer, or hitting the “publish” button, or completing a first round of edits.
But your monthly goals aren’t just the sexy ones. They’re also the necessary ones. As with any new goal, you will have to acquire new skills to make it happen.
Do the same thing you did with your weekly goals. Mark down somewhere in your calendar or planning system what your big milestone goal is for that month. Then every week, do something that brings you closer to achieving it.
Example goal: Each month I will research one specific topic around self publishing and the writing craft.
All of our daily, weekly, and monthly (and beyond!) goals have a compound effect. We are chipping away at all the little things that make up the larger end result.
Setting Goals with the Law of Attraction
Working towards goals and milestones falls into the “mindful action” category of the four manifesting phases.
I won’t go into too much detail here, but I do want to remind you that manifesting isn’t the same as making wishes.
You have to clearly define what you’re going for and how you’re going to start the journey there, hence all the things I’ve outlined here.
Where the magic of manifesting comes in is your openness to explore alternatives, to reevaluate, and to recognize signs from the Universe.
I know it can be hard to move away from the safety of the plan you’ve just worked so hard to create. But I want you to rethink the reason why we plan in the first place.
We plan so we can get the ball rolling. We work on our daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even yearly goals so we can get ourselves in the right mindset to receive our manifestation. We have to prove to the Universe and ourselves that we are ready and willing to do the work.
Co-creating isn’t without us doing our part. Manifesting isn’t demanding the Universe send us exactly what we want the second we ask for it.
Spiritual goal planning and achieving is about finding the direction we’re meant to be headed in this moment.
That direction could change very soon. But for right now, we can use our intuition and the systematic goals we’ve developed here as a compass. It points us in the right direction, but it’s not a detailed map.
And it’s not up to you to worry about the details. You’re only meant to focus on embodying the feeling of already having received your manifestation, as well as releasing your attachment to the outcome.
I don’t want you to overcomplicate the mindful planning phase of manifesting. Only the Universe can see the entire map anyway, so just follow the compass, even if it starts pointing somewhere unexpected.
So we plan out the steps we will start taking to reach our goal/manifestation. And there’s a chance that those steps still allow the Universe to send us our manifestation.
In case they aren’t though, the Universe will let us know. The Universe will call our attention somewhere else, will place something else in our path that we know will take us someplace incredible.
Remember: the Universe wants you to chase your goals while staying open to greater possibilities!