So often, we are told to focus on SMART Goals. These are rules for setting goals so that they REALLY happen! Hey – I’ve been guilty of this in the past too, but something about it has been troubling me lately. When we have SO many priorities, goals, plans and lists, there has to be more to it, than just being SMART.
There has to be something more meaningful than just working smarter, and I feel like I am getting better at knowing what this is. It’s like there’s a flower blossoming inside of me as I learn more about myself and what this could be – the something that made it more meaningful, that kept me motivated to achieve my goals.
It’s my heart.
It’s there when I think about how I spend my time, what helps me jump out of bed in the morning, and how I plan my days.
So, I offer you this opportunity – to listen to your heart more, to lean in and push against the should’s and open your heart. Believe me, this allows so much more love, openness and happiness in ways that you might never have imagined. It also means you can give yourself permission to let go of the goals that aren’t actually as smart as you thought. These are the one’s that end up in your New Year’s Resolution List – every year – because they never actually get done. Because your heart’s not included in the decisions, planning, dreams or desires.
How do you create HEART goals?
Using a similar strategy to smart goals – but with you as the focus.
H = Heart
Your goal needs to make your heart sing! Design your goal around your values, the things that matter most to you, your core desires.
If they don’t match your values, the chances of you staying motivated or being willing to change aspects of your life in order to achieve it will be a big fat zero.
For every goal that you have in mind, check it against your values (here’s a downloadable Values
List, to help you get to know your values). If there is conflict – you’ll sense it in your heart. There might be a concern that you’ll make an excuse for, or something that you think you can overcome, but take some time to sit with it and really check in with your heart. You may need to tweak your goal, or put it to the side until you can deal with the real issues.
E = Energy
Are you excited and enthusiastic about the journey to achieve your goal, and the outcome itself? Do the milestones energise you and keep you motivated?
When you have that motivation that comes from your heart, when you know your life, your business, your family, your self development will improved once you achieve your goal, and the process of achieving it gives you a buzz, and makes you feel happy (despite it being difficult), then that’s energy you need to tap into – because it’s essential to help you move forward.
That’s the energy you need to channel when things are difficult and you have to dig deep. That’s the energy you need when you’re having a bad day.
A = Action
No-brainer right? Well, sometimes taking action can be really hard. It means stepping out of a comfort zone, learning new skills and habits, acknowledging the fears and doing it anyway. Much easier said than done!
Here are a few heart centred approaches to taking action:
- attach your new goal action to something that you really love doing
- imagine your goal being achieved as the end of a chain, and the journey is in making the chain. Each day add another loop to the chain, with your action. (This is a Jerry Seinfeld strategy, if you’re interested!)
- visualise how you will feel when you have achieved your goal. Pull that essence and feeling into you, and channel that feeling to help you overcome the fears to do it anyway.
R = Realistic
Yes – it does need to be realistic – for heart goals and smart goals. Setting yourself up for disappointment and more negative self talk is not the way to make progress, or achieve your heart goals.
It’s OK to aim high, but be practical. Check in with your schedule, check your calendar to see if there are big things coming up and check what sort of time commitment you will need to achieve your goal.
As well as being realistic with the big picture, the details of doing need to be realistic too.
T = Time
You need to be able to have time to do it, and you need to give it a (realistic) time frame.
If your goal needs extra time each morning to achieve it, you may want to consider letting go of something, or just rationalise your Facebook use (there’s usually an extra half an hour minimum to be found each day).
Goals need a time frame, so that you can spread it out evenly. You’ve probably heard the analogy of sprints and marathons – well, goals can be either, but they do take up extra time and energy – premium commodities for mums in business. I’d suggest a longer time frame to allow for life, nourishment & love.
Approaching goals from the inside out sits better, takes that external pressure off, and allows you to use the love for yourself to help motivate and achieve your goals, and that’s way better than approaching your goals from feeling like you are ‘lacking’, or will be frowned upon by others.
If you find yourself losing your way whilst achieving your goal, it doesn’t mean that you have failed. It means that any of the aspects of your HEART goal may need to be adjusted or reviewed.
OR you might be interested in having your Most Productive Day
– by stepping away from your Inbox and sorting it out in 7 Strategic Steps!
I’m all about heart-centred productivity – getting to the heart of what you do and why, because it’s there you will find the most powerful motivation, focus and clarity – and when you have that, you thrive, and so does your family.