Hey everyone! Today I want to feature an AMAZING post from the one and only Kerry Connelly! Kerry is a Certified Life Coach and Human Behavior Specialist (and was my biz coach!), and is passionate about helping people be their best possible selves in life and in work.
And Kerry is fabulous at helping people define their goals and find their life’s purpose.
The Secret About Goals No One Ever Told You
I have failed many times, and I have watched many people who set goals — clients, friends, family — fail, too. For a long time, those failures would knock me off my feet for days or weeks at a time, and I’ve seen others completely give up on their dreams because of a missed goal.
But I know a secret.
I learned it somewhere along the way, and it’s dramatically changed the way I think about my goals.
See, here’s the thing: Goals in and of themselves are not really all that important. We make them these REALLY BIG THINGS in our heads; the be all, end all; the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that will make our lives perfect if we could just reach it.
But the truth about goals is that really, they’re just a way to tell time.
Yes, you read that right.
Goals are simply time management tools to help you know if you’re on track to live out your destiny. That’s it.
And destiny, well. The thing about destiny is you’re always chasing it down, always living it out, always in the process of fulfilling it. Your purpose, your big, huge, raison d’etre, is your destiny and if you’ve reached it, well, it might be time to take that trip of a lifetime, because your time here on earth might be short. You know what they say — if you’re still breathing, God still has something left for you to do.
If you’re living on purpose, if you’re truly working on fulfilling your destiny, you know that it’s a life-long thing. Every accomplishment just leads to the next Big Thing. You know all those people who look all Zen and tell you, when you’re frustrated, “It’s a journey!” and you want to slap them?
Well, they’re kind of right.
With that in mind, we can readjust our thinking about goals. We can understand them for what they are: mile markers on that trip we’re taking to our destiny. If I know where I’m going, my goals are simply a tool that helps me understand where I want to be by what time.
If I know my destiny, for example, is to create a company that elevates women and changes their lives, ultimately making the world a better place, I can develop goals that support that destiny. Whether I reach those goals or not is not the end game — my destiny is. Reaching — or missing — those goals simply tells me that I’m either on track, or I need to change my direction. That’s it. Nothing to get ourselves all in a tizzy over.
So here are some tips that can help you create joyful goals that support your destiny, instead of frustrating goals that make you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork:
- Create a Mission Statement for your life. When you know and recognize what you’ve been put on this earth to do, it’s so much easier to decide how to spend your time, because everything can be measured against your mission. For example, if my mission is to elevate women, and I have to decide between two job opportunities, understanding my life’s mission will help me make the better choice. I know I’ll be more fulfilled if I choose the job that’s in line with my mission than the one that’s, say, selling machine parts to zoo keepers, or something.
- Develop Supportive Goals. Supportive goals are goals that will better equip you to live out your destiny and life’s mission. They may not always seem to connect — for example, I know I need the stamina and energy to chase down my purpose, so staying in shape and reaching my goal weight is a supporting goal for me. (It also inspires the women I hope to elevate!). Similarly, being financially fit might also support your life’s mission, even if it’s not a goal that’s directly related. And of course, it’s important to set goals that are directly related to your mission, and set a deadline for them.
- Be in it for the long haul. Destiny chasing is no small race. It’s a life long marathon. Understand that every day you get better and more experienced, more able to fulfill your mission than ever before. Thinking this way helps ward off frustration.
- Be ok with ambiguity. Often you have to step into the fog to gain clarity. You might not have an idea what your life’s mission should be, but I promise: it’s there inside you somewhere. Taking even the smallest step, like journaling about your dream job or doing some research on those art classes you’ve always wanted to take can lead you to the next step. But that next step will never be clear if you don’t step into that foggy, murky little space called action.
- Be willing to pivot. Very often, as you start chasing down your dreams and after you’ve stepped into that fog, you’ll be led somewhere entirely different from where you thought you were going. That’s ok! It happens! Trust that when you look back, you’ll understand the detour. Usually, it has to do with life experience and lessons you needed to learn, that you’ll use when you least expect it.
- Trust. This is probably the hardest part. I love Jeremiah 29, where God basically tells us to chill out — he has a plan for us, and it is to prosper us and not to harm us. We can relax in him, and just do our best. I like that, and that is the scripture I run on when all else fails.
Finally, here’s a point to remember: A missed goal is not failure, it’s information. Now, you’re better equipped with an understanding that what you did didn’t work. Like Thomas Edison and his light bulbs, you may have to try 99 ways that don’t work before you create the thing that changes the world.
And that’s okay.
Kerry has over twenty-five years in the corporate and direct selling arenas, and is the Founder and Executive Director of She*s ELEVATED, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to elevate women to their higher purpose. She is a New York City Leadership Fellow and writes a popular blog called Jersey girl, JESUS.