by Jenn Musselman, IPEC Certified Life Coach
With the new year at hand, many of us would normally take this opportunity to look forward and set new goals, but with the events of 2020, some of us may be reluctant to plan for anything in 2021. Because so much of our current world feels uncertain and out of our control, it can feel pointless to think about goals and aspirations. While we want to be motivated, we have felt frustrated by thwarted plans and a constantly shifting world in the last year. So, just how do we get beyond our resistance to planning and goal-setting for 2021?
We all have response patterns to uncertainty that we develop in our early years, so one of the first steps to getting past resistance to setting goals is to know ourselves. Taking time to reflect on how we have dealt with uncertainty in the past, can give us clues to how that pattern may be hindering us from thriving in the now. Take a moment to identify a time in your early life when you may have experienced change and an unclear path ahead. How did you respond? Can you identify this same response to the events of the past year? Can you start to see your pattern of dealing with uncertainty?
The next step is important since a goal has very little power if the right intention is not behind it. Setting intention has a weight to it that a vague goal does not. When we set clear intentions, we set our foundation for manifestation. Specificity in intention has a deep power. Consider, “I desire to be thinner,” versus, “I desire to be 15 pounds lighter 6 months from today.” The general desire is still the same, but the second version’s intention is clearer and the energy is more directed. To state an intention with specific detail and with time frames can help drive the rest of the goal-setting process forward. This step is an important driver for the next step in our process. What are your biggest intentions for 2021?
Our next step is imagination, the act of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never perceived as reality. So, let’s begin imagining. Start by sitting in a quiet comfortable position. Take a few wide open breaths allowing your body to relax into the moment. Imagine the thing or situation that you desire. Picture every scene and situation you can concerning what you desire. Engage every sense in your imagination: colors, sounds, tastes, smells, touch….envision even the tiniest details around your desire. If your goal is to get promoted in the next year, imagine how the announcement is made, what your new office feels like, how you might interact with your new staff, what your new paycheck feels like in your hands. You can see how the process of setting a clear intention is helpful with the process of imagination. What are you specifically imagining about your top goal for 2021?
The next step in the process is critical. True magic happens when your imagination includes the emotions and feelings of having what you want. Emotions engage our belief in something. We may want something, but if we don’t believe it and feel it, we are incongruent with our intention and it will not come to pass. Feel your desire in your heart. Immerse yourself in all the feelings you would have about your goal when it is achieved. For instance, if your desire is to find the love of your life, bring to yourself all the feelings you might have if this person were in your life right now: deep love, comfort, admiration, sense of security, respect, confidence, contentment, etc. Time delays may happen in receiving what you want when your feelings are incongruent with your desires. If you believe you are not worthy of great love, you may imagine a great soulmate, but your current feeling of unworthiness may overwhelm your future feeling of confidence. Where are you feeling incongruent with your imagined goal? What would it take to change how you feel?
Our final step is action. All intention, imagination and feeling is important; however, the most crucial step in the process of realizing your desires is to take action. Even the smallest step in the direction of your dreams is a statement of your sure commitment to your goals. Each step you take adds to the full journey toward what you desire. If you want to lose weight, even putting on your sneakers to work out when you don’t want to may commit you to actually exercising. If you desire a promotion, making an appointment to talk with your boss about your goals commits you to finding a path to your desired dream. If you want a worthy life partner, committing time to work on your attitudes towards yourself may improve your feelings of worthiness which will ultimately draw in people who are congruent with what you truly desire. What are the actions that you will take towards your goals in 2021?
Explore more about goal-setting with life coach Jenn Musselman.