Have you ever had dreams or goals that you’ve been so excited about you just couldn’t wait to make them happen? And then suddenly plateaued after a really good start? Or even before you got started?
I know, so frustrating! You’re not alone. Wherever we look, we’re advised on how to dream and set our goals successfully, yet almost every advice we receive misses a very important ingredient that actually changes everything.
It’s not the things that we want, it’s the emotions.
As important as it is to be clear on what you want, you have to know what are the feelings you want to experience in your life through those dreams and goals. Otherwise it just does not work. We only ever dream about or want something because we believe that we would feel better in the having of it, whatever the ”it” may be. So, after you’ve written down your dream or goal, translate it to feelings – what is the emotional experience you’d like to have. For example:
Dream/goal: find a partner to share life with
I’d like to feel: belonging, closeness, connected, happy, loved
Dream/goal: make x amount of money
I’d like to feel: clear-minded, focused, free, liberated, resourceful
Dream/goal: get into ideal body shape
I’d like to feel: energized, confident, healthy, inspired, respected
Dream/goal: buy a new car
I’d like to feel: adventurous, eager, excited, successful, unique.
By thinking about your dreams and goals as emotional experiences you’d like to feel in your life, you make sure you give your mind the right direction. Often times, we dream and set goals with rationality and reason in mind. After all, that’s how we’ve been taught the real world works. But because of it, we unintentionally set ourselves to a mischievous path. If it in anyhow seems impossible to get what we want, we, without even noticing it, start to make our dreams and goals smaller. Our attention, then, is caught on the doubts and fears that surfaced after we first stated what we want. And the game is pretty much lost at this point, as our actions become reactions to our fears and doubts, outweighing our dreams and goals completely.
The direction we give to our mind is key. It determines the results we want to achieve. We give the direction to our minds by the images we imagine. If in our minds we nurture pictures of failure, we will get failure. If we nurture pictures of success, we get success. We get what we prepare for, because the images in our mind lead the actions we take. And the action we take determines the results we get. When identifying what we want as feelings and by reminding ourselves of those feelings regularly, which means at least daily, if not many times per day, we are preparing ourselves for success.
Now there are many ways in which you can remind yourself of the wanted feelings. One of my personal favorites is to have my phone alarming me at certain times of the day and keep me focused. You can also write post-it notes and place them in handy places or build a habit of checking in with your state of mind as part of your morning and lunchtime routines, so that over time it becomes an automatic part of your day.
Moreover, we are able to build those feelings into our everyday lives in purpose, not leaving it to chance. Not anymore are those feelings tied into whether you achieve what you want to achieve or not – you feeling those feelings is dependent only on you designing and building them into your daily life consciously. And oh my, isn’t that a relief!
It’s such a relief that it has enabled at least me to enjoy already the journey, which then again helps me to act on my dreams and goals more freely. What a wonderful upward spiral it is! But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself!
Paula Immo is an international success coach based in Oulu, Finland. She coaches award-winning entrepreneurs, experts and business leaders, and has helped especially women around the world to live their dream lives. Sign up for her free tips on how to live life on your own terms, too.