We’ve talked about how to set goals and the best way to achieve them, but what happens when you can’t seem to come up with good goals for yourself at all? What happens when the hardest part isn’t getting started, it’s not even knowing where to start?
Thankfully, there’s a simple exercise you can do when you’re having problems locating the starting line. (And hey, I've provided a free printable for it too.)
“Goals” can be a scary word. It sounds big, lofty and, frankly, like too much hard work. But goals are only as big (or as little) as you make them. Sometimes my goal for the day is just to get out of bed. (Sometimes, like when my parents are looking after my daughter, I’m not even that ambitious.)
So let’s talk about what you can do when your life seems to lack a clear direction, or you just can’t think of anything worth aiming for. Because, let’s face it, we all find ourselves stuck in a rut at some point and can’t figure out where to go next, or how. (Me and the rut are so close we’re practically in a relationship.)
Maybe we feel we lack options, or that we have too many and just don’t know where to start. Or, worse, we feel so down in the dumps that we don’t see how any direction will help us. We feel stuck. Trapped. We lack ambition. We lack self-confidence. We just don’t know what to do with our lives, and goal-setting seems overwhelming or even impossible.
To get yourself back on track, here’s what will help: “do, be, have” targets.
Quite simply, write down one or more things you’d like to do, to be, and to have. Here are some examples:
- Go on a hike
- Attend a concert
- Visit a museum or gallery
- Meet up with a friend
- Complete a project
- A non-smoker
- A painter
- A brunette
- A clear desk
- A new outfit
- Less paper clutter
- All photos digitised
- 15 minutes of me-time daily
As you can see, some can be serious and some can be frivolous (though I did have to scratch out my “have a unicorn” dream in favour of something a little more achievable). Some can be tangible and some can be a little more abstract. The exercise is simply to get your creative juices flowing.
Last week, we looked at the importance of having short-, medium-, and long-term goals, so sit down and write out a list of things you want to do, be and have in the next month, six months, and year.
Throw in a bit of a wild card “if I won the lottery” type and you’ve got yourself ten goals to pull yourself out of that rut and hit the ground running.
Start with the one that excites you most and, before you know it, you’ll be smashing targets and proceeding to bigger and better dreams.
And look, because I'm so lovely, here's a free worksheet you can print out and fill in. Just click the picture below to open it.
So, if you don’t know where to start when it comes to giving your life a sense of purpose, try the “do, be, have” exercise and see where your imagination takes you. Before you know it, you’ll be crossing that finish line and focusing on the next win.
You may also be interested in: