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You’re a high achiever and you’re used to getting things done and getting what you want. But if you’re here, you’re probably wondering if there’s a better way to set and achieve your goals. Maybe a lifetime of perfectionistic patterns, people pleasing, and being hard on yourself has exhausted you? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to feel more resilient so that you don’t burn out! Either way, we’re here to help you!

As deep coaches and nurses with a lot of experience in the holistic wellbeing space, we’re often asked about goal setting. That’s honestly one of our specialties and it will come as no surprise that our approach means looking at things from a holistic perspective as well as going a few layers deeper than you might be used to! We’re also going to factor in a few things you might not be expecting. Let’s get to it!

Get clear on what success looks like for you personally

Not what you think success means to your peers, family or friends. What is truly important to you? What are your values? What do you really want? Really really want? Really really really want? And once again, when you remember that no one is looking, what do you really want now?

This is foundational because setting goals in alignment with what is true for you and what feels right for you is the best way to ensure that you don’t burn out and that you actually achieve them. This means it’s time to embrace that your goals today might look very different from a pattern you have been living in previously. 

Try running your goal through a 3 part test – with your head, your heart, and your gut – and see if those three areas match up!  You can also imagine, if these three areas were having a conversation with each other, what would they say?

1 – Your head – your thoughts and “logic”

What thoughts are you thinking about it? You might notice things like fear and doubt here, but keep going, we can address these and test them later. This is because your brain just wants to keep you safe!

2 – Your heart – your feelings and emotions

What feelings and emotions does this goal bring up? What sensations do you notice in your body when you think about it? Spend some time noticing here and see what comes up.

3 – Your gut – your intuition, and those “deep down” knowings

There’s a reason we say we have “gut feelings” or we just know “deep down.” It’s science! This sense might be a little vague and you may not really have words to describe what you notice here. That’s okay!

Redefine motivation

Very often, your motivation can come from beliefs, patterns, and programming that are no longer helpful, supportive, or even relevant to your current situation. What do we mean by that? You might be living out habits that no longer serve you. What got you here (even if the “here” means lots of success) might have been effective for a while. But did it come at a high price? Like your mental health? Is it sustainable?

Think about things you heard as a child about success and achievement. Maybe from your parents, teachers, or the media. Many of us hang on to these things and let them run the show without even realizing it. This is a great place to do some “inner work,” evaluate your current beliefs, detach from what no longer serves you, and choose what you want going forward. 

Something else that’s critical? Don’t fear self compassion – it’s way more effective at motivating you than being harsh and critical of yourself! (More on this below)

Detach your worth from everything external and learn how to internally validate yourself

We have tons to say on this and you can read about this topic in much more detail here. But to summarize it, you want to detach from what is outside of your control and reconnect with what’s inside of you and inside of your control. For example, things like results, compensation, and recognition are outside of your control. And by contrast, things like your willingness to show up, the way you trust yourself, your mindset, and creativity are inside of your control.

So consider these when you set your goals. Of course your goals may involve some things like tangible results and numbers, but those are not the only things that are important here. And if you only define success or measure your results by what’s external, you’ll always feel like you’re on a hamster wheel and you run the risk of burning out.

Learn and practice self compassion

Embrace self compassion as a highly effective and positive motivator. Challenge your thoughts, practice calling out the negative ones. This is how you change your relationship with them and ultimately yourself.

Try these exercises:

  • Ask yourself, what would it look like to be even 1% kinder to yourself? 
  • Create a list of things you love and appreciate about yourself
  • Take breaks and allow yourself to rest as needed – you’re sharpening your ax so to speak and you’ll function much better!
  • When in doubt ask yourself how would treat your best friend going thru the same thing

Deepen self trust

Again, we have so much to say about this! And you can read the full article here. The short version? Slow down, get quiet and listen to your thoughts. Assess your beliefs and if they’re truly yours or not. Learn to read your body’s signals like your intuition and interoception. Spend time in self reflection like journaling or mindfulness. Practice movement that challenges your balance. And with all of these, practice, practice, practice!

Focus on nurturing thoughts and mindset

Decide how you’re going to think

By this we mean, *choose* thoughts and a mindset that are SUPPORTIVE to you and your goals! Ask yourself, what thoughts will help me to keep going? What thoughts will energize me and make me excited about this goal? What thoughts will help me remember how powerful and capable I am?

Set goals in positive framing

So don’t focus on what you don’t want but focus on what you DO want. And make sure you write your goals down and think about them in this way. It’s super important to keep in mind that the subconscious doesn’t process “not.” For example – if I say don’t think about a croissant, you’re going to think about a croissant. So don’t say you have a goal to “not” do something, or stop doing something. And again, focus on the thing you actually want.

What you focus on, you’ll get more of

There’s a nice way to remember this thanks to Tony Robbins, “where focus goes, energy flows.” And really, what you focus on is what expands. So once again make sure you’re focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want or don’t have.

Practice positive visualization

Even just a few minutes at a time changes your brain over time! Doing this as a practice helps you see opportunities you literally won’t see when you’re focused on the negative. Try doing it before you go to bed or when you wake up (or both)! Can you see yourself being this person, having that thing, or achieving that goal? Imagine it as vividly as you can and in as much detail as possible.

And if you’d like to take it one step further, we created this step-by-step guide for making your own vision board!

Lean into support

If you’re ready to get to your next level without burning out and believe in the power of thought partnership and someone to support you along the way, that’s us! You can book a 1:1 session where we can help you map out your vision and goals and see if working with one of us is a fit! Click the link here to schedule a complimentary session.

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