Yesterday I had the honor to lead two workshops on goal-setting with local County employees. In the first 5 minutes, I asked both groups to share a few examples of goals.

Interestingly, both groups listed the exact same goals:

– Lose weight
– Budget better
– Be more organized

Sound like a familiar wish list? Me too.

But here’s the problem with what they listed: they’re horrible goals, if you could call them goals at all.

Here’s why:

1. They’re framed in the negative.

Goals are meant to be something you want to achieve, but these 3 aspirations feel more like punishments for being imperfect than exciting prospects you want to fulfill.

Read them aloud to yourself and see what you notice. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel drained, tired, and hopeless – and that’s before you’ve even started!

If you want to succeed at reaching your goals, they need to be things that actually feel good to you.

Which brings us to #2…

2. They’re not the real prize.

No one wants to lose weight just to lose weight. Or budget just to budget. There’s something else that you want – something bigger, better, and more exciting that you assume these markers indicate you’ve achieved.

To have goals you’ll stick to and want to achieve, you’ve got to tap into what you really want.

Lose weight to feel vibrant & energized…
So that you can play with your kids.
So that you can travel in retirement instead of thinking you wasted your best years working.

Budget better to feel free…
So that you can enjoy the things in life that matter to you.
So that you know you get choose your life instead of feeling stuck falling behind.

Be more organized to feel confident & competent…
So that you have time and energy for the things, activities, & people you love.
So that you love and accept the person you are.

Get clear on your “so that” because that’s your real goal.

That’s what you really want. The feelings you have when you envision that future – those are the emotions that will keep you moving forward, even when you want to quit.

See if you’re setting yourself up for goal-failure today by checking in with your goals & rephrasing them to positive, emotion-based ways of being you want to achieve.

Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!