Comfortable goals are boring!
Just like comfort eating, we can easily pick up the habit of comfort goaling!
If you have ever woken up one late morning on January the 1st with a desire to set yourself a goal, you probably already know that after an initial spout of energy, there is a slow fizzling out period rather like the Alka Selzer sitting on your bedside table! Goals can be uncomfortable to carry through, especially if the purpose of that goal doesn't set you on fire! A goal needs to be exciting, but it also needs to challenge you. Setting comfortable goals doesn't incite transformation......
Examples of comfortable goals
You get the drift - you want your cake and you want to eat it. Normal right?
Of course! and you don't have to be hard on yourself and be uncomfortable to be successful. The reason all of those goals listed above are 'comfortable' is because they are avoiding commitment. Commitment needs motivation and motivation is only real if there is a clear purpose behind it that comes from an alignment to what makes us passionate and energetic. If goals are just moving away from what isn't working, they can lack pzazz! It's important to zoom out and see the bigger picture...
The insidious 'comfort' in comfortable goals
Being comfortable often translates to not moving. Just conger up an image of comfort and you may find yourself in your slippers and watching a nice movie on the T.V or soaking in a hot bath, but when it comes to self-realization or evolving in any area of our lives, comfort just keeps you in the same patterns and does not lead to growth or expansion. If everything was comfortable, it would make life rather monotonous and dull, and that's because it is the discomfort that makes us aware and honest with regards to how we are expressing, living, working or parenting for example. Comfort keeps on saying "stick with what you know and you'll be safe."
Moving out of the comfort zone and creating the goal
Firstly let's look at moving out of your comfort zone. It's a hot day, do you jump into the swimming pool because you are too hot and the discomfort of the heat is enough to motivate the plunge into cool water, even though you know that the cold will be uncomfortable for a short period of time, or, are you just loving the idea of swimming in that blue water that looks so enticing? This is the intention that you can focus on, the reason for the goal in the first place.
Secondly observe honestly how this particular goal makes you feel. Meh or hell yeah!
Thirdly make sure that the goal is exact - focused and clear. I'm going to be more self-caring this year is a bit bland and general. It's better to say I'm going to stick to a) a healthier diet b) an exercise routine on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and c) I'm going to set a time of 10 pm to go to bed in the week.
Fourthly check in with your body and sense how it feels about what you are intending. Do you feel positive that this is achievable and something that can be mastered in the next 3-6 months? Do you feel anxiety and if so, where do you feel it and what is the intensity? You can then anticipate some strategies that will reduce any anxiety that will help you to be more successful.
Lastly zoom out and see the bigger picture. How does this fit in with your sense of purpose? What values are dear to you and how do they relate? How does this goal contribute to other people in your life and society as a whole - this can also give a sense of purpose that is not just individually motivated which helps you to stay on track.
Comfortable goals or exciting purpose?
Life is never really comfortable. If you don't move, life moves you. Everything is in motion and we can either be in harmony with the flow or move against its rhythm with all of the discomfort that this will eventually entail.
A great way to think of a goal is to ask yourself 'What's next?' Instead of imagining goals as lineal journeys of self-development from A to B i.e. go to the moon, plant your flag and say "I'm here," think of them as a way of continually evolving and accepting of the next challenge. Goals can constantly unfold if we are willing to observe what the next step may be and claim the opportunities that present themselves.
Purpose can be elusive or really exciting especially when it transcends our individual needs and encompasses the wellbeing of others. Taking responsibility, committing to your life and expressing the best version of you has a positive impact on you and all those around you - we are all connected.
Instead of comfortable goals think of dynamic, evolutionary and life-changing goals that form part of your purpose to contribute to all. If you are healthier you are more joyful, if you are organised you help others navigate around you, if you are confident, you will inspire others for example.
Want to achieve your goals with confidence?
click below to get a free guide to setting goals that will help you to identify your goal, organise a strategy with this great tool and carry it through.