Goal-Setting Hack: Part 3 - The Tools

Trying to be happy while achieving your goals? Here's Part 3: The tools! 


Tool 1: I can’t make myself do my goal!

When you can't do the thing you want to do. Take the blame and anger out of the equation. There’s a reason you’re not doing the thing and it’s not “I’m lazy.” Setting goals can be their own science, because sometimes we can’t do them when they are phrased in the wrong way. That can mean even in the increment they’re written – or the tense, and a major factor – is whether or not you will receive feedback. When there’s no carrot, there’s no clock on a goal. So you’ve got to make the step more practical. Try out a couple different shapes to the goal. Sometimes an increment will be way more achievable if you change the shape of it. For example, maybe you have been saying "I need to write every day." Instead, try making that goal into "write one page a day." If that's not working then make it into write one paragraph.

Tool 2: How thoughts kill inspiration

There are thoughts that inspire and empower and thoughts that stop. When you are not effective at something, choose to make the goal into a different increment. Our inner narrative often creates the majority of our experience. For example, when I lost a paper in junior high – I cried and spent an hour telling people about it. When I rewrote it, it took 20 minutes. Make goals into words that are deliberately inspiring and empowering for example if you are saying in your head this is going to be hard that is going to make you not able to achieve the goal instead say this is going to be something I have no prediction of.


Tool 3: Build Failure Stamina

Doing new things is - by default - a pain in the ass and extremely frustrating if you are doing something that you're good at for a long period of time. People get used to staying in their arena because it's comfortable if feels good. As soon as you leave that arena and you push yourself to try something else, things will feel not worth it. They will feel frustrating and like you can't do it and you don't want to do it and - in short, like tedium. This is to be expected. What you must do is try it anyway, get angry, and then start again the next day. Then get angry again. And eventually you will solve it. It is in that moment that you will remember how capable you truly are. This is also how you keep your brain strong and you keep your scope malleable and not stagnating. Celebrating that you are doing this (failing at something new for the sake of growth) is also a way to grow your power and bravery as a human.

Before I close I want to thank my latest sponsors! Donnie and Fiona and Jenny – you are awesome!!!

In closing…

Two opposite stories of who you are exist simultaneously at any given time: one is I suck the other is I am perfect.  You can switch back-and-forth almost like toggling between a before and after.  One is easiest to access when you have something that provides you with gratitude in stark contrast. Like if you almost lose it. Be deliberate about curating the perspective you have, today. For me, that means removing any unrealistic ideals that make you feel down on yourself – or content that distracts you from being productive and making things – by removing it from my range of focus.  For example, on Instagram. I don’t follow models or magazines that are overly model-heavy and retouched, because it’s disorienting. Help yourself to stay grounded. Keep your self out of the disorientation.

True happiness comes from balance and a connection to self. It starts with honoring your experience of this life, and making that central to the pursuits you take on. Unless you are choosing a life of selflessness. In which case, I commend thee. But for the rest of us, make you – the ever-evolving, growing, amazing self you were given to pilot – important. Build your approach and your to-do list and your path, around that. The badges are the bonus prizes. External definitions will never keep you fulfilled. They start to fade as soon as you gather them. So let “success” be a personal approach to life. And then happiness you reinvent and experience for the first time, again and again. And it will be something personal. A moment built for you. Not designed by others. These are the truest moments of joy – they are singular and specific. Don’t lose sight of the importance of your unique experience. Smile lovely friends. xo