How to set goals for personal fulfillment is more than just an writing out a list of wishes. It has the potential to change your life.
I invite you to read through the text first, and then be prepared to sit down and begin writing and defining your own goals. I can share with you from experience in my own life and in working with many others that this simple process can truly be a life-altering experience.
Before reading further, we will first discuss how setting goals are traditionally taught by most “experts”. If you’re in a hurry to get started you can skip this intro by clicking on the Easy Steps to Goal Setting.
The problem with traditional programs that teach how to set goals is that they are either based on something particular you want to accomplish or a thing you want to attain.
Now I can hear the voices immediately saying, “Wait a minute. Isn’t that the entire reason for setting goals in the first place?” For most people it is.
We are conditioned to believe that if we accomplish enough or accumulate enough stuff or if we are in the just right relationship then we will be happy, and thus be fulfilled. But I have found a much more simple approach to goal setting.
Personal Fulfillment IS the Goal
Imagine being at the end of your lifetime. Let’s imagine that you are 90 or even 100 years old. By the end of their lifetime very few people measure their success solely in terms of financial wealth.
In the end the measure of true wealth and success for most people is Personal Fulfillment. This is not to be confused with Happiness, which is fleeting. No one can ever be Happy all of the time. This is a very important point to keep in mind.
It should not be confused with Pleasure, which can come and go in moments. Pleasure can be found in a new relationship. It can be magical and wonderful but it doesn’t last.
Fulfillment is a feeling. It comes as a result of being involved in activities that immerse us and pull the unique parts of our Self out into the world. Living a life that pulls the best out of you, and in a way that aligns with the core of who you are, is a life of true wealth and fulfillment.
Be → Do → Have
Typically, programs on how to set goals focus on Having and Doing. Unfortunately, life does not flow from Doing or from Having. The natural flow of life stems from our state of Being.
From our state of Being we naturally will DO actions and activities that are in alignment with our state of Being. It is from the actions that we are in alignment with, as a Being, that we will naturally receive experiences, monetary rewards and even relationships. In other words, you will only Have anything as a result of the flowing from your state of Being.
The process below will focus on goal setting from a state of Being. Starting with who you want to BE sets up a natural flow into Doing, which leads then to Having as a result of your actions (the Doing).
Let's look at an example of how the process of Be→ Do→ Have flows in our life.
I teach classes on energy healing. During the class I will ask the participants to close their eyes and imagine that they are at home sitting on their favorite chair or sofa.
I then give one simple instruction. “Imagine now that you are thirsty. Here you are sitting at your favorite spot at home and you are thirsty. What happens next?”
After I pause for a minute, I ask the participants to open their eyes and to share what happened from that point on in their imaginations. The variance in results from that ONE question is always enlightening.
Some people will say they felt thirsty, went to the refrigerator and pulled out their favorite beverage to drink. Some will say they were thirsty, but remained seated. Some will say how they sat in place waiting for the next instruction.
One type of response surprises me the most. A student will say they felt thirsty and went to the refrigerator but couldn’t find what they wanted. Then they got out their keys and drove to the store to buy their beverage of choice. They found the store ran out of what they wanted so they settled for something else, something they didn't really want.
Now understand that ALL of these are responses to what was happening within their own Imagination!
In our imagination it is easy to snap your fingers and have exactly what you desire appear in your hands. But for many of us, we have been “conditioned” through past experiences that we must put in effort to achieve our desires. Some people will even deny their own desires, even if it is all within their own mind.
The state of Being is that part of us that tells us what we can have and what we cannot. Our state of Being can be allowing and flowing in one area of our life, but closed off or constricted in another.
If we are sad it is possible to force ourselves to be happy, such as by distracting ourselves. But this takes focused effort and often will power. It does not usually come “naturally”.
And this is the trap for many people when trying to set goals of achievement or attainment. There is NO natural flow because their goal is not set in alignment with their state of Being. As a result the goal requires effort, desire and will power. And this is the real reason why so many “New Year’s Resolutions” are abandoned by mid-January.
In the process below I will share with you how to set goals that are aimed at your state of Being and in alignment with your desired outcomes.
But first we need to talk about...
Happiness vs Fulfillment
Most motivational speakers will say that your goals should all be aimed to give you a life that makes you happy. I don’t agree with this as a target.
If we ask people in their 70’s, 80’s or beyond what has made them happy we will not necessarily find the Isolated energy of “happiness”. For most people they will discuss the moments shared with friends and family, even when there was much pain to be shared.
Many elders will talk about the gratitude that came from surviving hardships. Again, it is the Focus of the experience that they refer to and not the hardship itself. Any parent can speak to the joys and frustrations in raising a child. And most of these same parents would agree that raising their children has been the single most rewarding part of their lives.
Here we can see how aiming for Happiness, Accomplishments and Possessions can certainly bring great feelings. But aiming for the feeling of Fulfillment can lead to a life of wealth beyond finances, pleasures or accomplishments.
The feeling of Fulfillment can last beyond a past accomplishment. Aiming at the feeling of Fulfillment can mean the difference between fleeting pleasures, and a life worth living.
Here we will learn to aim our goals at the FEELING of Fulfillment, which then directs our state of Being. And as discussed, our actions follow the state of Being, which then leads to the rewards of Having.
Easy Steps to How to Set Goals for Personal Fulfillment
Here I will introduce two methods of how to set goals for yourself. The first method is a shortcut or, “get it done quick” method. The second method is for people that are willing to put in the time to be thoughtful and discerning with the process, and thus experience exponential outcomes. Both will give you amazing results, if you put in the initial effort.
Step 1. What do I want to feel?
The first “get it done” method of how to set goals will be giving yourself an honest review of what feelings and emotions you would like to feel in your life experience.
Reminder: Aim our goals towards the energy of Fulfillment, not just happiness or pleasure. What feelings do you want to feel that will then set up the feeling of Fulfillment?
IMPORTANT: There is NO Right or Wrong goal in this exercise. You should ONLY measure each goal against the question, “Is this feeling adding to my sense of Personal Fulfillment?”
Do you desire to be in a relationship? Many married people today want OUT of their relationship. The goal of Having a relationship is not enough to rise to the level of fulfillment.
If you are desiring to be in a relationship (Outcome = Have) you will find an excellent shortcut is to bring yourself into alignment with the energy of Fulfillment, in a relationship. Here is how we would write out the goal.
Many people do not know what love feels like within a relationship. This example takes the Relationship goal and breaks it into pieces.
I desire to feel the feelings of Joy with another person.
I desire to feel the feelings of Companionship with another person.
I desire to feel the feelings of Trust with another person.
I desire to feel the feelings of Affection with another person.
I desire to feel the feelings of Honored and Respected with another person.
I desire to feel the feelings of ...
Do you desire money, financial wealth and freedom? Wealth is different for each person and is often simply just a matter of perspective.
For one person wealth is having enough money at the end of the month to meet all obligations. For another person it may mean being completely out of credit card debts and having their vehicle paid off.
For this exercise I invite you to focus entirely on your own feelings. Do not try to aim your ambitions to the Billionaire status if your feelings of Fulfillment are simply to feel Secure.
What is the desired feeling with finances that you wish to experience? What is the feeling that IS Fulfilling?
Here is how we may write out the goal.
I desire to feel the feelings of Peace with my income
I desire to feel the feelings of Freedom with my credit cards
I desire to feel the feelings of Security with my savings
I desire to feel the feelings of Support with my investments
I desire to feel the feelings of Gratitude with my financial life
I desire to feel the feelings of Confidence in creating a monthly budget
I desire to feel the feelings of ...
Notice how we take a main topic or “Category”, and then drill down to the individual desired feelings. The “feelings” should match your own personal feelings of Fulfillment.
Here we are setting up the FEELING (state of Being) of the desired outcome (Having). As we invite the Feelings into our Being, we will naturally find ourselves taking action in alignment with the feeling.
Step 2. What major areas of my life do I want to focus on (Categories)?
If you are willing to take the time to really work through this step, and review it just once per month, I promise you that you will be Amazed at the results.
I’ve stated repeatedly how most programs on how to set goals only focus on Accomplishments and Attainments. By taking the time to define the areas of your life where you truly want to focus your energies I promise that you will find yourself both having the accomplishments and attainments you desire, and in alignment with the core of who you are.
Here is where I will insert a promotion for my Soul Healing Therapy services. One part of what I will often work with clients is helping them to word and to define the major areas of life where they want to focus their energy. This is how I’ve developed this method of How To Set Goals for Personal Fulfillment.
If you’re interested in learning more about how I may be able to help you to determine your categories and to find the feelings that will lead to your own Personal Fulfillment, I invite you to Contact Me.
What Is Most Important To Me?
There are two ways to create your Life Categories. One is to use categories already created by “experts”. The second, and the one which I prefer, is to define your Life Categories by where you are already placing your energy.
By answering the question, What is most important to me? You can then create your major life categories. Although these may be similar to the categories defined by the “experts,” they should be individual and tailored to your own specific needs, desires and feelings.
Here I will provide a sampling of Major Life Categories. I include one of my own Categories that I have not seen elsewhere. I include this to encourage you to also be aware that there may be some specific area of your own life that calls out to you.
Personalizing your Categories is important. By writing down your Categories you remember to focus on the area on a regular basis. This helps to ensure that you’re placing your focus and energy on the states of Being that are important to you.
Sample Major Life Categories
Again, there is NO Right or Wrong category in this exercise. You should ONLY measure each category against these TWO questions, “Is this major life category required for me to feel Personal Fulfillment in my life?” And, “Am I able to still experience Personal Fulfillment in my life without this category?”
When you realize that you MUST have a specific category in your life in order to feel fulfilled, and you are NOT able to live a complete fulfilling life Without that category, that is when you know it should be on your list.
These are the areas of our life that will bring meaning and fulfillment, even when you experience hardships, failures and frustrations. This is our true goal.
Sample Life Categories
- Career and/or Business
- Health, Fitness and Well-Being
- Intimate Relationship (Wife, Partner, Significant Other)
- Parenting (Your own Personal Fulfillment as a Parent)
- Family Relationships
- Friend Relationships
- Personal Development
- Wealth, Savings, Investments and Financial Well-Being
- Hobbies and Creativity
- Travel, Recreation and Entertainment
- Life Energies (What feelings do I want to focus on and experience in my life. Gratitude, Peace, Joy, Freedom)
- Personal Values
So that’s it. A very simple process but one that I believe can truly add value to your life in ways that I can’t begin to describe.
One final note. Some people may feel “blocked” from feeling their feelings. Others may not feel “worthy” to feel feelings such as Joy or feeling Loved. That is where the Soul Healing Therapy process can be of such high value.
Soul Healing Therapy opens the doors that became shut due to past hurts or life experiences. If you find that you are in such a place I invite you to Contact Me.
I also wish to acknowledge author Danielle LaPorte. Her book, The Desire Map has been influential in my own goal setting and a significant influence in this writing.
Wishing you all the best for a life well lived.