Updated: Nov 10, 2020
I’m sure you know the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
Well, I took some inspiration from that quote to create a new one:
Chase how you want to feel, not what you want to accomplish.
The beginning of the year is filled with hope because everyone is trying to improve their lives. But why? What are you really trying to accomplish by losing five pounds? Goals are meaningless if you don’t know the why behind them.
Yes—I am asking you to dig deep here.
Spoiler alert: resolutions don’t work. They set us up for failure. I talked about this at length in my last blog. There are plenty of reasons why, but the main reason is simple. We simply don’t emphasize the importance of finding meaning behind our goals enough. Chasing a feeling, rather than a goal, is far more effective.
And it will be your secret weapon to success this year.
Of course, we all have goals, so start there. What are some of your most ambitious aspirations for the year? Write them down. All of my most ambitious goals for 2019 are business related. I want continued growth while maintaining a positive culture. I want to continue to refine our process so my company can function no matter where I am. And I want to only work with clients who truly trust and appreciate our process and work with us as partners, because this produces the greatest results.
Now ask yourself: how do you want to feel a year from now? Regardless of whether you accomplish your goals, you can always control how you feel. (I also have a sneaking suspicion that how you want to feel is directly related to whatever is holding you back in the first place.)
Imagine yourself one year from today. How does that version of you approach life? Are you confident? Are you free-spirited? Are you generous? Are you tough?
Now we’re getting somewhere. Once you identify how you want future you to feel, you empower yourself to get out of your own way during the everyday grind, and yes, you might just achieve the success you’re striving for.
When I did this exercise, I discovered the main emotion holding me back was fear.
I’ll admit it. I’m a fearful person. You might not know it just by looking at what I project at work and on social media because I do things despite feeling scared. But I am scared. Every day. I’m scared of confrontation, of letting my team down, of making mistakes as a parent, of dealing with money, of failure.
When I look at the goals I want to accomplish and the life I want to lead, what always is holding me back comes down to fear, and especially fear of failure. I’m sure many entrepreneurs and business owners can relate. Since I started my business two and a half years ago, it’s been a whirlwind of stepping outside my comfort zone. After all, I was terrified to start my business in the first place. I’ve overcome my fear, time and time again, because I had to.
So far, simply repressing the fear has worked. But I’m getting to a point in my business where that approach is just not going to cut it anymore. I want to lead my business with confidence, and I can’t have fear hold me back from making good decisions. I have an entire team depending on me now. I simply will not be able to achieve my ambitions without first shedding some of my fear—for good.
So I want to feel less scared. How do I make that a reality? Here is where you get to make actionable goals associated with your feelings. Wanting to be less fearful is pretty intangible, but we all know when we feel scared right? It’s that pit in your stomach, or that indecisiveness, or that inability to move forward. I know I want to get over it, so I’m actively facing my fears more. I’m learning to acknowledge when I do feel scared, and then press on anyway. For example, I absolutely hate dealing with money and the worry that I don’t have enough of it. So to face that fear, I’m having weekly meetings to address my finances and I am becoming financially intelligent. Who knows, I may even set a five-year goal to get an MBA (a longtime goal of mine)! These weekly meetings are helping me make progress in a small, tangible way.
When you’re chasing a feeling rather than a deadline, it’s all the more important to schedule regular check-ins with yourself. It doesn’t even have to be formal. It can be as simple as making a more conscious effort to tune in to how you’re feeling on a daily basis.
So if you want to conquer your goals, chase your feelings. Here’s how you do it:
Write down all of your most ambitious goals first. Don’t factor emotions in yet.
Ask yourself the following questions: What’s holding me back from achieving my goals? How do I want to feel about my life in a year?
Once you’ve identified the feeling you’re trying to achieve, make more tangible goals associated with that feeling. For me, since I’m trying to be fearless, I’m tackling something I’m afraid of: money.
Check in with yourself regularly. How are you feeling?
When we chase how we feel, rather than accomplishments we think we SHOULD aim for, all of your goals will fall into place. It will become obvious how to achieve them because you’ll be following your heart, which will make your mind clearer! After all, everything is tied to a feeling because we are all human. So my best advice—and what has worked for me—is to listen to your newly cleared mind and follow your heart and your deepest intuition (it’s always right) straight to a successful 2019.