As the new year approaches, many begin to think about goals and resolutions. Goals are shady characters in that they’re often a mask for some deeper desire – something fundamental that we want even MORE than the actual goal.
Danielle LaPorte (author of “The Desire Map”) asks us to think deeply about our goals to discover the DESIRE beneath them. What are we TRULY after when we set a goal to lose weight, earn more money, get an advanced degree, or have greater balance in our lives?
Think about it. When you set out to lose 20 pounds, what is the TRUE desire beneath that goal? Dig down. Perhaps you wish to be more attractive to others, and being more attractive means getting more attention. And more attention means feeling more accepted or loved.
So the question becomes, is losing weight the REAL goal, or is something else missing in your life?
When we dig down, we might discover the goals we’re setting won’t actually help us to satisfy our true desires. This can be a huge underlying factor of why we don’t follow through and take the actions that will enable us to actually ACHIEVE our goals. If our true objective is to feel more loved by others, what difference does it make if we eat another cookie? The action and the goal don’t align, so there is little motivation to follow through.
To explore another, if your goal for 2014 is to earn more money, dig down into your true desire. Perhaps more income means not having to stress about paying the bills, which in turn, leads to a greater sense of security. Will more money help you to achieve security? Possibly, but how much money is enough to feel secure? And when you “grow into” your new salary, will the cycle begin again?
Or perhaps you want more money so you can purchase luxury items or extravagant vacations, which will make you feel accomplished and confident. This may also quell your insecurity by enabling you to feel important and worthy of respect. Since money can’t buy respect, perhaps it makes sense to find self-worth in other ways?
Everyone is different in their true desires, and when you think about goals you have set in your life, there is usually a core feeling or value that you were trying to satisfy – self-esteem, a sense of belonging, and security are common desires for us all. Understanding this deeper desire will enable us to set more realistic goals and also make it easier to follow through and actually attain those objectives.
As you ponder what lies ahead in 2014, instead of jotting down a list of general goals to achieve, take time to dig deeply into what you truly desire (e.g., love, acceptance, respect, peace, etc.) and make resolutions that are aligned with attaining these.
In the end, this will not only make us happier, but also more successful.