How often have you set a goal for yourself and once you reach it, feel let down? That’s because you’re focused on external measures, but haven’t set goals for your feelings.
We set goals based on metrics and trust we’ll receive the added benefit of an enhanced frame of mind. We might feel a small burst of elation upon reaching the target. But most of the time we look around and think “is this all?”
We immediately begin setting further goals in search of those elusive good feelings. Why not set goals for your feelings instead of relying on your material goals to provide the emotional state you crave?
Here are 3 reasons why it’s important to set goals for your feelings, before anything outside yourself.
1. Good feelings don’t have to be earned.
We usually set goals based on random metrics or ranking on a list over which we have little control. But our true goal lies in how we believe reaching that number will make us feel.
We think we’ll finally get the self-respect, recognition, love and acceptance we crave. Or we believe the money will give us the status and freedom our heart’s desire.
Why not allow yourself to experience those feelings regardless of whether you reach the goal?
2. It’s more authentic.
Often when we set goals based on numbers or other external measures, we fragment ourselves. When we separate our goals from how we feel, we’re lying about what we want.
That’s why it’s important to ask yourself why you’re pursuing a goal. If you’re honest and dig deep enough, the why behind your goal is always emotional.
Since emotions drive us, it makes sense to seek the ones you want first and let them help you move toward your other goals.
3. Setting goals for your feelings brings clarity
I’ve heard many writers say they want to make the New York Times bestseller list. But when you ask why, they offer flimsy explanations like recognition and status. Or worst of all: “it’s just something I’ve always wanted”.
Goals that lack a big why generally fail to fulfill. They are random, based on external accolades, and not at all unique to you.
When we set goals for how we feel first, we no longer rely on worldly targets to make us feel good (which they rarely do for any length of time).
Once we have the emotional fulfillment piece locked down, our goals become more clear and personal.
If you’ve already reached your emotional targets for happiness or freedom, that lofty goal loses its luster. It no longer has the power to make or break you.
The same rings true for romance and other areas of life. You set your sights on meeting the right person because you believe that will make you happy. But we need to make ourselves happy before we can attract the right person into our lives.
That’s why unhealed trauma prevents us from enjoying fulfilling relationships. We come across as needy and wounded which repels healthy partners.
When you fulfill your emotional goals first, you’re in a better place to attract the right partner. Instead of looking for someone to “complete you” you’ll find someone who complements you.