Everyone wants something.  However, not everyone has outlined and defined clear goals that come from their deepest desires and yearnings.  Have you?

A typical modis operandi in life for most people, is to let things happen TO them.  Many go through life knowing they want SOMEthing, but not exactly sure what it is.  To know what you want is a powerful thing.  To clearly define it for yourself is even more powerful.  To go after it every day, day in and day out, no matter how you feel or what gets in your way, now THAT is power.

Perhaps you are more aware than the average person, and you already know some things that you really want.  And when I say things, that could mean material objects, but I more mean experiences, or mental/emotional states.  Because, what is that new car or house or boat or cat or coat going to give you, really?  Not just the experience of the thing itself, but a particular experience of yourself and of life that you are seeking; a mental/emotional state such as freedom, contentment, clarity, love, connection.

So how do we define what we want and go after it, even when the going gets tough?  

Defining Goals

Step 1:

A great first step is to make a list of everything that you can thing of that you want right now.  It can be a stream of consciousness at first; it doesn’t have to make sense or be perfect, it’s just necessary to get it out of your head onto paper (or computer).  

Step 2:

The next step after that is to put your desires into categories such as:  home, romantic relationships, health/fitness, learning/growth, money/finance, family/friends/social relationships, community, fun, spirituality.  If you can think of more or different categories, please feel free to add them. This helps to organize your mind about the different needs you have and how your desires will meet those needs.

Step 3:

For each desire, set one big goal that will meet that desire.

Step 4:

For each big goal, work backwards in time and break the big goal into many smaller goals that have clear dates of when you will accomplish them by.

Step 5:

Put your smaller goals into your calendar, so that you can see them laid out in time and space.

Step 6:

Every day take 30 minutes to write down your goals: I will….  And your continuing evolving desires: I want….  This way you will stay connected to the goals you’ve already set for yourself, as well as staying tuned in to how your desires may shift and change.

Step 7:

Once a month, check to see if the goals you set and are working towards still align with your deepest desires.  If they don’t align, or need some editing, change your goals so that they are in alignment with your deep desires.  

This is all wonderful progress!  AND, if you are just writing things down for yourself, you may not always stick to your plan.  You may get tired, go out of town, have an upsetting fight with a friend or lover or spouse, have financial stress or work stress, get discouraged and stop doing your daily goals work.  So how do we stay on track even when the going gets tough?


Step 1: 

Choose an accountability buddy.  It’s best if it’s a friend, someone who knows you pretty well but is not a close family member or romantic partner, because those types of relationships tend to be more volatile with more ups and downs.  You need to work with someone who you trust, and who won’t disappear on you.

Step 2:

Share your goals and plans with your buddy. Make sure they know your desires, what you want and why.  If they know the deeper reasons behind your goals, they will be able to remind you of why you are working towards them when you forget.

Step 3:

Have them share their goals with you, and ask them the desires reasons behind their goals.  Helping another person with their goals will give you a boost with yours.  It’s much easier to see where others are stuck/need help than it is to see it in ourselves, so the more you’re able to motivate them and be their cheerleader, the more you will be able to do the same for yourself.

 Step 4:

Schedule regular phone and in person meetings to check in about how your goals are progressing, what is working and what needs to change.  We are all busy people, so finding a time to meet regularly in person could be challenging. A once a month in person meeting and a weekly phone call is a great place to start. Of course, the more contact you have with your buddy, the better, because you will both benefit from the mutual support.

Have fun connecting with your deepest desires, setting goals, and being accountable!  Remember, you are worth it!


About The Author:

Carolyn Arnold is a singer, songwriter, performer , theatre artist and voice teacher living in Berkeley, CA. She is the owner of the Carolyn Arnold Music Academy and would love to hear from you!