When it comes to establishing objectives to reach your dreams, my advice can seem contrary to most. Because if you ask me about the best way to set goals, my answer will be, “don’t.” Instead level up your goal setting and focus on the WHY.
I have found goals to be more punitive than incentivizing in my own life. In my early years, I’d go through the obliged exercises of setting specific goals, only to have the deadlines come and go with not enough to show to make me feel successful. Instead, I often stepped away feeling stuck. I’d scold myself for “not living up to my potential,” or “setting myself up to fail,” or “clearly, despite what my heart says, you’re not meant to be a writer.”
When I was 10 years old the Kids Page of the Oakland Tribune Published one of my articles. I knew ever since then that I wanted to be a writer. In college and majored in journalism, graduated, and began a broadcasting career
After a couple of years of writing and producing promotional spots for local stations, I set my goal to write TV programs. My creative and scriptwriting skills were successful. I even won an Emmy award. While working at the ABC Television Network in New York, I decided to try Hollywood and set the goal to be a writer on a TV show within two years.
I wrote spec scripts, created a couple of sitcom concepts, and took a bunch of meetings. After a few promising events that never panned out, I realized that I was close to my self-imposed deadline with little to show. It became clear that it had become such a steep and unsatisfying climb toward this goal of writing for network television. I wasn’t having fun, and I wasn’t happy writing anymore.
While sitting in my umpteenth pitch meeting that was going nowhere I had an ah-ha moment that changed everything. Suddenly, I began wondering, ‘Why am I doing this?’ and realized I had no compelling reply.
Years later, with experience and the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I realized that it wasn’t the goals, per se, that were leaving me stuck and feeling like a failure; it was figuring out the ‘how’ I was going to make it them happen. It always seemed that I would get five steps down the path towards Goalsville when I’d reach a fork that demanded I know ‘how’ to proceed before continuing. Too many times, that fork became the end of the road.
Understand Your WHY
As an individual and coach, I encourage clients to settle on the WHY they want to do something before they set out to accomplish anything important to them. First, understanding why you want to do or achieve something is paramount because knowing the why gives you the motive and inspiration to keep pushing, even when things get tough. Recognizing the why also keeps you in alignment with your soul mission and purpose, and when that happens, the hope and enthusiasm necessary to fuel your dreams are readily accessible.
Set a Direction
The next step to level up and achieve your wishes is to set a direction instead of a goal. Your chosen direction becomes the lighthouse on your path, beaconing you forward on the way to your dreams.
A direction you choose should cause no resistance within. If your approach is so specific that you’re wondering or feeling anxious about how you will ever accomplish it, you know you need to scale things back until it feels right and true and in alignment.
Once you set your direction, determine one or two simple action steps to begin your journey. What you’ll soon realize is that with your WHY to motivate and inspire you and your DIRECTION to keep you in forward motion, the HOWs will begin to pop up at the right time and in the right place to keep you progressing.
Back to the Beginning
So, to finish my story, once I determined that my WHYs were not strong or valid enough in my mind to pursue television writing, I took time to recalibrate my goals. What I determined was yes, I indeed wanted, needed, and was determined to be a writer (goal), and I could pursue many other forms of writing.
It became obviousl that I wanted to write to inform, entertain, and empower people (WHY). Outlining that personal objective for myself not only helped me focus on what I wanted to write but how I wanted to write. I knew that I liked storytelling and making up stories instead of reporting them, so I decided to try my hand at drafting a novel (DIRECTION). I took some classes to get me started and focused on my love of and purpose for writing. I didn’t let myself get caught up in what would happen next or how it would happen.
What Happened Next
Soon after finishing my first novel, which turned out to be a self-help guide disguised as a novel, I got invited to lunch by a friend who needed to stop before we got to the restaurant. Unbeknownst to me, that stop just happened to be at the office of a well-known literary agent. And well, as they say, the rest is history. Eight published books later; I accomplished my goal of becoming a professional writer because I stopped worrying about how it would happen and focused on making it happen for all the reasons important to me.
That same WHY led me to my current career. Promoting my books in workshops based on the themes led me to work with people one on one. Eventually, that led me to become a full-time certified coach. Writing is still a big part of my work, but my reasons, directions, and implementations have evolved as I have.
So let’s button this up with a message from the angel realm.
“The question that needs to be asked, answered, and dwelt upon is WHY? Why do I desire this? Why is this something I feel, I know, I must follow? Why will following this path be beneficial to my soul’s evolution and my human experience?
“Keep your concern on the WHY and you will continue to be motivated towards positive action. Keep your fears at the forefront and you will continue to be confused and inactive.”
So Says the Light
Hi, I’m Lori Certified Spiritual Love Coach, Author, Confidence Peddler, Angel Scribe, Irreverent Spiritualist, Girl Power Advocate, Love Connoisseur, Sun Lover, Cloud Watcher, Founder, SOL Innovations Coaching Group, The SOLSexy Transformation program and Proud Mom. That’s me, but here’s my official bio:
Lori is a fierce advocate for self-love and the positive ripple effect it has on the larger world. She is an intuitive life/spiritual coach, certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF), author, speaker, and teacher who specializes in 1:1 life coaching centered around self-love and soul alignment. She is also a transformational coach with We Inspire Justice, a social impact group who works with celebrities, influencers and content providers to promote equality, diversity and social justice within the entertainment industry and beyond.
Lori is an Emmy award-winning writer, and author of eight books, and is currently working on her ninth. She is a passionate and motivating speaker who has facilitated workshops all over the country and in Mexico. She is the Health and Wellness Director for the Life Luxe Jazz Festival and is responsible for the creative development and execution of the two-day programming centered around financial, physical, and emotional wellness for POC. She is a founding expert and programming chair of the Living Healthy List, an online source for honest and reliable information of health, wellness, personal development.
Her motto: True Masters Learn through Joy