Thursday, November 10, 2016
Setting Soft Goals
Most of us find setting goals a tricky project. Immediately, structure triggers the critic, who kicks in and cuts us off at the pass. Do any of these lines ring familiar?
"Why even start when you know you can't accomplish it?"
"If I can't do x amount then I won't do it at all."
"I've tried it before this way 100 times, but THIS TIME it will work!"
A few years ago, a meditation instructor reminded me that "Good enough is basically good" - needing to remind our perfectionist parts that the world won't end if we don't do it exactly as we had hoped/envisioned/planned/determined is a crucial part of planning ahead.
And as we head towards the new years, a time when a lot of people traditionally set goals, check in, assess, and make resolutions, I want to encourage you to make soft goals instead of hard ones, soft targets instead of hard targets, and explore what it would be like to allow for change and re-conneciton/assessment, being flexible instead of rigid. How do we do that? I have spent a lot of time in coaching and teaching gathering tools, guidelines, and teachings to help support this subtle but significant difference.
I don't think goals themselves trigger our inner critic, but how we relate to the goals certainly does, and for a lot of us, how we structure or frame our desires can immediately cut us off at the pass. That's why, for many years now, I have offered a "New Year's Intention Retreat" with my local students, getting us together mid-January to gently regard the year which has just passed and consider what kind of overall intentions we would like to set for the coming year.
Brand new this year, I have gathered many practices together into an online version, allowing people all over to have a chance to contemplate together, explore the meaning of words and direction, setting course for the new (calendar) year in an intentional way. This four-week course includes an ongoing forum, four live meetings, active contemplations, multi-media possibilities for responses, and frank discussions about habit-building, the power of being friends with ourselves, and options for ongoing accountability in the coming year.
I am offering it in December and in January, for those who wish to get a jump start, or for those who wish to wait until the calendar has actually changed. Both courses are the same - save, of course, the participants will be different. In the coming weeks, I will be posting lots of small suggestions, but if you would like a concentrated way to explore setting intentions with others, please consider joining me online in December or January!