When working on a goal, your brain thinks “I’m not good until I do or become this”. You’re training yourself to put off happiness until achievement of the goal. Then, once achieved, you set a new goal, perpetuating the cycle. This creates a goal hangover, where the only cure is to set another goal. What’s worse, if you don’t achieve your goal, we tell ourselves we’re failures, and believe others think it too.
Yet, there is no single goal or achievement that guarantees happiness. Being happy all the time isn’t possible.
Build a ‘practice and progress’ system instead
Goals are end-states and destinations. A system is a way for being, living and doing. If you want to lose weight, instead of setting a goal for X pounds, build a system of how a thinner you would eat & exercise. If you completely focused on your healthy system, wouldn’t you get better and lasting results?
That’s why most coaches refer to their business as a ‘practice'. Coaches have systems and processes for continual learning, and tracking progress. There is no end state for a coach.
Focus your system on who you want to become, rather than on what you want to achieve. You’ll stop the endless marching towards goals one after another. Let the pursuit of happiness be the driving principle behind your system.
You're always in motion if you're struggling to find balance between your goal and life. Strive for harmony instead. You don’t have to choose one over the other. You can be authentic and present. Self-coach with questions such as:
When you work with me, we’ll look at your goals and coach to the systems and practice you’ll need instead. If you must set a goal or intention, let it be a system of practice and measuring progress. And celebrate small (& big) wins!
Make a choice to take a chance, or your life will never change!
© 2020 Brian Farrell