As a life coach, I talk to clients often about goals. I start with this question: What do you want that you already have?
My answer might be: “I have a life coaching blog that I love and am excited about every time I post to it.”
I used to ask clients simply: “What do you want?” but I found people always listed only the things they didn’t already have.
“Who cares?” you might ask.
I care because the important part of the answer to these questions is not the actual answer; it’s how the answers make you feel.
What do you want? A three-book deal with a major publishing house.
How does it feel to want that? Lousy since I don’t think I’ll ever get it.
When we want things from a place of lack, we take very different actions than we do when we want things from a place of abundance.
My “lousy” feeling translates to feeling defeated, inadequate, or hopeless.
When I feel defeated I’m not usually motivated to write 2000 words before I go to bed tonight.
If I feel love and excitement, as I do when I think about my (already in existence) blog, I have so much more energy for writing. 2000 words. Hell, yes—I can do that.
If you’ve lived on the planet for any length of time, you’ve had lots of practice wanting what you do not have. How much practice have you had wanting what you already have?
If you haven’t thought about all the things you want that you already have, it’s time to start.
Here are a couple of things I want, as a writer, that I already have:
- I want a computer that works great and has a long-lasting battery. Wow! I have that. Feels great.
- I want a critique group filled with people who are serious readers and writers who are also fun to be around. Got it! Feels amazing.
What do you want that you already have? ___________________________________________________________________
How does it feel to have that thing you want so much?
Once you become more aware of those great feelings, you can start shifting how you feel about the goals you have that you haven’t yet achieved and clarifying new goals.
If you can’t make that shift and your goals don’t feel good, here are some more questions to ask yourself about each goal:
- Why do you want it?
- What would you believe if you already had it (whatever “it” is?)
- What’s preventing you from believing it right now?
In my example about the three-book deal, my answers are:
- I want it because it would be so cool to be an established author.
- If I already had a three-book deal, I’d have to belief that writing is my first priority in life.
- What’s preventing me from believing it right now is the fact that my son is my first priority in life right now.
This is great information to know. I don’t have a three-book deal because writing is not currently my first priority. When my son is a little older and in school, I will be able to make writing more of a priority. At that point, a three-book deal is much more believable to me.
Going through that process turned my lousy feeling about my goal into a peaceful feeling. It’s all happening as it should. It makes me realize that all my small goals of writing every day (something—anything!) and blogging regularly are all steps on the path to my (much larger) goal.
How do you feel about your writerly goals?
Diane MacKinnon: is a mother, writer, blogger, life coach, and family physician. I’m working on accepting where I am right now as a writer and taking baby steps toward my many and varied writing goals!
By the way, I’m way behind on NaNo, but I’m not as far behind as my official count shows. I’ll get there!