Do Your Goals Help You Feel Better or Worse?

goal post on a beach

A key element of doing social business mindfully, is the art of filtering. Social media, almost by definition, is about making noise! But in reality, noise does not create or foster relationships, which to me is key in using social for business. So when it comes to determining how you want to use social media, one place to start is in setting personal and authentic goals. These goals serve as a first round filter, to help you focus on A and B, so you can ignore C-Z. But there’s an art to setting goals, as those goals can build you up or take your down.

Specific goals help you feel better.

Yesterday I received the weekly newsletter from Rob Brezsny, a writer and astrologer from my old home town of Santa Cruz, CA. He linked to a study showing that depressed people tend to set very vague goals, and, they tended to give very vague reasons for not meeting those goals. Can you feel the amorphous slippery slope here? You can read the article here.

It got my attention for three reasons. One, I’ve experience depression off and on in my life. So I know those feelings of “why bother” all too well. Two, being a fierce proponent of “Be Here Now” I tend to avoid setting goals in the normal way. I want to bring the power of the present moment with me wherever I go and that can conflict with a plan set out 6 months ago. Three, I’m very eclectic. I was never one of those people who thought in first grade, “I want to be a doctor and that’s all I’m going to focus on for the next 20 years.” So, in short, I’ve had an issue with “goals” as they are typically presented in listicles and countless howto books.

If I don’t really commit, I can’t really fail.

That makes sense, of course, but it’s a crappy feeling. On the other hand, I don’t relate to the un-mindful approach of setting hard and fixed goals that take over your life and leave you drained and exhausted, with no room for divine intervention.

Here’s the good news. I’ve discovered there is a large and luscious space between the two extremes of jello goals and prison goals.

Find that space by thinking small and short term.

  1. Connect with your inner desires, no matter how practical or outlandish.
  2. Set SMALL and SPECIFIC little goals that you can meet in a day or at most in a few weeks.
  3. Then, revisit.
  4. This puts you squarely in that luscious space of playing.
  5. By meeting one of your small and specific goals, you WIN.
  6. By winning, you get vibed up.
  7. Being vibed up builds your confidence, expands your creativity, and helps you think clearly about the next batch of mini-goals you choose to set.

Stay Sober on Your Goals

So, this reminds me. It’s easy to get so drunk on the brain crack of your goal’s potential that you zoom down the highway without noticing that you actually took an exit that you didn’t intend or you’re missing all the scenery and roadside food stands in favor of that imagined destination. My 90 year old Mom reminded me of one of my beliefs the other day:

If something’s meant to happen, you can’t stop it. And if it’s not meant to be, there’s nothing you can do to make it happen.

At first glance, this feeds the vague, jello goals mindset. Just be here now and see what happens. But that approach can lead to depression (ack!) and it disconnects you from the fun that is this playground of life. There is no reason NOT to have desires and wishes and dreams and then go about doing things you hope will make them happen! They feed you and they draw you to experiences that expand your skills and your consciousness.

Small and specific goals let you continue to check in with yourself.

Now that I’ve landed HERE, does this feel good? Is it how I imagined it to be?

In other words, it lets you question that larger goal before you spend a decade on something that you don’t really want. It keeps you enjoying the small successes of being here now so you can avoid the prison of a lifetime of “Tulsa or bust” limiting and soul-denying goals.

More on SMART Goals and UnGoals here.

If you are looking for support in setting small and specific daily or weekly goals, you can read more about my Mindful Social Business Coaching program over here.


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Bare Feet Attitudes

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