Goal Setting to Shove Autopiloting Aside
Excerpt from A Life Worth Breathing written by Max Strom.
Just as Strom highlights in the introduction of his book, so many of us are searching for ways to transform our lives, achieve self-growth and live more consciously. However, with every day that goes by, we find ourselves navigating through life as if we are on auto-pilot.
Think back for a second. Growing up, you were told by your parents or guardians what to do whilst still maintaining the ability to dream of the things you want to accomplish when you “get big.” Now that you are BIG, you may have already achieved your goals, and you are simply going through the “normal” motions of life. With each passing day, you feel more and more that you are losing yourself to life’s mundane and unfulfilling tasks. Your life has lost its luster. You wake up, get ready, drop the kids off at school, get to work, work, grab lunch, work some more, rush to pick up the kids, cook dinner, do laundry, prepare lunches, shower and get in bed. The days begin to run together.
Though some responsibilities and priorities are a part of the natural progression in life, others are merely things you are grasping for in an attempt to feel more fulfilled and happier. This habit is almost unrecognizable until you are thrown off your routine, and you desperately push to return to what feels normal and comfortable again only to find yourself in the same vicious cycle time after time. This is auto-piloting.
Goal setting, just like when you were younger, is a key ingredient to professional and personal growth. It can help you become more conscious in your day to day life by reconnecting with your core values and rediscovering your meaning and purpose in life. Here’s an exercise to help you begin setting SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-Based, Realistic and Timely) that undoes the auto-piloting habit you have grown so familiar with.
Think of what energizes you.
Let go of what your spouse, friends, parents and others may want for you. Instead, allow yourself to objectively connect with your inner self here. Begin by making a list of habits you would like to improve upon, skills you would love to learn and accomplishments you desire to work more on. You can let go of the things you have been thinking you should be going after and instead consider things that you would be excited to pursue with purpose.
What challenges you, changes you.
Goals are meant to stretch you into a better self. They should feel doable but more difficult than other things that may come more naturally in your auto-piloting state. Dream. What behaviors, habits and/or skills will help you grow personally or professionally? Think big. Consider a staircase. With each step you take up the stairs, you get closer and closer to your end goal at the very top.
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
The top of the staircase may be the end goal, but each step is a building block that plays a critical role in your journey of growth and transformation. Try making a list of action steps that you desire to give a try in order to reach the top of your staircase. Narrow in.
My vision is…
Each step you take in this journey should provide you with a learning experience that can improve upon your professional or personal life. Your vision can change over time and with it so may your actions steps. When you feel stuck, always take time to reassess your end goal and adjust your actions so that your perseverance and dedication to self-growth does in fact help you in your journey of who you want to be.
– Casey Edmonds, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey