If I asked you to write a list of your life’s accomplishments, how long do you think that list would be?
If I asked you to write a list of things in your life that you have failed at or have done things that you’re not proud of, how long would that list be?
Which of these two lists do you think would be easier to write?
If you said the list of things that turned to custard, you would be right.
It doesn’t matter what they were, they are easier to recall. Whether it was when we fell off the diet/alcohol/smoking wagon (again), or those bargain items staring at us from the wardrobe or the garage that we wish we had never bought. Failures stick in our mind more so than accomplishments.
Now is the time
If you haven’t done it before, it is time to celebrate your accomplishments and achievements in life! Everything. From the ginormous to the seemingly insignificant that just made you feel good.
Start writing down everything you can possibly think of in a journal or a piece of paper or your phone. It doesn’t matter where, just let it flow.
Include everything from winning the egg and spoon race at school (even if it was on parents day), your first job, buying your first home, the car, your first jacket, to the overseas trip that wowed you.
When you are writing about these accomplishments, make sure you include the feelings, emotions and experiences that went along with it. If you are struggling with identifying the feelings and emotions, think back to school when you heard your name called to receive the certificate, or winning your first race at the school athletics day or that first goal or try.
As adults we often forget to celebrate our wins and achievements, instead we become very good at remembering and dwelling on what hasn’t gone so well. Now it’s time to turn that around!
Now you have listed your accomplishments and remembered the emotions that went along with them, it’s time to reflect on your current goals. Already I can hear your question, “what have my past accomplishments got to do with my goals?”
They have everything to do with them
Sometimes the ‘accomplishments’ you desire or your goals you are working towards actually have very little to do with the outcome.
Quite often the goal is the window dressing, your new job title, running a marathon, getting a degree or some other qualification.
All of these are important but often there’s a lot more to the goal story.
Often goals are related to the feeling you are striving to achieve, an emotion you’re trying to release or the experience you will gain while working towards that goal.
- You want to reduce your debt/save money – you want to feel safe and secure.
- You want to work out every day – you want structure and routine in your life
- You want lose weight for a special occasion – you want to be admired by others.
Starting to get the picture?
Goals bring out important emotions
In each of the examples there is a tangible goal; to reduce debt, get fit and lose weight. In each of those there is also an accompanying emotion and feeling that is just as important, maybe even more so.
By digging deep and understanding what it is we really want, helps us understand why we may not have achieved goals we have set in the past. It also helps us set more effective goals that we can achieve in the future.
Pull your goals list out, read them several times. Be like a child again, connect with those emotions and feelings that accomplishing that goal will bring you , then make sure you include those emotions in your goal.
You may realise that there are many different paths to that feeling, you might even discover that the goal isn’t right for where you’re at now. In which case go back to the drawing board and revise your goal, .
Make sure you set yourself up for success by setting goals that not only let you achieve, but also give you the underlying emotions that you need.
If you have been rethinking your financial goals over the lockdown and want to change and do something more positive with what you earn, we would love to help.