As New Year's Eve fast approaches, many of my friends, colleagues and clients are working on their goals for 2012. Personally, I find goal-setting to be a tricky endeavor.
A lot of Law of Attraction, self-help and mainstream business experts recommend creating very specific goals for yourself, then transforming them into affirmations that are written as if your goal has already been achieved. For instance, "I have a successful coaching business that has netted me $1 million in 2012."
I've never felt comfortable with this type of goal-setting. Perhaps it's because these statements bring up an almost primal fear: a fear that I will be deeply disappointed -- even humiliated and ashamed -- if I get close to my self-imposed deadline and the affirmation doesn't look as if it can possibly come true. I have heard of people achieving these kinds of goals at the last possible second, but, personally, I have to expend a lot of energy to remain upbeat and optimistic while affirming these sorts of statements.
On the other hand, I've discovered a different kind of goal-setting that feels really good to me. Rather than creating goals that focus on what I want to achieve, I create goals that focus on how I want to be.
For instance, I want to be -- i.e., I want to feel -- kind, generous, relaxed, free, joyful and playful. These are the kinds of feelings I equate with having financial abundance. In fact, they're the very reason I want to have plenty of money.
While it feels icky to me to focus on the specifics of how much financial abundance I want to attract and how that money will come (e.g., $1 million via a coaching business), it feels really good to think about what I will do when I am being the way I want to be. For example, it feels wonderful when I envision myself treating friends to an amazing multi-course meal paired with fabulous wines at an acclaimed restaurant, or taking a loved one on a fantastic first-class vacation, or living in a wonderful, uplifting home that feels like a personal sanctuary.
In my experience, identifying how I want to feel is an uplifting, energizing, joyful way to go about setting goals and intentions for the New Year. Once I've identified those feelings, then I can relax and let the Universe sort out the details of how my goals will be achieved. After all, I know the Universe has my best interests at heart, and I know that it will provide plenty of inspiration -- amazing ideas that will feel great and that I will want to act upon -- to help me achieve the wonderful feeling states I desire.
In other words, I don't have to figure out all the "To Do's" to get to my desired being states. I don't have to make a list and chunk it down into ever smaller steps. I don't have to figure out the "cursed hows," as Mike Dooley calls them.
I just have to relax and, as much as possible, feel the way I want to feel. Then the Universe will deliver more circumstances and events that match those feeling states, and I will enjoying taking inspired action all along the way.