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If you’re failing to stay motivated and fulfilled by your current life and business goals, maybe the problem is the goals themselves.
Setting goals is a necessary part of pursuing your life purpose. But if your goals aren’t taking you in the direction of the person you want to become …
… then chances are you need to set goals that are more purposeful, meaningful, and soulful.
You may also need a more mindful goal setting and achieving process altogether.
We are happiest and most at peace when we align with our purpose and follow our inner guidance.
So it would stand to reason that the goals that’ll help you feel that way and help you to fulfill your purpose need to be aligned with your life purpose as well.
Once you know your purpose, the next logical step is to set goals aligned with your purpose so that you stay on the right path and move in the right direction for your life.Once you know your purpose, the next logical step is to set goals aligned with your purpose so that you stay on the right path and move in the right direction for your life. Click To Tweet
Otherwise, the goals won’t help you fulfill your purpose, won’t feel meaningful to you, and won’t make you happy or give you inner peace.
In my previous blog post, Discover Your Life Purpose: How to Overcome Depression and Live a Meaningful Life, I showed you how to discover your purpose in life and told you about some of the changes to your life you can expect to happen once you do.
I ended the post by giving you a few steps to take to continue your journey.
Setting goals that are aligned with your purpose was one of them.
This blog post continues where the last one left off. So if you haven’t discovered your purpose yet, I suggest you read this post first.
If you have discovered your purpose, or you’re in the process of exploring a few new passions, then move on to the next section. We’re going to talk about the importance of goal setting.
Why Setting Goals is Important
Why should you set goals and how will they benefit you?
Think of your goals as the guideposts of your journey.
Once you have a vision of who you want to be, what you want to accomplish, and how you want your life to look, setting goals will help you navigate towards each destination on your journey.Once you have a vision of who you want to be, what you want to accomplish, and how you want your life to look, setting goals will help you navigate towards each destination on your journey. Click To Tweet
Goals also provide a checklist of the parts that make up the bigger picture.
Without them, you’re more likely to waste time going in directions that won’t help you achieve your vision.
When you have a decision to make, you can make it easier when you have purposeful goals to use as your guideposts.
In other words, you can make your decisions based on which actions are more likely to help you achieve your goal.
Not only that. Setting goals is important in both your business and personal life.
- Makes it more likely that you will achieve your long term vision
- Improves your performance and productivity
- Helps you and your business grow
- Can even reduce stress by lessening overwhelm and indecision
Why is Goal Setting Important for Soulpreneurs?
I love that term!
It is exactly what I was looking for while trying to describe my tribe on my about page and in my manifesto.
Soulpreneur sums us up nicely and descriptively, doesn’t it?
Up till now, I’ve only seen the term a handful of times while scanning through hashtags on Instagram. But I didn’t take the time to research what it was all about until I was looking for a title for this article.
If it’s your first time hearing the term, you’re probably wondering what it means … and if you fit the description.
Well, here you go…
“Being a soulpreneur or soulful entrepreneur means that you are living out your soul’s purpose. It means that you are following a career path that perfectly aligns with and portrays your passion and purpose in life. It means that you have poured your heart and soul into what you do for a living.”
So why is goal setting extra important for us soulpreneurs?
Well as soulpreneurs, we prefer to follow our inner guidance more so than external authority. And that can include planners, routines, fixed schedules, and even goals we set for ourselves.
Because of these tendencies, it’s easier for us to fall into the habit of doing what we want when we feel like it, and losing focus of the big picture direction we need to be going in.
Or on the contrary, some of us might only want to focus on the big picture … and then we’d end up neglecting a lot of the smaller plans and details that we need to make the big picture happen.
For example our vision, life goals, life purpose.
We need a balance between the two to be successful. And goal setting is the tool to help us do that.
SMART Goal Setting for Soulpreneurs
A goal-setting guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning SMART goals.
So what are SMART goals and are they compatible with purpose-aligned goals?
The acronym SMART stands for:
Making your goals Relevant is what we’re most concerned about within this post.
Relevant means that your goals are meaningful to you (or your company) and are aligned with your long-term vision.
In other words, you can set SMART goals for purposeful living.
So if writing a SMART goal statement helps you organize your thoughts, go for it.
Why Your Goals Need to Align with Your Purpose
Ok. So you’ve set your goals and started taking action to achieve your goals.
Simple enough. But you’re bound to come across one or more of the following problems at some point.
- You don’t know if you’ve set goals that were good enough because you didn’t know which goals to set in the first place
- You don’t feel motivated or fulfilled by the goals you did set
- Your goals aren’t helping you make progress towards fulfilling your purpose
- You’re still not being who you know you want to be
- And your life still isn’t going in the direction you want it to go
This leads to the questions…
How do you know if your goals are aligned with your life purpose?
And how do you know what goals to set?
You know your goals are aligned with your purpose by how you feel.
When your goals are out of alignment with your purpose it feels like you’re swimming upstream. Nothing seems to be working no matter how hard you try.When your goals are out of alignment with your purpose it feels like you're swimming upstream. Nothing seems to be working no matter how hard you try. Click To Tweet
But when your goals are aligned with your highest purpose, the right information, resources, people, and opportunities show up when you need them. Your life flows more naturally and effortlessly.
Your inner guidance system lets you know. And you use your self-awareness skills to monitor how you feel.
When your goals are aligned with purpose, they don’t feel like little dictators telling you what to do and ignoring how you feel.
Purposeful goals and plans are designed for how you want to live your life. You choose your ideal schedule.
Setting purposeful goals means setting goals that:
- Are aligned with your biggest priorities
- Are aligned with your vision of who you want to be and what you want your life to be about
- Move you forward in the most important areas of your life
“Once you know what your life purpose is, organize all of your activities around it. Everything you do should be an expression of your purpose. If an activity or goal doesn’t fit that formula, don’t work on it.
Aligning with your purpose is most critical when setting professional goals.”
So as you can see, making sure your goals are purposeful and soulful sets the foundation for living intentionally and staying aligned with the correct path.
7 Steps to Setting Purpose Aligned Goals for Solopreneurs
Now that you understand the importance of setting goals that align with your life purpose and long-term vision, you’re ready to learn how to write them for yourself.
By the end of this section, you’ll be able to set new goals, aligned with your life purpose, that you’ll feel motivated to achieve.
Let’s get started.
Step 1) Clarify Your Purpose
By now you’ve developed self-awareness and know your life purpose, or have at least begun exploring new passions and curiosities.
If you haven’t made it that far yet. Refer to this blog post before you start this step.
To clarify your purpose, you’ll need to do a few things. If you’ve read my Discover Your Life Purpose article, you’ll notice some overlap.
■ Get clear on your core values, current priorities, and long term goals
“Values act like a compass that helps you stay on track and focused on the most important things in your life.”
■ Analyze your strengths, skills, and areas where you think you need the most improvement (weaknesses) to reach your long-term goals
- What knowledge, training, or skills do you already have that will help you achieve your goals?
- What areas (personal development, skills) will you need to grow in?
- If you were better at _____ your life would be easier.
■ Decide what you want and how you want it.
You need to get as clear and specific on what you want. Write want lists for a few days or weeks if you need to.
It’s ok if you don’t have your purpose completely figured out yet, it’s an ongoing process and evolves with you as you grow.
What’s important now is committing to a specific direction. Trust your intuition and instincts. Listen to your inner voice.
The more you develop your self-awareness awareness skills, the easier this will become.
And once you commit to a direction, the means of fulfilling the goals you set that are aligned with that direction will be drawn to you magnetically.
So … what do you want and where do you want your life to go?
Step 2) Why Do You Need to Reach This Goal?
Next figure out your ‘why’. Why you want or need to reach this goal.
In other words, what does it mean for you and your life?
• What does it mean for other people in your life?
• How will achieving this goal affect your future?
• What has happened in your life that has set you on this path?
• Does your purpose help anyone? If so, who? And what does helping them mean to you?
If you want to see an example of a ‘why’, read the first section of my blog’s manifesto.
Your ‘why’ is more important than the goal itself because the most meaningful goals come from the deepest ‘why’s.Your 'why' is more important than the goal itself because the most meaningful goals come from the deepest 'why's. Click To Tweet
And there are dozens of ways to satisfy the why. If one goal doesn’t get you there, you can always set another.
But be careful of the goals you set.
Since your goals determine the direction your life will move in as well as what you’ll attract to yourself.
Ask and you shall receive.
So “Ask intelligently”, as Tony Robbins says.
That’s why it’s so important to know your purpose and your ‘why’ before setting your goals. So you aren’t led somewhere you don’t want to go.
Step 3) Write Your Purpose Aligned Goal
You have your purpose. You know your ‘why’.
Now it’s time to start writing purposeful goals for your life, personal development, and business (if you have one).
Be as clear and specific as you can be. And do your best to infuse your goals with emotion.
What I mean is, set goals that make you feel passionate. So when you visualize yourself reaching them, you feel motivated and inspired to make it happen.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. goals technique if that helps you cover all of your bases.
So make your goals:
- Don’t be vague or general.
- Write down exactly what you want.
- Use exact amounts.
- Consider: who, what, when, where, why.
- How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?
- How will you know you’re going in the right direction?
- What are some tasks and milestones along the way that’ll help you keep track of progress?
- It’s great to set goals that are outside of your comfort zone because they force you to grow to reach them, but your goals shouldn’t be so far outside of your current skill set that they’re impossible to reach. That will only discourage you from trying again.
- Start with goals that give you quick wins and build up your confidence to take on bigger goals.
- Set goals that’ll help you learn and grow into a person who is capable of fulfilling your purpose and long-term vision.
- Make sure your life goals are relevant to your life purpose and long term vision
- Make sure your personal development goals are relevant to the person who you want to become
- Make sure your business goals are aligned with the mission and values of your business
- Set deadlines on your goal to create an urgency to get it accomplished (and not put it off).
- Make sure the deadlines are realistic. When in doubt, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
Unless you’re the type that thrives under pressure, racing towards unrealistic deadlines can create anxiety, make you dread your goals, and shut down your creativity.
Most importantly, write your goals down and read them at least once a day. Or better yet, rewrite your goals every day.
Both of these practices:
- help to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind
- program your goals into your subconscious mind
- make it more likely you’ll achieve your goals
Step 4) Make a Plan
Goal planning has got to be the most difficult part of the goal-setting process.
You have to research your goal well enough to be able to break it down into manageable parts and checkpoints. And then estimate time limits and deadlines for each of the parts.
Even when your goal is aligned with your purpose, it doesn’t make the planning part any easier.
Your purpose does make the ‘where’ easy.
You know where you need to go as long as you stay aligned with your life’s purpose … well you know the general direction. But it doesn’t make the ‘how’ any easier.
Meaning, how are you going to get there?
And how can you plan to get there without overcomplicating the whole process?
Simplify Your Plans
Recently, I read a goal statement article by Deanna Castro where she does an amazing job of simplifying the goal planning process.
Her process involves focusing on one overall yearly goal, a monthly goal, and a weekly goal. And they are all aligned with each other.
For example, my yearly goal focuses on monetizing my blog. And I set my first monthly goal as “coaching”. Which is the first way I intend to monetize my blog.
I won’t neglect my other responsibilities but I’m setting my weekly and daily goals around coach training and setting up the coaching side of my business.
Deanna recommends simplifying weekly goals the same way as with the monthly goals.
So my first week was solely focused on finishing a confidence coaching course. And I broke down the sections of the course into daily goals.
The week after that focused on going through the course a second time.
And the next monthly goal will focus on email marketing.
Overall, each goal should move you one step forward towards your long-term goal.
Tip: To help you stay motivated and productive, make sure the tasks you assign yourself are in either your Desire Zone or The Development Zone as Michael Hyatt calls them.
“The Development Zone. This is an area where you are passionate about and developing a proficiency, or passionate about but not yet proficient.”
And the Desire Zone refers to tasks you’re both passionate about and proficient in.
This is where you’re happiest and most productive.
Step 5) Is Your Mindset Aligned with Your Goal?
Once you’ve set your goal and made plans to achieve it, the next step is to make sure your mindset is aligned in a way that’ll help you reach your goal.
Otherwise, you might sabotage your efforts.
You do this by uncovering limiting beliefs, fears, doubts, and emotional blockages related to the goal.
Bring them to the surface by making a list of everything that could stop you from reaching your goal.
Work through them by questioning their validity and truthfulness.
- Are they true?
- If it’s something you don’t currently know how to do, is it something that can be learned?
- Is there anyone who has accomplished this goal before? If so, how did they do it?
You don’t need to know everything before you get started on your goal, you just need to get started and learn as you go. This is how you build confidence and develop a growth mindset.You don't need to know everything before you get started on your goal, you just need to get started and learn as you go. This is how you build confidence and develop a growth mindset. Click To Tweet
Methods to Align Your Mindset
Another way to align your mindset is to write and recite your goals every day. You can even turn them into affirmations and incantations that you use upon waking and before bed.
A third way is to visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. Visualize it in the present tense and make it as realistic as possible. Use sensory details to make your mind and body believe it’s happening.
One more way to improve your mindset is by reading money and abundance mindset books.
Whichever methods you choose, develop a mindset practice that you can use every day. Throw in a daily gratitude practice as well.
The more positive you can keep your mindset in general, the less the ups and downs of the goal-setting process will discourage you.
Step 6) Take Daily Action on Your Goal
Now it’s time to put your plan into action. Start as soon as you can to get your momentum going.
When you put it off, you’re more likely to come up with reasons (and excuses) to put it off even longer.
To keep up the momentum:
- Take consistent action. Do something every day related to your goal.
- Change your current habits to align your lifestyle with your goal.
- Be persistent. Obstacles will come up. Adapt and keep moving.
- Develop resilience. Failure is growth and learning. If you miss a deadline or ‘fail’ to reach a daily or weekly goal, learn from it and try again.
Since your goals are now aligned with your purpose, values, and your deepest ‘why’, motivation won’t be as much of an issue as it was before.
In other words, your new, purposeful goals will help “pull” you towards your vision.Purposeful goals "pull" you towards your vision. Click To Tweet
If you do need a quick technique to motivate yourself to take action on your goals, check out: How to Motivate Yourself to Take Action on Your Goals (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It)
Step 7) Make Your Goal Setting Process Mindful
To make your process more mindful, we need to do two things.
- Set intentions
- Let go of the outcome
How do you want the experience of pursuing and achieving your goal to go?
Yes, you have a choice in how you feel as you pursue your goals!
Crazy right? I was surprised too!
Let’s start with intentions.
The Importance of Setting Intentions
You’ve already set goals, so why should you set intentions as well?
If goals are the ‘what’, then intentions are the ‘how do I want the experiece to go’.
Intentions work alongside your goals and help you develop a deeper meaning and connection to the work.
How do you use intentions?
Before you begin taking action on your daily goals, stop for a moment and think about how you want to feel during the process.
• If the experience could happen in any way you could imagine, how would it go?
• What sites do you want to see along the way?
• What would you accomplish internally? Meaning, how would you grow?
• How do you want to affect the people you interact with?
•How do you want them to treat you?
You can set your intentions to be whatever you want them to be. It’s about enjoying the process.
How Do You Use Intentions to Enjoy the Process?
Here’s a personal intention example:
Background: I set intentions on my way to the gym sometimes as an attempt to combat anxiety. I tore a chest tendon in 2019 and a knee tendon in 2018. I’m still in the process of strengthening both areas to the point that the pain won’t keep coming back.
Goal: Go to the gym tonight and work out chest, shoulders, abs, and legs.
Intention: Go to the gym tonight and have an amazing, anxiety and panic-free chest workout. I intend to feel relaxed and focused the entire time and make it through every exercise I need to do to keep the pain away. I intend to enjoy my workout, talk to a few friends, and leave feeling good about myself.
That was a basic example, but you can add whatever types of experiences you want to your statements. Set it as pleasurable and enjoyable as you want it to be.
Intentions can help you influence your inner experiences, mindset, and the world around you.
Letting Go of the Outcome Through Mindfulness
Using a mindful goal-setting process is the way to have inner peace now and stay aligned with your purpose while chasing your goals.A mindful goal-setting process is the way to have inner peace now and stay aligned with your purpose while chasing your goals. Click To Tweet
Mindful goal setting is different from the traditional goal-setting model since you focus more on the present moment, the process, the journey, your growth, and behavioral patterns, and on giving your best effort.
At the same time, you let go of what you can’t control … the exact results.
Also called the input-output model…
“The input-output goal model – puts the focus on what we can control, not the future.”
How Do You Focus on the Process and Not on the Outcome?
Here’s a blogging example:
If I focus on the process (input) …
… writing consistently, letting my creativity flow freely, the research, reading and learning, my interest in the topics, my desire to be useful and help people, trying my best …
… then I should trust that the result (output) will be a decent blog post.
And I can keep improving the process to improve the results. Input-output.
Obstacles to Achieving Your Purpose Aligned Goals
If you’ve set any kind of goals before, then I’m sure you’ve encountered your share of doubts, obstacles, and limiting beliefs.
Does this experience sound familiar?
Writing out long-term goals makes me feel uncomfortable. The uncertainty of it all.
My abilities are limited and the variables of life are unpredictable.
Plus, how can I be expected to have perfect planning abilities?
I don’t know how long it’ll take to do things I’ve never done before, especially with so much that is beyond my control.
Or how about these doubts and limiting beliefs?
- I can’t complete my goals on time.
- I’m less likely to reach a goal I set with a deadline because it puts pressure on me and causes me anxiety and self-sabotage behaviors.
- Just the thought of setting certain goals makes me feel overwhelmed and defeated before I even start.
- What if something important comes up or someone needs me to stop and do something?
- I don’t know what goals to set to get me where I want to go.
Sadly, the truth is … there is no such thing as perfect planning and no one reaches all of their goals.
Obstacles are Inevitable
It’s not possible to know everything upfront, but you have to make a plan anyway.
Some tasks will take a lot longer than you planned for and at some point or another other obstacles to your time or energy will interfere with your daily and weekly goals.
There will always be the possibility of unexpected and unpredictable life situations (emergencies, injuries, kids quarantined from school).
Do you remember the weekly goal example I gave of completing the confidence coaching course?
Well as it turns out, one of the first lessons I had planned to complete as a daily goal had a 20-page assessment worksheet to fill out that I didn’t know about. Plus other lessons in that section had long worksheets as well.
The combination of those lessons put me about three days behind schedule!
Which meant I had to go back in and reschedule everything and I didn’t finish the course in a week. So my second week’s plans also had to be re-evaluated.
It was a rough start, to say the least.
And guess what.
Even if the planning does go perfectly, there are internal obstacles you might face.
For example, chances are you’ll lose motivation and interest in some of your goals, especially the goals that are long-term or monotonous.
And some goals will feel out of alignment with the direction you want your life to go in. Even if they seemed like perfectly aligned goals originally.
But people change and so will your goals.
Adapt and Modify Your Goals to Stay Aligned
No matter how intentionally you’re living, life will still throw obstacles into the path of your goals every now and then.
And you’ll need to re-evaluate and modify your goals when it happens.
If something’s not working or the goal doesn’t feel right for you, change it to a goal that does.
Modify your goals until they’re re-aligned with your purpose by making sure they’re helping you satisfy your ‘why’ and long-term vision.Re-align your goals by making sure they're helping you satisfy your 'why' and long-term vision. Click To Tweet
Also, don’t set too many goals at one time, especially if you’re new to goal-setting.
You might get too overwhelmed and burn yourself out. Or at most, only get a small part of each thing done, but not finish anything important.
To learn more about techniques to overcome obstacles, read the article below.
Balancing Purposeful Goals and Family Life
Do you beat yourself up when you don’t reach your goals?
I’ve always been a little too hard on myself, but I’ve come to realization that I have to give myself some leniency when it comes to productivity and goals. Since I do have kids and family responsibilities.
Going 100% full speed on my own goals from the moment I wake up isn’t possible for me.
Even though it’s how I imagine I need to be if I ever want to reach my biggest goals in life…
But trying to be part of “hustle culture” as a stay-at-home parent, leads to more stress than it’s worth. There are constant interruptions and nonstop talking. I hear daddy 100 times an hour.
Every hour. You know how it is with a toddler 😂.
How can I expect myself to fully concentrate or to be super productive when I’m looking up every few minutes?
It’s not a limiting belief in this case. It’s reality if I try working while I’m the only parent home.
It was an unrealistic expectation I’d set for myself.
Re-align Your Expections
What I’ve learned over the past year and a half of blogging is I have to go easier on myself. Parenting comes first. And the family time comes first.
My kids will only be young once, and I’m not going to ruin our relationships by being too busy to spend time with them or to make memories with them.
When my youngest starts school in a couple of years, then I’ll start doing more work in the daytime. But until then, I’ll do what I can when I can.
Even if it means writing blog posts and creating Instagram pictures while walking on a Planet Fitness treadmill at 11 PM.
This is a situation where it’s not about getting there first, it’s about getting there together.
It’s not worth reaching my blogging or coaching goals if it means neglecting my family in the process.
That would not be a purpose-aligned path for me!
Setting goals is a necessary part of pursuing your life purpose.
But if your goals are failing to keep you motivated and fulfilled, then maybe you need to set goals that are more purposeful, meaningful, and soulful.
And you may also need a more mindful goal-setting process. A process that keeps you present and helps you enjoy the journey.
- Are aligned with your life purpose and stimulate inner growth
- Keep your journey meaningful
- Lead to more inner peace
- Help you become the person you were born to be
Now that you know how to write purposeful, mindful goals you’ll be better able to stay motivated to achieve your short-term goals while making progress towards your long-term goals.
So the next time you’re feeling unmotivated or like you’re just being busy for the sake of being busy, re-evaluate and adjust your goals.
If the goal isn’t aligned, use the process above to set a goal that is aligned with who you want to become and where you want your life to go.
If a goal is aligned, and you still aren’t feeling motivated, remind yourself how the goal you’re working towards relates to your deepest ‘why’, who you’re helping, long-term goals, and your life purpose.If a goal is aligned, and you still aren't feeling motivated, remind yourself how the goal you're working towards relates to your deepest 'why', who you're helping, your long-term goals, and your life purpose. Click To Tweet
I hope you found this information helpful, but remember, you can learn something from everyone but only you can determine what’s right for you and your path. The solutions are ultimately inside of you.
The more you learn to trust yourself and your decisions, the more confidence you’ll gain, and the more empowered you’ll feel.
Thanks for reading and good luck on your journey!
P.S. – If the problem is more than a particular goal, and you just feel stuck in life altogether, get a copy of my free eBook below.