Finding Happiness Through Choosing Goals That Inspire You

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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There are only three days left in 2015! Whether or not you achieved all that you hoped to achieve in 2015, now is the time to reset and pick goals that inspire you wildly for 2016.

We honestly never really know how much time we have left on Earth, so I am a firm believer in really going for it in terms of setting goals that make you reach, stretch and grow. Of course, I’m also a fan of picking goals that are so much fun, that so resonate with your spirit, and that inspire you so much that you are excited to get up every day and move forward with those goals.

Be the person who turns “failures” into learning experiences, who considers taking a step forward followed by a step backwards a cha-cha, and who keeps your spirits elevated in the face of adversity. It helps me to remember that “Earth School” is a learning experience for every single one of us, and we are truly never done learning.

What goes could you set for the New Year that will excite and inspire you? When you get to the end of 2016, what would make you feel razzle-dazzled and immensely proud of yourself?

Whether it’s career goals, health goals, relationship goals, financial goals, travel adventure goals, or something else, commit to stretching yourself. And remember that the point isn’t whether you reach every single goal or not, but rather who you become in the journey.

When you challenge yourself to stretch and grow to become the person you most want to be, you win, no matter what. Part of happiness is who you become while working on the goals that set your soul on fire.

So think about that too – who do you want to become this year? What qualities do you most want to develop further, cultivate or emulate?

Who Do You Want to BE in 2016? 

I find that is a good starting place for writing down our goals for the coming year. What the qualities you admire in your heroes and inspirations that you most want to emulate?

If we decide we want to be more adventurous, more courageous, more bold, more creative, etc. then we can actively do our best to practice living those qualities daily. There is no reason to wait until you have achieved a certain goal to be courageous – just practice moving forward in spite of your fears today (which is the definition of courage: feeling the fear and doing it anyway!).

Danielle LaPorte has a process she teaches called “Desire Mapping” which is all about deciding what feelings you want to feel in the New Year. Again, the idea is to practice finding ways to feel those feelings ever day, vs. waiting to achieve a certain goal or dream in order to be happy.

We so often forget while in pursuit of our goals that a happy journey is nothing more than a string of happy moments, and if we wait until we reach our goals in order to give ourselves permission to be happy, we spend a lot of time waiting and denying ourselves happiness.

What if the goals are just meant to supply us with a sense of direction, so we know where we are going ,and how happy the journey is, every step of the way, is up to us? What if it’s really that simple, and happiness is ultimately just a choice and a way of living?

I believe in that completely, because there have been times on my journey when I wasn’t choosing happiness and although my life looked good “from the outside,” I was miserable. At other times, my outer circumstances were nearly the same, but I radiated joy.

Honestly, it for me comes down to making the choice to be happy day after day. I realize that the circumstances of my life don’t need to be aligned “perfectly” in order to me to choose to be happy.

I can work on my goals and take a step forward at a time, and choose to be the woman I want to be each day. I can choose love and joy over and over and celebrate all the blessings in my life, rather than focusing on what I believe is lacking.

We all have the choice, daily to hang out either in gratitude or in lack. I find that I am much, much happier when I focus on what I have, vs. on what I believe I lack.

What Goals Will Make Your Heart Sing? 

Every year, a lot of us tend to write down the same goals over and over. “Lose 20 pounds.” Or “make more money.”

But do those goals really inspire you? Is it possible the reason you haven’t achieved them yet is that they do not make your heart sing with joy?

What would make you ecstatically happen? Sometimes even just rewording our goals can make a difference.

For example, maybe “rocking a bikini as I go jet-skiing with my love!” in summer 2016 would feel great and inspiring, although “lose some weight” doesn’t inspire you. Why not go out and buy a fabulous new bikini now and maybe you’ll get inspired to shift your diet and exercise habits to look fabulous in it?

Or maybe “travel internationally, starting with Italy!” would inspire you more than “making more money,” yet you ultimately might need to make or save more money to make that happen. It might be a more fun and inspiring way to work towards an important goal.

“Have more sex” might inspire you more in your relationship than “fight less,” and ultimately would probably mean that you would fight less as well! What is a way to frame your goals that makes you happy and inspires you?

Take the time to play with this and to define your goals in a way that feels inspiring.

Some of the Goals That Light Me Up Right Now!

For example, I plan to do more public speaking in 2016 because I love it. What feels inspiring to me is to share talks on miracles which I’ll record and video and podcast out over the Interwebs as well.

One of my life’s missions is to “touch, move and inspire millions with my words,” and this is one of the ways I plan to work towards that goal! My goal in 2016 is to help people believe they are the miracle and to reach as many people as I can through public talks (I’d love to reach at least 1,000 people a month, which seems doable considering that I currently have 55,000 followers on Facebook).

I’m still working this week on writing down goals for 2016 that are going to excite and inspire me to rise daily, knowing that I’m really going for it and giving life my best. If I’m not going to go after what I most want now, when exactly do I expect that it will happen?

I believe that now, today, is the only time that is ever guaranteed to us. So it makes sense to me to take action now, today, on what matters most to me.

What I do today will determine the quality of my future, tomorrow. One of my goals for 2016 is to take daily action on the dreams that matter most to me.

What most inspires you, and how do you plan to make more of your dreams come true in 2016?