Escaping The Paradigm of Goal Setting

What happens when you accomplish your goals and still don't feel fulfilled?

You make the bucket-list or the to-do list, tick off all of the boxes and still feel...meh.

It's the goal setting paradigm, and here's how it's been keeping you stuck. For most of our life, we have been programmed to set goals in two ways. First, we create goals based on what we think we "should" be doing. We base our "should" off of where we think we "should be" at this point of our lives, careers, or relationships. We also base our "shoulds" off what other people are doing or accomplishing in their lives.

We buy into believing that we "should" be striving for our bosses job or that we "should" be more successful than our parents. We create goals based on perceptions and expectations that aren't realistic but rather judgements of where we aren't making the grade in our life so far.

The other way we've been programmed to set goals is based on what other people think we should be striving for. This means that we live our lives and determine our destiny based on the suggestions, recommendations, and opinions of others. While it's important to have a sounding board in our life and to lean on others who have "been there, done that," the truth is--they don't get to decide our future. It doesn't matter much what our boss, our mother, our partner, or our sister think that we should be doing. What matters most is what WE think we should be doing.

The paradigm of goal setting exists when we lack a sense of fulfillment despite crossing the finish line to accomplish our goals. Despite achievement, we feel empty and have no idea why.

What separates a goal from a 'to-do' list item? After we've gotten the promotion, made the grade, moved into the house, or ran the 5k, essentially crossing the to-do or accomplishment off of our list, we are often left feeling flat. Despite accomplishing our goal, we feel unfulfilled and don't know why. Typically the feeling of being unfulfilled occurs because our goal didn't mean something to us. It didn't have that lasting stickiness quality to it that makes the achievement of our goals transformational and life-changing.

Why is it important for our goals to be "sticky?" The stickiness of our goals determine our success in achieving them. Goal success not only means feeling a sense of accomplishment but it means being able to play even bigger in our lives. It means getting passed our limiting beliefs to set bigger goals and create a bigger impact than we've ever thought possible.

How do we make our goals stickier so we can be the best version of ourself? There are two essential ingredients to goal setting that will forever change how we experience goal setting.--clarity and visualization. Goal clarity means getting clear about why you want what you want. It's not enough to say we want to accomplish a goal. In order to make it sticky and to have a transformational impact on our life, you need to get clear about why we want to accomplish that particular goal.

Goal clarity is what makes us stay committed to our vision when things become difficult. The 'why' of our goals help us to stay accountable and gives us the endless fuel to reach the proverbial finish line of achievement. What is most interesting about the 'why' of our goal is that it challenges us to think deeper into makes us tick. By knowing what is most motivating and compelling to us, we can not only ensure that we will accomplish our goal but that our goal will make a greater impact on the lives of others.

The second essential ingredient to goal setting is goal visualization. Goal visualization means thinking about the end game when we set our goals. It's both visualizing the result of achieving our goal as well as how we will feel once we've accomplished the goal we've been striving for.

Connecting to how we want to feel when creating our goals is something we are often disconnected from because in the old goal setting paradigm, our feelings didn't matter much. In the past, what mattered the most was checking off the box on our to-do list.

As we flip the script to visualize the achievement of our goal, we connect to the emotion to it. Does it feel like a 'Hell Yes?' or does it leave you still feeling a bit 'meh.' Taking this approach to goal setting allows us to weed out the goals that either belong to someone else or come from a place of what we think we 'should' be doing rather than what is authentic to us. When we create goals with soul, it guarantees that we not only feel fulfilled but also create an authentic way of living our life.

Ask yourself: What is the long-term vision for your life, your business or career--What kind of impact do you want to make? How do you see this happening? Feel free to dream (and feel) big!

Bailey Frumen, MSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist, transformational life coach, writer, and speaker. She has been named 'one of the top 20 life coaches to watch' by Bailey is the author of Own Your Power: Your Guide to Feeling Powerful, Fearless, and Free. Her work has been published in Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Aspire Magazine, Natural Awakenings, Popexpert, and numerous guest blogs. Through her Clarity Mastery Program, live events, speaking engagements, and transformational coaching, Bailey helps leaders and entrepreneurs around the world transcend fear, overwhelm, and uncertainty. With 10+ years of experience helping others to live their best lives, she guides leaders & entrepreneurs to feel more confident by mastering their mindset and living the life they've always wanted. For more from Bailey, check out or say hello on Facebook and Instagram!

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