At the deepest level, you know what makes you happy and how to create your best possible life. That knowledge is coded into your very nature.

-Martha Beck (The Way of Integrity)

picture of a hand holding a compass on top of a mountain

Like many of my recent posts, this one is repurposed from my weekly newsletter. The theme of that newsletter was “a different approach to setting goals,” and this post is an extended version of it.

Side note: If you like this post and would like to receive this kind of content via email, you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter here.

Theme: A different approach to setting goals

I want to talk about goal-setting. But before I do, I need to tell you that I rarely set goals – despite the fact that I’m a coach.

Rather, I tend to focus my attention on my greater vision.

This approach has served me well over the past few years. Some byproducts of being vision-focused rather than goal-focused include sobriety that feels amazing, community and friendships that ignite my spirit, and weight melting off my body with zero effort.

But one of the most exciting – and recent – byproducts has been a truly shocking and untethered enthusiasm for sticking to a wickedly frugal budget, as I’ve struggled my whole life to live within my means.

I’m not sure what flipped the switch for me this time, but I suspect that it happened the way the other byproducts of being vision-focused have happened. A natural progression, if you will.

And so with this successful frugal budgeting thing under my belt, I did something I rarely do these days:

I set a goal.

I set a goal to pay off all of my credit card debt (multiple five figures) by March 2025.

And you know what? I’m already half way there.

This, despite the fact that my income is modest and generally remains pretty stagnant.

If I could sum up my success in one sentence it would be this: I let my vision guide me and inspire my goals.

Where vision and goals intersect.

Having a greater life vision – a vision that’s aligned with your true nature – is key. At least it has been for me. I’m talking about a vision that inspires and NOT a greater-than-life vision that overwhelms. 

Once we have our soul-aligned life vision, we’ll naturally gravitate towards soul-aligned “sub-visions”, e.g. visions for certain areas of our lives.

And these sub-visions are where I believe meaningful goals get created.

When we operate from a place of alignment with who we truly are and set meaningful goals from this place, we create magic. Why? Because we have our meaningful vision(s) to hold onto when challenges arise.

Of course, there are numerous approaches to goal-setting, so borrow from my approach if it resonates and ignore it if it doesn’t.

But here’s the thing: setting a goal that’s not aligned with who you truly are is probably going to result in one of three things: 

  1. You succeed! And yet something’s missing. You aren’t satisfied for long. Fulfillment, peace, and purpose are absent. Think: career success or the American Dream.
  2. You succeed, but then you revert back. You’ve tasted success but it isn’t sustainable. Think: dieting.
  3. You fail. 

Regardless of the outcome, things aren’t awesome even if they appear to the outside world that they are.

However, when a goal is aligned with us at a visceral, soul level because it’s also aligned with our vision(s), we journey forward from a place of don’t-f*ck-with-me inspiration – which is, to say, a place where we pick ourselves back up when challenges arise. Why? Because our vision is too freaking important to let go of.

For me and my credit card debt payoff journey, it’s about feeling truly free, and this is so freaking aligned with my greater life vision and money-oriented sub-vision. 

When I made a significant dent in my credit card balance, I experienced the freedom I thought I’d only experience once the debt was paid off and I’d rebuilt my savings. Wrong! Sister, I’m feeling it now.

I don’t need motivation to stay the course. I don’t need to white-knuckle anything. I don’t need a winning lottery ticket.

Sure, there may be setbacks that I’m not anticipating right now, and I’ll address them as they arise. But what’s clear to me is that the freedom I crave comes from staying true to my vision. Without this vision, I’d be staring at a depressing credit card statement, feeling dread, and wondering if I’d ever be able to pay the balance off.

Do you enthusiastically set goals yet fail to meet them?

So often overlooked in the world of goal-setting is whether the goal itself is aligned with your own great vision or with culture. Usually it’s the latter. And herein lies the issue.

When goals are aligned with your true nature, inspired action follows. But when they’re not, the journey towards them becomes a chore…and eventually fizzles out.

If you’d like to set powerful goals that you have sustained inspiration to achieve, consider this single-session 1:1 goal-mapping intensive.

That is all.