Choose How You Want To Feel. Set Goals That Allow You to Feel This Way.

One day, while catching with my friend Becky over a cup of coffee, we were talking about our goals for the future, she introduced a concept of goal setting that was new to me.

Before Becky decides on her goals she decides how she wants to feel. Then, she works backwards: she creates goals that will allow her to feel this way.

Knowing how we want to feel, and the goals we need to accomplish in order to feel this way is really powerful because: choosing how we want to feel allows us to choose the right behaviors that will lead to our desired outcome.

Consider the classic donuts in the break room scenario:

Cindy goes into the office and once again are her favorite Dunkin Donuts sitting in the pretty pink box, just like they are everyday.

There are days she has the willpower to walk away from the donuts……but after a few days……her willpower caves and she eats the donut she’s been craving.

She walks away happy for a few minutes, until the guilt sets in. The negative thoughts start flowing of how she’s worthless, and no wonder she can’t lose weight.

Cindy has a vague goal of losing weight but she’s never really thought about how she will feel when she loses weight. She hasn’t thought about what it will feel like to become the best version of herself.

And so the feeling of instant gratification becomes the story of her life.

Choose How You Want to Feel

Throughout the day we we have to make a dozen decisions that affect the story of our lives.

For each decision, we generally have two roads that diverge, and we need to decide which road to take.

Road #1, The Easy Way

I can behave in a way way that makes me feel good now, but the feeling is short lived.

Road #2, The Hard Way

I can behave in a way that is difficult now, but it will allow me to get one step closer to my goals.

If we imagine walking down both roads, if we imagine putting ourself into both future scenarios: one where we take the easy road and one where we take the hard road, we can imagine how choosing either road will ultimately make us feel.

When we imagine how we want to feel after we accomplish our goals, and when this feeling is stronger than the feeling of instant gratification, we more often take the path that’s leads us toward our goals, we become more successful.

First: We have to imagine how we want to feel.

Second: We can create goals that support feeling this way.

Third: We can live into our dreams each day by imagining we have already accomplished our goals and how this makes us feel.

Adopting this behavior, by turning it into a daily habit, allows us not to be swayed by the easy road, the short road, the Dunkin Donuts, the road that gives us instant gratification.

But instead, to take the road that will lead us to become our authentic selves. To live and feel the way we want to feel, to grow into our greatest potential.