How to Strengthen Commitment to Goals & Values
There are a lot of ways to approach goals- and tons of posts in the online space about strategy for setting and reaching goals.
Today I’m offering something a little different that I like to do alongside those goal-getting strategies to really increase the impact and effectiveness of the time I spend bringing my goals to life.
TRUTH: I struggle with commitment to goals!
Seriously, I will get so excited about the goal on day 1, but by the end of the first month of working toward something big, I’m bored and on to my next idea.
Sometimes I have the same struggle when it comes to veganism- I believe in it to my core, and there are a lot of people out there who say if you can break that vegan commitment for a single bite, then you never were a vegan. Then you never cared at all. (This seems to be true in a lot of passionate communities, not just the vegan world.)
But honestly, that’s garbage.
Because we are human beings. It’s in our nature to live in the moment, to feel in the moment, to have cravings and passions. And junk food is literally designed to lure us in and get us hooked. There’s a science behind it- just look up the research that goes into freakin’ potato chips!
So no, you’re not a heartless half-wanna-be vegan if you caved and ate something non-vegan. What’s important is recognizing that it wasn’t aligned with your values, and then reflecting on what might have caused you to choose what wasn’t aligned with your beliefs, and make a plan to prevent that in the future. Progress over perfection.
Anyway, on to the 3 ways I strengthen my commitment to my goals and values!
1 | Visualization + Dreaming
I spend a lot of time visualizing my dream life and the future I want to create for myself. If that word is too nerdy for you, just call it daydreaming. For me, it’s a dreamy mix of intention and imagination, just thinking about how my future life is going to look, smell, and feel.
Dig into really specific situations and just have fun with it. I think about what it might be like if I woke up to a thunder storm at 3am, or to wake up at 5am and do some yoga then sip tea while watching the sunrise. I imagine spending time with my dog after she’s hurt her foot on a hike. Finding lost kittens. Building a goat enclosure. Designing a baby nursery. I just get really deep into the ideas and imagine what coffee or tea I’d have, what would I snack on? What’s my kitchen like? What does my pantry look like? When people come over, how do I host them- do I cook for them? What’s in my garden? Just roll with whatever comes to mind, and notice or ask yourself specific questions about your values.
2 | Journal Prompts & Thoughtful Questions
I love to journal and I love to ask questions, almost as much as I love to answer them! It’s really easy to find lists of personality/identity focused questions- or dream questions or whatever else you’re into- so I like to just take these questions and write in my journal. Sometimes I answer word-for-word, and sometimes I just use the question as a journal prompt and let my mind do the rest.
I love doing this because it helps me feel more clarity around who I am at my core while also confirming and celebrating the ways I already live as my best self. Sometimes I’ll hit a snag with a question and I have the opportunity to consciously choose a new value or habit, or tweak a thought pattern that I didn’t notice was putting me in a negative headspace in the past.
3 | Talk about it!
Look, vegans aren’t preachy assholes to be better than you. We talk about this stuff because 1) it’s important, yeah, but 2) because when you have a value that you feel so passionately that lights up your heart and also starts a fire in there, it’s HARD not to talk about it!
And the more we share our ideas and values with like-minded people, the more we are able to grow into them and the easier it becomes to live them. It’s like that confirmation helps to grow our conviction.
As powerful as it is to validate ourselves and not need outside support, humans exist in communities rather than isolation (for the most part) for a reason. We need each other, we support and build each other up. We help each other to learn and grow. Talking about our values gives those values the opportunity to spread and to be challenged- both of which have such expansive potential!
Speaking up might be scary, but there are online communities you can start with if you’re nervous! Find a safe space to share about your goals and values, and start connecting with others to build yourself up to the values and future life you’ve committed to.
I hope this has been helpful!
These 3 activities work best for me as part of my daily routine. I don’t necessarily to all three every day, I just set aside time to be intentional with my thoughts in the mornings. Most often, I find myself journaling out what I’ve visualized and writing questions of my own to play with. I do notice that talking it out is the most effective though, when I actually do it! I think it’s important to learn to validate ourselves and value what we believe without outside input, but I also think there’s something really special about sharing with another human the things that light up our hearts. What do you think? Is there a balance?