Conscientious. That’s the word most frequently used to describe highly sensitive people.
Perfectionistic…unfortunately, that’s also an attribute that is common amongst us. We are crowd pleasers. It’s not that we can’t handle criticism. We would just really have preferred to have done it right the first time so no more “constructive feedback” could be allotted.
For that reason, though…highly sensitive people really need to be deliberate and intentional about the goals they set come January 1st (ahem…today). Too easy and we get bored. Too difficult and we get discouraged.
So how do you find the sweet spot?
1) To begin… Lets borrow from Warren Buffet’s two step rule.
First – determine what it is that you REALLY want to see happen in your life? Think BIG. Want to start your own business? Write a book? Pay off debt? What are the big ticket items you want to see come to fruition in your lifetime? Come up with a list of 25.
- 1) Eat a whole food diet
- 2) Maintain an exercise plan
- 3) Build my coaching practice
- 4) Pay student loans off and become debt free
- 5) Keep a meditation practice
- 6) Stay connected in my relationships
- 7) Write a book
- 8) Become more active on social media
- Develop an online presence
- Create a community of HSP who all want to work on self development and health
- 11) Deliver a presentation on a topic I am passionate about at a conference (Ted talk, perhaps?)
- 12) Develop a steady podcast
- 13) Learn how to keep “play” in my life
- 14) Travel the world
- 15) learn a new language
- 16) Develop financial independence (also called financial freedom)
- 17) Keep a steady yoga practice (yoga therapy)
- 18) Learn more about tea so that I can provide therapeutic recipes for HSP
- 19) Have my own house
- 20) Simplify my life
- 21) Move to a new state and live somewhere new
- 22) Find ways to give back to the community
- 23) Volunteer more
- 24) Conplete a triathlon
- 25) Learn to play the drums
Second – circle your top five. Once you’ve circled them, you now have two lists. The first (top five) is the one you pay all your attention to. The second (and this is important!) is your list of things to ACTIVELY AND CONSISTENTLY AVOID. It doesn’t mean “do them occasionally.” It means “DO NOT TOUCH THESE GOALS WITH A TEN FOOT POLE.”
- Financial freedom
- Build my coaching practice
- Eat a whole food diet
- Maintain exercise habits
- Maintain meditation habits
2) Once you have your list of five items, your next thing is to determine your top-of-the-mountain values. What do you value most in your life? Make sure that your values are aligned with your goals.
My values include:
- 1) relationships
- 2) health
- 3) freedom
- 4) service
- 5) tranquility
In my case, the values match. Sort of. I value my relationship…and yet that wasn’t on my goal sheet. That might be something to look into. There may come a time when I have to choose between my goals, and those I love. I may have a goal that is clear. But when that goal goes against my values (in other words, I have to keep pulling time from loved ones to exercise) that may be a potential problem.
3) Now that you have your list of goals AND your list of values…choose ONLY ONE goal that you think you want to craft into an intention for this year. That’s right. Just ONE.
- I decided to focus on building a coaching practice.
4) Now that you know what you want to commit to, break that down. Make it specific. What, specifically, do you want that goal to look like? In other words…how would you know you achieved it? In my case, I would know I achieved it if I had at least 20 clients working under me at any given time. That would put me in a place to focus entirely on my practice and move away from the other two jobs I have.
5) Next – make a plan. If you know what you want to see happen in a year, your next move is to break it down into specific actions. Move away from outcomes. What are you specifically planning to do in a month? How about this week? Today?
- This month: I will update my website
- This week: I will research how to develop a podcast
- Today: I will publish this post.
Conclusion: Setting Intentions needs to be about more than willy nilly ideas about what you SHOULD be doing. Rather, what you set as an intention should be in alignment with what you are passionate about and about what you value. Also – it should be challenging enough to be engaging, but not so challenging that you will feel overwhelmed.
And most importantly, it should be something that makes you come alive.