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Emotion-led goals

Autumn is the season that seems to most be about change. From falling russet leaves, shorter nights, new school energy and the realisation that the end of the year is coming sooner than we’re prepared for, autumn brings a sense of unfilled (and yet fulfillable) promise.

Autumn can also be a great time to let things go. Change is inevitable. Trying to grasp and keep hold of the past is an exercise in futility. This is why I think autumn is a great time to turn to emotion-led goals.

At the start of the year, goals often have a metric-based feel. Numbers feature heavily. Emotion-led goals are different. They’re more about who you are, or aspire to be, as a person. They’re more grounded and they don’t necessarily have particular timeframes. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be measured or that they’re not specific. Rather, they come from a place of identifying what feeling it is that you’re looking to achieve.

For instance, thousands of people a year start January intending to lose weight. If you’re still thinking about that now, rather than focus on numbers or even actions, think about what losing weight is going to bring you.

Maybe that looks more like:

  • Being happier when I look in the mirror

  • Having clothes that fit well and make me feel good

  • Having more energy.

If you look at those feelings, you might note that losing weight is not the only way to access those emotions.

For business owners, you might have started the year with clear objectives about revenue, growth, customer attainment and retention. But now is a great time to delve into other questions such as:

  • What does a successful business really look like for me?

  • Why did I choose to start this? What excited me about this and is that still relevant and true now?

  • How well does this work for my life holistically?

The answers to these could all lead to emotion-led goals that could look like:

  • I want to feel happy at the end of each work week (specific, measurable, trackable, despite being subjective)!

  • I want to have the energy to do this and that (without guilt).

  • I want to feel comfortable and in control.

If emotion-led goals feel good to you, here are another couple of prompts that you might find helpful.

  • What is important to me?

  • What isn’t important but still takes up my time?

  • Where can I invest my time and energy more wisely?

  • If just one thing could go right every day/week/month, what would I pick? How would that one thing make me feel?

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A time for Letting go
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