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Framing Your Goals with Soul

Framing Your Goals with Soul. Transformation Coach, Portrait Photographer, Milwaukee, Brookfield, Wauwatosa, Chicago

Framing Your Goals with Soul

It’s just over three weeks into the new year, which means that about 92% of you have already forgotten about your 2020 goals and resolutions. Only 8% of the entire population will reach their goals this year—EIGHT FREAKIN PERCENT!

This is why I’m posting this article now; to hopefully inspire you to get up, get moving, and get back into the game. Because, let’s be honest, we all want to make big shifts this year! Am I right?

Who wants to join the 8% club?

If you do, then keep on reading because we’re going to set ourselves up to win this year!

I’m going to walk you through the goal-setting process I use each year that allows me to dig deep to ensure my goals are in alignment with my true core desires. My goals are not random or off the cuff. They are REAL goals that get me REAL results.

To begin, I’m going to invite you to sit down with your journal or a piece of paper and a pen. Yes, I’m going to ask you to actually handwrite a few things because studies show that you can reach flow state faster and easier while physically writing instead of typing on a keyboard; and getting into flow state helps you reach your unconscious, which is where the REAL answers lie.

We’re going old school here, folks.

And of course, I had fun characterizing these action steps by referencing photography; because, well, photography!

Step 1: Visualize the photograph before you make it. Visualize your future dream life/dream business.

Step 2: Lens selection. Self-awareness and action steps.

Step 3: Frame the photo. Decide what stays and what needs to go in order to reach your goals.

Step 4: Edit the photo. Change habit patterns.

Step 5: Self-portrait. Your new identity.

Step 6: Set your settings accordingly. Schedule everything and check-in with yourself daily.

Step 7: Format your memory card. Start each day fresh with clear intention and action.

Step 8: The shot. One absolute overarching non-negotiable intention.

Have fun with this! Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it. This is how I set my goals; however, please make the process your own.

Visualize the Photograph Before You Make It

When I’m teaching a photography class, the first thing I explain to students is that you have to see the picture in your mind’s eye before you make it—visualize the end result before you start. Why? This will determine the story you’re telling, how you frame the picture, what your subject is, what your camera settings are, and which lens to use.

The same holds true with goal setting. You have to know what your dream life/business looks like in each of the nine areas of life—Spirituality, Personal Development, Health, Romance, Family, Business/Career, Finances, Fun and Recreation, Social—before you can set your goals. You must have a clear vision of what you’re aiming for.

Put pen to paper and describe your dream life in detail in the present tense as if you’re already living it. Be sure to include each of the nine areas of life and all six senses.

To help you get started, answer the following questions: If money were no object if you could go anywhere and do anything, what would your life look like? Where would you live? What does your house look like? What kind of car are you driving? Or do you have a driver? How much money are you making? What kind of food are you eating? How are you taking care of your health? What do you do for fun? What is your spiritual practice? Do you meditate every morning? How often do you see your friends? What do you do with your friends? What activities are you enjoying with your family?

Answer the above questions, and elaborate on your dream life, by writing in the present tense in FULL DETAIL as if you’re already living this life. When you describe your house, include paint colors, what your furniture looks like, the size of the rooms, what your patio and backyard look like, etc. What does it smell like? What does it feel like to live there? Who’s there with you; spouse, kids, friends, relatives?

Take as much time as you need. And dream big!!! I’m not kidding, the bigger, the better! DO NOT let your mind get in the way. DO NOT allow yourself to settle on something because you think it’s unattainable, or you’re worried about what someone will think. You have no idea what you’re capable of, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, so shoot for the stars, my friend! DO NOT back down!

Lens Selection

Now that you’re very clear on what your dream life looks like let’s take a look at where you are now in comparison to where you want to go.

Use your wide-angle lens so you can see the big picture. Look at your current life from a bird’s eye view. While sitting in observation of where you are now, in comparison to where you want to go, you’ll notice a gap. List three overarching action steps you need to take to close the gap for each of the nine life areas: Spirituality, Personal Development, Health, Romance, Family, Business/Career, Finances, Fun and Recreation, Social.

Then use your telephoto zoom lens to look into the details. Under each of those three overarching action steps, list three small detailed steps you can take right now to get you moving in this new direction.

Start each day taking a few moments to look at your life through a wide-angle lens so you can keep the big picture top of mind, then switch to your telephoto lens and get into action taking small steps toward your goals.

Frame the Photo

When framing a photo, it’s the photographer’s job to decide what to include in the frame and what to leave out of the frame to tell the story.

Frame your life the same way you would frame a photo. Visualize your goals, keep what you need, let go of what you don’t, focus, and take radical daily action.

Make a list of people, things, commitments, tasks, etc. you love and want in your life that will energize you to move toward your goals. Make a list of toxic people, unnecessary things, unreasonable responsibilities, energy-sucking tasks, etc. that can be removed to keep you from getting distracted.

You get to choose what to keep in your life, bring into your life, and what to let go of. Let things go that no longer expand you. Let go of people who continually take from you and never give back. Say no when you want to say no, instead of following through out of obligation. Say yes to people, things, and opportunities that fill you with joy.

It’s critical that you build a life that fills you up so you have the necessary energy to serve and give with sincere intention, grace, and love. When you’re running on empty, you’re not only sacrificing your own health; you’re also depriving those around you of your true gifts.

Edit the Photo

Even if you’re not a photographer, I’m sure you’ve used the editing feature on your cellphone to enhance a photo; to make a few detailed changes before you upload it to the inter-webs for everyone to see: straighten, crop, boost the color, add contrast, refine the exposure, add a filter, etc.

We’re going to do something similar in your life and biz; we’re going to edit your habits.

Reread what you wrote for your dream life.

Reread your lists of action steps.

Now, create two lists:

  1. Make a list of habits that no longer serve you based on your goals and action steps.
  2. Make a list of habits you need to develop to make your goals a reality. Go deep here and really give this some thought.

Habits create behavior; behavior creates action; action creates your reality.

Be lovingly tough on yourself and push through the resistance of working to change your current habit patterns. Give yourself time and be patient. You cannot change everything overnight. Yes, there are some things you can change in an instant, whereas other things may take weeks, months, or even years.

Celebrate your small victories and love yourself when you trip up. When you trip up, don’t give up; know that it’s just a slip-up and get back on the up and up. See what I did there? Hopefully, that sticks in your head forever 🙂

Self Portrait

What’s your new identity? Who do you need to become to match the frequency of your dream life?

Imagine yourself already living your dream life and running your dream business. Who is that person? What is she wearing? How does she walk? How does she talk? How does she treat herself? How does she treat others? What actions does she take? What habits does she have in place?

BE THAT PERSON NOW. She’s your higher self. She’s already inside of you; you’ve just been keeping her wrapped up in comfort and self-doubt. Unwrap your gift and let her rise.

If you have trouble seeing your future self, make a list of everyone you admire.

Next to each name, write down why you admire each person. What is it that inspires you when you see that person? What characteristics do you admire? What do they do that you admire?

Then look for similarities from each.

The similarities that inspire me in all of the people who I admire:

  1. They are all living in their full potential.
  2. They are all living in their truth.
  3. They are all living their purpose.
  4. They are all showing up entirely in who they are at their core.
  5. They are all courageous and vulnerable.
  6. Each of them has moved through challenges to get to where they are and didn’t give up on themselves.

After doing this exercise, if you’re experiencing resistance in showing up as your higher self, create an alter ego. Both Beyonce (Sasha Fierce) and Lady Gaga created alter egos. They both said it helped them show up, in character, as their best selves while performing. They also both said that at some point the two paths merged—who they were on a daily basis eventually merged with their alter ego and they began living as their higher self all the time.

What you see in others IS IN YOU. What you admire in others IS IN YOU. When you admire something in others you’re seeing fractals of your soul in them. Your soul is just waiting for you to step into that version of yourself.

Will you?

Set Your Settings Accordingly

Set yourself up for success.

Schedule everything on your calendar. This forces you to plan ahead and it ensures that you make time for meditation, exercise, journaling, eating healthy, working efficiently, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying hobbies and activities that lift you up. You can do this weekly, or take 10 minutes at the end of each workday to plan out the following day.

Keep track of how you’re doing. At the end of each workday, or before you go to bed, make some notes as to how you showed up that day. Did you stay in higher self? Did you connect with others? Were you focused? Did you act with intention? This will bring self-awareness as to where you’re thriving and where there’s room for improvement. I use Brendan Burchard’s High-Performance Planner to keep track of my life—it’s amazing!

This may sound a bit type-A but stay with me here. When I started my business eight years ago, I was curious as to why some people are so successful while others remain living a comfortable, yet mediocre life. Three things that all successful people do is schedule everything in their calendars, check-in with themselves regularly, and keep their goals top of mind.

You are more likely to follow through with all the things when you’ve created time for all the things. You are more likely to stay focused when you continually check on your progress with great self-awareness. You are more likely to reach your goals when you actually look at them or write them down, every single day.

Schedule everything from the time you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night. Try it for at least one week and see how it goes.

Discipline creates freedom.

Self-awareness is key.

Format Your Memory Card

Wipe the card clean each day and start fresh with clear intention and action. Pick one absolute non-negotiable to implement into your life right now this very moment. It could be an intention, an action, or a rule.

Examples of an intention: make a commitment to manifest happiness naturally, or to love unconditionally.

Example of action: lay your workout clothes next to your bed and exercise first thing in the morning.

Example of a rule: tell yourself you have to get out of bed within 10 minutes of your alarm going off (the first time).

The Shot

Create one absolute overarching non-negotiable intention that will have the greatest impact, and will create the greatest ripple effect, in your life and business.

My absolute overarching non-negotiable intention is to begin each day by spending time ‘sharpening the ax’. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote by Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

I would say that more than 60% of the time, instead of meditating, journaling, or visualizing each morning, I will get out of bed, walk right into my office, and get to work. While this has served me ok in the past, I feel that in order for me to make better decisions, to work more efficiently, and to grow my business at the desired pace this year, I have to slow down in order to speed up.

I must take time to connect to my soul regularly—100%

I’m happy to report that it’s working. I’m more focused, grounded, and neutral throughout the day. I mentally prepare for things before jumping in, which is allowing me to get more done, faster. I work through one task at a time instead of multitasking. I have absolute clarity which is giving me confidence in where I’m headed even though I’m completely moving within and into the unknown.

What’s one thing you can implement right now that will give you the biggest impact on your life and business?


Click HERE to download your free Journaling Template.


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