Why happiness is like peeing your pants, and what it has to do with achieving your goals.
I walked into my office and noticed this card on my shelf … And after laughing so hard I peed my pants as an adult, I can confirm it’s true.
But what does this have to do with goal setting?
Happiness is born within, not created by external achievements.
And often we can set goals for ourselves that sound good, or that someone else achieved in an endeavour to feel happier.
And end up deeply disappointed when the happiness fades like a cheap hair dye …
Have you ever thought to yourself … when I achieve ‘x’ outcome, I’ll experience ‘y’ feeling. And have you ever achieved ‘x’ outcome and realised the feeling is short lived?
Happy is actually a natural way of being that doesn’t require anything extra than just being yourself.
Sounds simple, but it’s often not easy to experience this … because many of us have been conditioned to think that happiness exists in some future reality, that we can achieve.
To this I had to call bull shit!
If you’re not able to accept yourself and be happy as you are right now, what makes you think that some externally based achievement is going to change this core way of relating to yourself?
This is why (in my experiences), the mainstream way of setting externally focused health and fitness goals, rarely give you the results you’re looking for, or the experience of lasting happiness!
But there is another way to achieve your health and fitness goals, and be happy as you move towards them. And a useful place to start is to be aware if your goals are based on wanting …
Why goals based on wants rarely lead to feeling happy.
Where do wants lead …? To more wants.
It’s a vicious and toxic cycle that can keep you focusing on future outcomes, and really take you away from that which you truly need to be happy in the present moment.
Wants can keep you in an endless cycle of disappointment as they focus you on external outcomes, to experience internal feelings.
Here’s an example … Say you set a goal, I want to get flexible fast, so you can feel happier about your body when you move.
- So you search online,
- get a flexibility program (hopefully with an approach that works),
- and you stretch.
But you want it yesterday! So you stretch hard, and focus mainly on if your flexibility and range of motion is improving!
And then … You neglect focusing on what you’re feeling in the present moment as you stretch, and as a result –
- you get super sore,
- your progress stagnates,
- you get frustrated that you’re not improving as much as you wanted to,
- and you eventually give up,
- or worse – you get injured.
See what can happen when your goals are based on wants? Doesn’t exactly lead you to the feeling, or result you’d like to experience. And when you try to achieve goals like this it’s likely you’ll face your inner saboteur …
Overcoming your inner saboteur between you and achieving your goals.
Often the goal isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s the way you go about achieving it.
In order to achieve a goal, you simply need to remove your inner resistance to allowing yourself to experience the feelings it would give you – in the present moment.
If your goal is focused primarily on an external want, and unconsciously you don’t feel ready for it, your inner saboteur is likely to block you from experiencing the outcome.
Makes sense right? Why would you let yourself experience something you didn’t feel like you could have?
So the first thing to consider when you set your next goal or intention is to let go of attachment to want / external outcome, and focus on releasing your unconscious blocks to allowing the outcome.
Goal achievement is about allowance, not perseverance. And to allow your goals to come towards you, instead of frantically chasing them – you’ve got to work on your inner game.
Inner game strategies to achieving your goals, and be happier in the process.
You may have some big goals this year that you’d like to achieve, like:
- To make more money
- To look better naked
- To move better
- To become enlightened
- Etc …
Explore the process below, to work on your inner goal setting game.
- You’ll discover some strategies to internally embody your goals and intentions before you set out to achieve them, so you can realise your goals and find greater happiness during the process.
- When you set goals & intentions that are better aligned with what makes you happy, you drastically decrease the likelihood of self-sabotaging your progress.
1. Empty your cup
Let go of what you think you ‘know’ about yourself and allow yourself to listen to your heart or your gut for guidance.
Set your goals based on what’s true and right for you deep inside, and be careful that you’re not doing it for someone else.
2. Go into silence
Form your goals in a meditative / silent space, then let them unfold.
Most of the time when we set goals, the only obstacle is ourselves.
Moving towards something new can be perceived as scary, so we self-sabotage to maintain our perceptively ‘safe’ reality.
3. Ask yourself questions rather than seeking answers
Achieving your health & fitness goals is mostly about becoming the person that cares for and prioritises your body enough to practice healthy habits, consistently.
That’s why it can be useful to focus on the who you are, or would like to be – not just the how you’re going to achieve ‘x’ goal.
For example: If you’d like to become more flexible, you need to embody the practices of a flexible person.
4. Grow your roots, before you seek the fruits
Let’s say your goal gives you a better external reality, but it’s super stressful to maintain?
Is it really good for you to feel that way, even if you have ‘x’ outcome?
Be patient with yourself, and allow your roots time to grow.
This might mean you just fully enjoy and explore your body as it is for a while, before pushing it that bit further.
5. Take one small step at a time
How many people do you know who have set a big goal but never actually moved towards it?
A lot of the time the biggest problem is they try to take too many steps at once. It’s like the fox that tries to catch two rabbits, and actually catches none!
It can get overwhelming, and make the goal seem impossible.
6. Allow your goals to be dynamic
Life is always changing, and these days it’s faster than ever.
Sometimes the intentions we set today are actually no longer relevant tomorrow, but many people can get fixated on their goals, as if they’re etched in stone.
If the goal you set yesterday doesn’t feel right today, then change it!
The more you’re open to doing this, the more your true self will come through in every goal you set.
Your goals don’t need to be static. They can be dynamic, with space to grow and evolve.
Let’s recap on the essence of this post.
- Consider if you feel internally ready to allow yourself to experience your goals.
- Cultivate your happiness on the inside first, by appreciating what you already have, and allow it to overflow toward your goals for the future.
- Keep asking yourself the big questions any time you feel you’re out of alignment with your deepest needs – why am I doing this? Is this truly right for me in this moment?
Give it a go and see how your life and body changes.
How to Get a More Flexible Body and Cultivate Happiness While You’re Doing It.
If you’ve set a goal this year to improve your strength + flexibility, so you can move better and have more fun in your life …
We’ve got something that will streamline the process for you.