Do you consider the “emotional payoff” of your goals?

The thirties are a decade I like to call the “striving decade.” We’re all pushing forward to accomplish things – to move up the career ladder, to find a life partner, to have children, to completely switch careers, etc. We have goals and they seem like they exist in a pressure cooker (at least for me, they do.) As an article in Jezebel once said, the 30’s are the “do or die decade.” (In our minds, at least.)

I recently was reading an article about OCD sufferers in Real Simple, and the therapists talked about how they coached their clients through their OCD affliction. They mentioned something that I found fascinating. It’s the idea of emotional payoffs from goals.

When we set goals for yourself, how often do you think how you want to feel after you’ve accomplished the goal? I realized that I rarely do.  Or if I do, it’s a very vague sense of “Oh, I’ll be so much happier once I’ve gotten a job in a writer’s room on a TV show.” But that’s not enough. You have to specifically identify the emotions. In this instance, the emotional payoff I want from that job is to feel like I’m using my best skills in a job, happy because I’m exercising my creative muscles, and content to be around like-minded people.

This idea of emotional payoff from goals could explain why a lot of people wake up one day and realize they’ve accomplished a lot, but still feel empty. And you begin to get that feeling that nothing you do will be enough.

So the key question to ask when you’re setting those New Year’s Resolutions is:

What emotions do you want to feel when you attain a goal? 

Advertisements

2 responses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: