Summer is a time for nurturing and tending to the seeds that have been planted. If you set
intentions (goals) for yourselves, this is like the gardener, planting seeds, tending to them with just the right amount of water, fertilizing, removing weeds, and pruning as necessary to prepare for the eventual harvest.
When we set growth goals for ourselves it is an important component of self-care and nurturing. This helps us to stay focused and to have a fruitful harvest. The key to a reaping the benefits of our hard work in achieving our goals is to make sure that we are focused on the right goals that nurture us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Setting goals is not a straightforward, static one-time activity. To be successful in achieving your goals and balance nurturing ourselves, it is important to constantly review, redefine and refine them!
Traditionally we have all heard about the SMART approach to setting and getting to your goals:
But let’s challenge this SMART approach to make it more relevant for this day and age and redefine what it means to be smarter in today’s environment. Now more than ever, we need to
be mindful of how we go about being smarter to support our overall wellbeing in a balanced
Regardless if we are setting personal goals related to health, finances, relationships or self-development or organizational goals related to growing and transforming our work place or work habits, the process is the same. As we go about articulating our goals for nurturing ourselves, before we go or do anything let’s make sure they follow the new SMARTER guidelines as listed below.
Nurturing Goals are:
Spectacular – life affirming, uplifting. Unless they inspire and excite us, we will lose interest and
never gain any momentum when it comes to actually achieving them. The inspiration that comes from spectacular goals has the power to keep us motivated and moving towards our
Meaningful – are our goals something that is important to us and enriches our lives? If not then why expend any precious energy on it? If our goals have meaning and will enhance our life and well-being then we will have the required desire and hunger to make it happen. The meaningfulness will create a sense of purpose and help us set the intent to create results.
Aligned with who we are and our values – setting out to do something that goes against the grain of our true selves will create friction and resistance that will prevent us from getting to the finish line. When our goals are aligned there is a special magic that happens and things fall into place seemingly effortlessly, like an invisible force moving us forward towards our goal.
Rewarding – for goals to keep and maintain our full attention they need to be fulfilling. They need to not only bring us joy but also result in us gaining an experience of something that you have always wanted to do or have but haven’t had a chance to do or get to yet. Our goals must be something that provide us with an incentive to fuel the persistence required. Having our
goals be rewarding enables us to stick with them and see them through to the very end.
Transformational – goals need to alter our current state. After all we are setting goals to make
adjustments to where we are now and to take us to a new level of being. The goal itself must
result in making a positive difference in our life. Goals define and establish the metamorphosis that must take place.
Empowering – anything we strive to achieve needs to be something that enables us to grow and brings out the best in us. A goal is empowering if it forces us to tap into our inner strengths and results in expanding our sphere of influence.
Remarkable – goals need to have a wow factor! When we write our goals down on paper or read it out loud we want it to stand out and be noteworthy. Goals must attract and command our attention. Set goals that are remarkably amazing and we will be committed 200% to making
them a reality.
When we embark on setting goals, take a long hard look at ourselves and our life. Are we who we want to be and where we want to be? If not, here are some steps to help with setting our goals:
- Take some time for reflection and identify the areas we want to improve on or the things/outcomes we want to accomplish.
- Create a plan – take it through the new SMARTER test and then if it passes the test – go
- Work the plan – time management systems out there find one that works for the plan. Calendars, To Do lists, sticky notes, etc. whatever it takes to help remind us of the tasks related to our end goal.
- Don’t give up. Keep at it. If one approach doesn’t work refine the approach Keep going
and keep growing until we succeed.
A key reminder is to remember that obstacles that we encounter on the way to achieving our
goals actually DO have a purpose. The purpose of obstacles is to test our commitment/resolve
and our dedication to the goal and to getting it done. Another purpose of obstacles is to
challenge us to look at our goals in a different way so as to inspire creativity! If the obstacles stop us in our tracks then perhaps our goal was not a lofty one and we need to consider redefining it using the new SMARTER approach.
When setting our goals make sure to also focus on goals that nurture us. Nurturing ourselves is
not a luxury but a key component required to build our resilience and better manage our health
Consider incorporating a visit to Joshua Creek this summer as part of self-care goals. Come and
spend time in nature on the grounds, walk the labyrinth, book plein air painting time and connect with elements to be nurtured in nature.