Last night I attended a seminar about goal setting. The certified life coach, Rosie Guagliardo*, was charming and funny and had a lot of insight on attaining goals. I have previously attended time management and goal-oriented classes and workshops, but this coach's approach was by far the best. Instead of having us spend time making lists about what we wanted, Rosie, who studied marketing and psychology, giving her a unique ability to get to the root of our desires and roadblocks, had the group focus on happiness. To be specific, how one can become happier.
The first step was to identify what "happiness" means. From there, we discussed what could stop someone from setting and reaching their goals. Then Rosie asked us to pinpoint a time in our lives, present or past, when we felt the most happy. For me, this was easy. I have always regarded my 25th summer to be one of the happiest times in my life. I remember feeling totally free. I described how single I was and how good it felt to date back then. It was also this summer when I moved out of my parents house for good. I, for the first time, got to experience "boat life", understood the enjoyment of riding on the back of a Harley, dined in fine restaurants on a regular and kept my social calendar extremely busy, 7 days a week. I did not tire then, as easily as I do now. I recalled how mature I felt, as I remember thinking, "I can now rent a car". I felt young, and I started morphing into the woman I am today. I was utterly nervous about turning 25, yet, it became my most cherished year. It was a magical summer.
I also added how being in New York makes me feel alive and vibrant. When I am there I feel in synch with my true self. I am giddy like a child and feel like life is good. New York makes me happy. I try to visit at least once a year.
While I was giving my description, Rosie took notes and explained that when you are able to hone in on your happiest moments, you can then start to figure out what makes you happy. From my descriptions, she came up with words like: free/freedom, youthful, vibrancy, fun, variety, nature and independence. This sums me up in a nutshell. The key is applying my most inner desires to my life. What I liked most about this class, is it was not your typical, list 5 goals you'd like to reach...now figure out how to make that happen. Goals can be too overwhelming to manage like your average grocery checklist. Could it be as simple as Rosie says? Could finding more happy help you reach your real goals? Rosie brought to our attention that it is human nature to create goals of what we should want. Not what we really want. When you create your 1, 5 and 10 year plan, are you listing what you really want in life or what you feel you should be doing in 1, 5 and 10 years? Are you subconsciously working from a script written by society or someone other than yourself? Do you really want to be a V.P. of a major company? Or is it just that the thought of being okay with being an admin for another 20 years makes you feel weak and listless? Is marriage really on your "to do" list, or is being alone scare you more than being with a mismatched partner?
What a refreshing course! There is nothing like leaving a seminar/class and feeling you not only learned something, but you gained a new understanding. What are your goals?
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*Rosie Guagliardo, founder and coach for Inner Brilliance Coaching, received her Life Coaching certification from the International Coaching Federation and Coaches Training Institute.