Goal or Desire?

Do you have mostly goals or desires and what’s the difference? The way I see it, a goal is something that you’d like to cross off your “to do” list, maybe something you’ve been putting off. It could be cleaning out your closet, organizing your papers for your tax return, or, even just getting your laundry done. There is certainly a feeling of satisfaction once it’s accomplished. It could even be accompanied by a sense of relief. And, that’s as far is it goes. It’s more of a mental exercise and often is accompanied by a “should” … I should get to that, I should take care of that, I should …One of the problems with should is that they are usually driven by what we think others expect from us. We get caught up in worrying how someone else might judge us.

desireLet’s look at desires … these are longings. Perhaps you yearn to live in a warmer climate, or to visit a particular country, or to become a florist (while currently, you are unfulfilled as an office manager, or … fill in the blank). These come from the heart and soul and completely from within us. Desires fill us with a sense of hope and happiness when we daydream about them. They are not always understood by others and sometimes, if we express them to someone, their reaction might be, “Why would you want to do that?”, or, “That’s ridiculous. You could never …”

That does not mean there is anything wrong with your desire. It simply means that you shared it with someone who just didn’t get it.

A desire might turn into a goal — this is the best possible combination. This is a way to integrate your head, heart, and soul. If, for example, you find yourself truly struggling in your job and thinking more and more about what you’d really like to do, it might be time to make a plan. Find someone who can help you take what you long for and figure out how to make it happen.

*We need both desires and goals in our lives. One is not better or more noble than another. Sometimes our “to-do” list of goals helps us keep a clear space so that we have room for getting in touch with our desires. Having no goals leaves us wandering aimlessly through our days and having no desires keeps us uninspired. Here’s a little exercise for you:
*Write down 5 goals. Notice if they are things that will improve your life and if they come from within you and not just from what you perceive someone else or others might expect from you.
*Make a list of 5 desires. Notice if it’s harder or easier to come up with what you want or even crave. Let yourself really get into it – no judgement.
*Figure out the best way to complete your goals.
*Decide which desire(s) you want to pursue because you need to and take the first step.
*Ask for help if you feel stuck

Let me share a personal example of all this. Recently, I decided I had too many books. Since I am a bit of a gypsy, every time I move, the multiple, heavy book boxes really make moving more complicated and difficult. I also feel like I have clothes in my closet that are just taking up space. I don’t wear them, I keep thinking I “might” wear them, “someday” and, they also add to my moving burden. So, I had the goal of getting rid of some books and clothes and it felt good when I was able to donate them.

On the other hand, I have an appetite to travel as much as I can. I love seeing new places, finding out about the history of a location, and meeting interesting people. Last year I traveled quite a bit and this year it is my intention to do the same. I also desire to expand my transformational coaching business. One way to fulfill those desires is by creating a retreat in Tuscany in May. I contacted a wonderful company that knows the ins and outs of this endeavor and we’re on!

See if you can find the pleasure in this exercise. It can feel good to get things done as well as dream and fantasize. Pay attention to your goals and desires. They will give purpose to your life, especially if they come from deep within you.

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