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Taking Your Goal Setting and Life Setting to the Next Level

With an Open Heart

This post is part of  The Awakened Heart Project

Week 13: Taking Your Goal Setting and Life Setting to the Next Level

“The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it.” ~ Charles DeLint

Goals, Changes, and Perceptions

Last week we talked a lot about setting goal. We worked on defining and refining existing goals and identifying negative perceptions and beliefs that have hindered your ability to successfully accomplish goals from the past. If you have not completed the exercises from last weeks lesson, I recommend you do so now. It will be difficult to continue on in the coming weeks without having set some real goals, -or even just one! We’re all on a different journey here and all seek change in different ways. Your goals are yours alone.

Pushing Forces vs. Opposing Forces

Last week we discussed Outside and Inside Forces. We established that, A body will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force. A ball will remain on a table until nudged right? Yes! This is also true for humans. We will remain stagnant until acted upon by an outside force. Or, in many cases, an INSIDE FORCE! The uniqueness we have as humans is that we have the choice to choose the inward forces as our primary means of transportation; that is, our heart and minds. I encourage you to really think about that for a minute. Outside forces can push us yes, but outside forces don’t always push us in the right direction. They often push us in the direction that is best for the outside forces.

So we have these two forces: one working against us, and one working for us. This week you’ll evaluate these forces and rationalize them. Sometimes wanting changes to occur and actually making the changes are two difficult tasks to bring together. A useful question to ask yourself is, whether you’re committed to activity of change or the results of that change. Wanting the result is what is really most important. You can think of the analogy of someone driving with his or her foot on the gas going full speed into the world. You think, “Yeah! They’re going for it!” but if there’s no destination in sight, no place they’re headed, they may end up driving in circles with nothing but an empty tank to shoe for it. You must be committed to not only the activities along the way, but truly wanting the end result of change. nature images

No change will ever exist without actually making changes. But the things holding us back are often used as blinder making us believe that we can’t make the changes. You tell yourself, “It’s not the right time”, or “I don’t have the money”. This internal dialogue will absolutely hold you back. So if you really WANT the change, you have to come to terms with those opposing forces and put more value on the internal forces; the end result, the life you would have if you changed, -and never look back.

Lets Get to Work

The next exercise is from the book, “Take Your Life Off Hold” by Ted Dreier

This book was printed in 1987, but it has GREAT insight and information. For 1987, it’s way ahead of its time. You can grab a copy off Amazon for .46 cents right now!

Anyway, take the list of goals and aspirations you have for the future. Find the one you MOST want for the sake of going through this exercise (You will eventually do this for a number of your goals and aspirations). Then, in two separate columns, make a list of all the opposing forces (i.e. things holding you back and getting in your way), and a list of all of the pushing forces or inward forces (i.e. reasons why you want to change, the things you will get as a result, etc.). After writing down these forces, assign each force, in each column, a numerical value between 1-10. The most important or most valued forces get a 10, while the least important get a 1. Then, add up the numbers from each column so you have two totals. Here is an example from Ted’s book:

setting goals

You’ll see from the example that there are far more pushing forces than opposing. Does this make it easy to know where you heart lies when it comes to change? It should. This exercise should help you rationalize the importance of making the changes you want and help keep you in the direction of change, and thus on the road to great happiness. Once you’re able to see that you have more going for you than against you, you’ll be more likely to follow through. However, you must remember that there will be obstacles, many of them, and getting what you want will take time. When you feel discouraged, remind yourself that these changes come from the heart and are important steps towards happiness and the life you’ve always wanted. People will discourage you, they will judge you, things will make you think you’re going in the wrong direction, but keep this list near by and reflect on it often. Remember, it’s your dream, and no one else’s. Keep your heart open to life’s opportunities, and closed to life’s judgment and criticism.

I know what some of you are thinking, “What if there are more opposing forces than pushing force?” Good question! If this happens, take some time to really reflect on your forces and the values you gave to each. Are the opposing forces truly opposing forces or are they based on fear? This is something that many people struggle to differentiate but it’s incredibly important because fear will paralyze you, while opposing forces can simply be a hindrance or require some minor changes to get past them. Fear, because it is emotionally driven, tends to also amplifying the opposing forces. Decipher what is a true force and what is an emotionally driven force. Things that are emotional may need your attention. Go back through last weeks exercise about examining the negative beliefs you have about success. Journaling about your feelings and thoughts can help you understand where these fears and emotions stem from as well. Perhaps, it’s judgment from parents’, or feeling like you will be letting people down. Whatever it is, it needs to be addressed or it will always hold you back.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

The last two weeks require you to put in writing what it is you want from life and what it is you don’t. Identifying this can be difficult and also emotionally exhausting. For everything you want, there’s likely at least one obstacle getting in your way. This can be overwhelming. Don’t let it get the best of you though. Beginning anything new requires a lot of soul searching and digging deep. It also requires a lot of attention and commitment. It’s work and work is no fun! But you must remember that what you’re working towards is a result that will be life changing. Nothing great ever came over night. And if it did, you wouldn’t appreciate the value in it because it was too easy.


  • Take the time to make your list of opposing and pushing forces
  • Do you have more opposing or pushing forces?
  • What obstacles will be in your way?
  • What resources do you have to help you get over them?
  • Are you forces more based on fear and emotion? If so, know that they are mental obstacles, mental forces, and the answer lie only within you.
  • How will thing change for the better if you only focused on the pushing forces?
  • Are you more committed to the activity of change, or the result?
  • Draw a picture of what the results of your life-changing activities will look like 5 years from now.

Your time is limited

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The Awakened Heart Project 

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