Emotions often get a bad rap and so do those who freely express them. But, guess what? Winning the day
is all about emotions, because “being emotional” will help you to achieve your goals. However, the key is to harness and direct your feelings so that they work for you rather than against you.
Why Are Emotions So Powerful?
When it comes to making decisions, research has shown that emotions precede rational thought. In fact, we create rational reasoning to support our emotional desires, so we can justify these emotion-based decisions. In most cases, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. You see, it’s human nature to be drawn to things and experiences that pay off with our desired emotional states like comfort, confidence, relaxation, joy, etc.
This is something that marketers use to their advantage. Companies spend millions of dollars in advertising and branding to connect with you emotionally so that you will buy their products and services. A few years ago while working on campaign strategy for a client, I had an a-ha moment: If marketers use our emotions to get us to do what they want, why can’t we use our emotions to help ourselves achieve what we want? We can, and it’s easy to do! It’s just a matter of reframing how you think about your goals.
How to Give Your Goals an Emotional Charge
We’ve all read numerous articles about S.M.A.R.T. goal setting, where you create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. This process completely ignores emotion. From my experience and that of other women, I’ve learned that individuals are far more successful when their goals have a strong emotional charge. (Remember, emotions drive our decisions and choices.)
Emotionally charging your goals helps you to become very clear on why you’re pursuing a goal, and brings that emotional motivation to the forefront of your mind. Doing so either strengthens your connection to a goal, or it causes you to realize that a goal isn’t truly a priority. Both are great results, as you can weed out time wasters and focus your energy on what matters most. So, for each of your current goals, do the following:
- Uncover your emotional motivation. Close your eyes and imagine achieving your goal in great detail. Experience the emotions of reaching the goal. How exactly will you feel? Confident? Strong? Loved? Exuberant? Victorious? Peaceful? Powerful? Think about how that emotional state will allow you to live differently and/or change your perspective of the world around you. Thinking about achieving your goal in this way should transport you emotionally. Lift your spirits. Get you fired up to get to work and make it happen. If it doesn’t, try thinking about the goal from another angle. If it still doesn’t, consider that the goal may not be your true heart’s desire (or perhaps just not at this time).
- Reinforce your emotions daily. Every day, before you even get out of bed in the morning, envision/experience what it feels like to achieve your emotionally charged goal(s). Do so a few times a day to further reinforce this desired emotional state and keep you focused on what you want to achieve. If you are experiencing temptation or some obstacle that is threatening your goal, close your eyes and reconnect to the positive emotions associated with the goal. Doing so can transform a negative mindset that may otherwise thwart your progress.
A Winning Thought
Even if you are not into “emotionally charging your goals,” still take a few moments to consider if your current goals are what you truly desire for yourself. Our time and energy are precious, scarce resources that must be carefully invested in things that move us toward our own dreams, not those of others. So, let your passion lead the way and pursue goals that stir you up. When you do so, few things will get between you and success.
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