No relationship is perfect. We all have work to do to communicate better, stay engaged or be more considerate to the ones we’re in relationship with. When we work on our relationships, we reap the rewards with feelings of belonging and happiness that create deeper connections with our loved ones.

During my coach training I was taught a practice used to check in with how my clients are feeling about their goals. Each week, I ask my client to read each goal out loud and give me one or two emotion words about their current reaction to the goal. Just like any other relationship, the words they choose give insight into changes in their motivation and involvement with their goals. Their word choices let me know how connected they are to the goals and if the relationship is getting better or worse.

If Your Goal Could Talk

How you feel about your goal has an impact on how successful you’ll be in accomplishing it. When you use positive words, that shows that you are actively engaged and “in love” with your goal. Negative emotions, can be a sign of a relationship on the rocks.

Those emotions will drive your actions and impact the amount of energy and time you invest in the goal. It’ll show up in your work and progress. If your goal could talk, it would tell if you are checking out on your relationship or leaning in.

Listen to Your Feelings

It’s perfectly natural to feel a variety of emotions as you work on your goal. You may have a love/hate relationship based on what you’re dealing with.

You’ll feel engaged and excited when the work is in tune with your passion and skill set. You may feel frightened or challenged if you are taking on something new. You may even feel angry if you’ve hit a stumbling block.

Working on your goal can be like any other relationship. According to Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Linda Carroll in her article, The 5 Stages of A Relationship Every Couple Goes Through, there are five stages of the Love Cycle. Let’s look at how these stages can help you stay in love with your goals.

Stage 1: The Merge aka “Honeymoon” Stage

In this stage your emotions are running the game and you’re less likely to make rational decisions. This is the honeymoon phase.  You feel excited. As you move ahead, you’ll put tons of time working on your goal. You’ll feel confident. Be careful that you don’t over-estimate how much you can do and what you’ll achieve.

Stage 2: The Doubt and Denial Stage

Reality starts to set in. This is where in relationships we start taking note of the things that get on our nerves. Disappointment starts to set in. You might start to get frustrated with your goal as it stretches your comfort zone. That great idea doesn’t seem so wonderful anymore, especially if you bit off more than you can chew in the first place. It’s a good time to evaluate the difference between your visualization and reality of working on your goal.

Stage 3: The Disillusionment Stage

Okay you are fed up. You’ve been struggling to fit in time to work on your goal. Other things are getting in the way. You are stressed out and don’t feel creative. You take your frustrations out on your goal. You wonder why you ever set this goal in the first place. All is not lost. Revisit your original plan. Look at the reasons why you were motivated to tackle the goal in the first place. Identify changes that you might have to make to keep on track.

Stage 4: The Decision Stage

If you didn’t reconnect with your goal and you’re still disillusioned, then you have a decision (or few) to make. By now, it’s been a while since you’ve worked on the goal. You are resentful and angry. You’re tired of feeling crappy every time you think of it. The big decision is- do you quit and walk away, or do you hunker down and give it a real shot. Before you make this decision, consider how much work you’ve already put into the goal. You’re already invested and at one point you believed in this goal and how much it can help you grow. Look at it with fresh eyes and think about ways you can salvage it.

Stage 5: The Wholehearted Love Stage

Hitting this stage means you are at a good place with your goal. You are committed to the work, you know it won’t be easy, but nothing worth it ever is. You’ve made a few missteps along the way, but you learned from them. You can see the finish line ahead and are ready to reap the rewards of your labor of love.

Work on Your Relationship with Your Goal

Pay attention to how you feel at each phase of your goal. Notice when you are at your best and feel motivated. Take note of when you’re feeling negative emotions and likely to procrastinate.

Knowing what part of the goal pushes your triggers will allow you to put support tools in place to help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Get an accountability partner. Do some research on tools that can help. Find an expert to show you how to get past the challenge area. Just because you’ve hit an emotional wall, doesn’t mean you can’t get over it.

Cheers to your success!

Join me in the Goal Getter Focus Lounge and let me know how you’re doing!

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