What does “purpose” have to do with accomplishing your goals? Everything. Read on…
We talk a lot about achieving our goals and dreams in our society. Hell, just recently, I talked about resolutions and goals in my post about the changing seasons. So I’m here to share a little “pro tip” on how to make those resolutions and big goals even more successful.
We talk a lot about tasks and measurable outcomes and every now and then you’ll hear something pop up about purpose. Sometimes, you might even hear it used interchangeably with “goals”.
They’re not the same.
I love accomplishing goals, reaching milestones, and marking things off my list. Seriously, does anything feel better than crossing something off a list?!?!? (The answer is no btw).
But you know what makes that feel even better? When you’ve aligned your goals with your purpose and can feel into the energy that creates. The success that follows. The excitement and energy you get around creating and building something that is aligned with your purpose.
It’s freakin’ magic.
Does purpose matter?
Surely you already know my answer here…
I’d go as far as suggesting that purpose matters more than the 52 million goals we set for ourselves every day. It matters more than the grand vision of who we long to be and what we ache to change about ourselves. And that’s big…cause those things usually matter to us….a lot.
What is Purpose to you?
Purpose is the fuel in the fire of your vision. It’s what gets you out of bed on the shit days. The foundation of the incredible dream you’re building for yourself. It’s what makes every little goal and achievement so special, so much more meaningful.
Purpose gives us….well, purpose.
To put it simply, purpose is the reason why you’re doing something and a goal is a measurable thing you want to achieve. Purpose is usually more broad, it’s the why behind everything you’re doing. It’s the motivation that gets you out of bed in the morning and drives you to do hard things. It’s the energy that lights you up and the thing that calls to your soul.
Goals are more specific and tangible. They’re actions you take along the way. Milestones, achievements. Stepping stones to create something. They can give you joy and excitement, increased energy, but they aren’t the fuel that’s lighting the fire in your heart. That’s what purpose is for.
Goals and Visions and Dreams, oh my.
You may dream of creating a successful business, you may have goals to reach $1K, 5K, 10K in a month, but what is your purpose?
Have you thought about the why behind what you’re creating? Behind the work that you do and the goals you bust your ass to achieve?
No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people work really really really hard chasing a big vision and hustling to reach their goals, but few stop to thinking about the why behind all that. The deep, secret, soul-igniting why.
Finding Your Purpose
It can be scary to sit with your big dreams, your secret desires, and your deepest longings. It can be difficult to get that honest, quiet, and clear with yourself. But it is so. damn. worth it.
Diving deeper into this why, this purpose work, is what will set you apart in creating something that is sustainable, something that you love, and something that makes the biggest impact in your world.
Knowing your purpose, your why, is what will help you through the tough days. It will inspire greater creativity, keep you more motivated, and ensure that you do work that is really aligned with who you are and what you want to create in the world. It helps you achieve goals that mean something.
So take a minute to ask yourself if you’re doing your purpose work or if you’re just acting out of “shoulds” or for validation. Get really honest with yourself and give your soul time to answer.
And if you’re not sure or find that you’re chasing goals that are for someone else, ask yourself if you even know what your purpose work is.
And if you don’t, it’s ok. Give yourself time and space and quiet to work it out. Go deeper than you have before. I promise that if you get still and tune in, your inner wisdom will speak up and lead you to purpose work that lights you up, excites you, and creates more magic in the world than you can imagine.
Still not clear?
I often see this idea broken down two parts: goals and purpose, but I prefer to look at it as a 3-part approach. It’s like a three-tiered pyramid of success.
The secret is that knowing your purpose allows you to create a bigger vision that is perfectly aligned with your soul, with what you’re meant to create. It goes beyond “regular” goals and dreams.
Sure, you can have a vision and set goals to reach that vision, but without purpose, you’re missing that foundation of meaning, of energy, of magic. The foundation that is going to set you and your accomplishments apart from the hustle hamster wheel everyone else is on.
So taking it back to my magical pyramid of success: you need to know your purpose to create an aligned vision (aka dream) and then you break it down into individual goals to reach this dream, all of it motivated, inspired, and energized by your soul’s calling.
Breaking it Down
1. Goal – supporting actions or milestones to reach desired outcome; can be outcome itself but is generally a specific part of a larger whole (either of a vision/dream OR of purpose).
2. Vision/Dream – a bigger picture idea of what you want to create or who you want to become.
3. Purpose – the why behind the vision or dream you want to create; the burning in your soul of something greater you’re meant to bring to the world.
I’ll start with weight loss since it’s a common goal for many of us and one of the most popular New Years resolutions you’ll hear. In this example, imagine that your goal is to lose 20 lbs before the new year.
If you go a step further, the vision is to lose 20 lbs before January so you can fit into that supporting vision is to fit into that hot little sequined dress for a NYE party.
Ok, good. Now you have your goal and your vision. Good stuff too…you probably have lots of little goals supporting this as well (e.g. stop drinking soda, walk 3 miles a day, etc.). All sound familiar?
So what happens on the hard days? The days when you didn’t sleep well, your spouse is being a jerk, or the kids won’t stop freaking out? What happens on the challenging days? You know, the ones where there’s a party with lots of yummy snacks and free-flowing wine….
Often, you fold. You give up and fall off the wagon and remember that you don’t really care about losing weight until you have to fit into a swimsuit next summer. Anyone else been there? LOL
What was missing here?
So what if you try it another way….keep those goals and that vision. Great. But what if we shift and feel into our true purpose. For this example, let’s say the purpose behind wanting to lose weight and get healthier is that you want to show your children that you can be strong and have the energy to spend time with them. You want to show your daughter that health and confidence is more than size.
I’m better that when you shift into that kind of purpose, your goals and visions start to shift a little too. Sure, you may still want to lose the weight and wear the dress, but you’re going to take on more sustainable, healthier habits and be working towards goals that focus on your health and well-being and not just the next big thing.
Let’s walk through one more example…
Creating a Business
Say you’ve decided you want to be an entrepreneur, so you’ve set up a website and your social media and you’re ready to roll. You’ve set a goal for yourself to get 500 followers in the next 3 months. Awesome, but why?
Well, your vision is to create a business make $10k a month…duh.
Ok, but again, why?
Lean into it. Ask yourself why you want this business, why you care abou tshowing up online. For this example, let’s talk about what purpose could be.
You want to create an engaged and active following (500 subscribers goal) to support your $10K/month business (vision), so that you’re able to help more women who have gone through traumatic divorces find love again (purpose). You’ve tapped into something magical, something that lights your soul up and gives back to the world. Something that means more to you and will truly connect you to the heart of your clients and the work that you’re doing.
Getting to Your Why
When you go deeper, when you ask your soul what you long to create, what you’re meant to share with the world, what comes up? Making money is great. Being popular on social is awesome, but it will not get you through the tough days when all you want is to disappear. It will not help you connect with clients and customers who desperately need what you have to offer.
It will get you started, but it won’t carry you through the tough days or take you deeper.
So again, go deeper. Ask yourself why until you get to the very last why you can ask (hint: it’s uallly more why’s than you expect).
When you get to that deep, secret, magical why, your soul is sending you a message about your purpose. With that purpose, you can go on to create amazing work, connect with your people, and bring more goodness and love into the world.
Putting it all together
It’s easy enough to stop at step 2, to understand the bigger vision and hustle after goals to reach that, but on the days that stuff becomes hard, or when your goals aren’t fun and you feel like shit, you need something more. You need a deeper motivation. You can find that deeper motivation by doing purpose work or moving from a heart-centered space of purpose to create change.
I listed these in order of smallest to largest, goals to vision to purpose, not because I suggest going in that order, but because I want to make it super clear that purpose is the foundation that supports all others.
My suggestion is that you START with your purpose…start with the why that calls to your heart.
From there, you think of what dream you have, what vision you want to create to manifest this purpose. To put it into action (e.g., “I want to create a…”).
Then you can break it down into goals to make this vision successful (e.g., I need to make $500K to keep it open, I want to attract 60 new clients, etc.).
But at the end of it, you have to hold on to that purpose. You may have to refine your vision and goals as you go, but at the core, you have to be aligned with your purpose. Because once you lose that, you lose the momentum, you lose the motivation, you lose the WHY behind doing big things, taking massive action, and often, the rest will fall away without that.
Let’s Get Real
So start now…ask yourself what you’re creating, what you’re working for, and most importantly ask yourself WHY.
And when you start asking this, leave space for your soul to answer. When you start to tap into that WHY you may find that your vision shifts a little, and with it, your goals. But once you align with your purpose you’ll find that your goals become even more specific, more clear, and WAY more impactful. You’ll start seeing crazy massive action in what seems like a hot ass hurry.
So I’d love to hear what’s calling to your soul. Tell me below – do you know what your purpose work is?
Also, if you’re looking to learn more about your purpose, vision, and goals, join us for a Vision Board workshop where we’ll dive deeper into each of these items and create a beautiful visual reminder to carry you through the next year! Click here to learn more and grab your tickets!