Leaning Into Desire
As we march through the calendar, think back on your early January thoughts about goals. Many of us get excited about the new beginnings of a new year and then by mid-February, the new year seems mostly just like the old year.
But let’s fantasize. What is the craziest thing you could achieve by the end of 2023? Why would it be cool to accomplish it? What would it feel like? Imagine not only doing it but feeling it.
This can be hard. While we may want something, we can’t truly imagine getting it. Visualizing is best done with feeling. Tell yourself it’s “just” a story.
You might think you “know” you are never going to achieve it but humor us. Imagine some universe where it happens. What would it feel like to achieve this crazy goal? If you “join” (to use a term from Modern Psychoanalysis) yourself, you improve your odds of beating your subconscious resistance (another psychoanalytic term). Think of it as pure fantasy, as acting out your desires in a movie script.
In other words, lean into the desire.
Ignore those who say you shouldn’t have desire. You should, you can, and you can use desire to achieve what you want. Take the desire and ask yourself “What would I need to do IF I were going to actually achieve this?” Again, fantasize. You can say “I know I can’t achieve it BUT if I could… What would I need to do?”
The items in the “to-do” list can then become small objectives. If tended to, they move you closer to the goal. Maybe you can attain one or two objectives. We “know”’ you can never reach the goal but maybe, you could reach an objective and we can re-evaluate?
The goal is an idea with feeling. The smaller objectives are things you can count.
From there, break the objectives into strategies. How could you achieve those objectives? Think conceptually. Then break the strategies into tactics. These tactics should be measurable. Work backward from the imaginary feeling to the thoughtful strategies that implement specific tactics to accomplish just one “sub-objective”.
When faced with choices, wait and ask, “What’s the decision that gives me the best odds of getting the thing I want?” Lean into your desires for the goals that matter most to you.
Set up small wins for yourself. They create satisfaction and can change your beliefs in your abilities. You can turn around and use the emotions of the small win to fuel the next bigger one. Then, repeat.
December 2023 may then surprise you.