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#2: Setting Goals You Actually Want

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How can we set goals that we actually want, instead of following the crowd? Suri discusses the difficulty we face in knowing what we really want in today’s noisy world.  She shares the results of a small survey she conducted among moms in her Facebook group, and a second poll conducted by Gretchen Rubin, a NYT bestselling author of The Happiness Project.

Suri shares 4 steps her listeners could try to gain clarity, and intentionally focus on what brings them genuine happiness.

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I mentioned Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project* and her Twitter feed. Check out her website and other books.

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INTRO: Hi, welcome again to Doing Things On Purpose, the podcast that empowers women to take charge of their time, health, relationships, and money by doing things on purpose.

SURI: I’m your host Suri, and I’m so glad that you could take the time to join me today. So this week I wanted to talk about contradiction that I’ve noticed when we start to ask ourselves the question, “What do I really want?” I suppose you could think about it as, you know… what do I need to be happy? 

I ran a small survey in February asking some of you moms on my Facebook group to share what were the biggest issues that caused you the most frustration? What were the areas that you found you need the most support in? 

I only got a few responses but I can say that the top issues that the moms who participated said they needed support in were:

  • parenting 
  • career, and 
  • time management. 

Now, I want you to ask yourself, is this true for you in your life? Would you say the top things that you struggle with are parenting, your career and time management as well?

For me, definitely. Those are things that I have to constantly. Juggle and then a pause there. I want you to listen to this second poll, which was run by Gretchen Rubin, who’s a writer and podcaster as well, and she’s a New York Times bestseller writer, writing about the topic of happiness. One of her books is called The Happiness Project. 

And she asked her followers what they believed contributed most to their personal happiness. What do you think are the parts in your life that really brings that home? So the answer is (was):

  • 50% of people reported that it was their meaningful relationships
  • 28% said it was their personal growth and learning
  • 19% said it was the time they spent on relaxation
  • and listen to this, only 3% said that success in their career contributed to their happiness.

So it’s pretty crazy, because we spend so much time worrying right(?) about our career. It’s this solid thing that we know is measurable. If we get paid a lot, we know that we are of value. And if we’re performing, maybe we get a raise. And yet only 3% measured their happiness from the success of their career. So it’s not a one size fits all.

Most of us would do well, focusing more time on our relationships and our personal growth, to the other parts that we normally spend our time focusing on. Because that’s the part that moves the needle the most. 

And the second part, which was the personal growth and learning, which is, I hope that’s why you’re listening to this podcast… Or that’s why you know, when you’re browsing, sometimes for sure, we’re just trying to find entertainment – but on the other side, thinking about, “What do I wanna find out? What do I wanna learn about?” 

So what have we discovered? 

Sometimes what we think we need is actually the opposite of what truly matters. We live in a fast-paced world, bombarded with constant stimuli. Which can cloud our judgment and steer us off course.

There is a way to navigate this. Here are some of my tips.

Step one, pause and reflect. Take a moment to step back from the noise and ask yourself, what is it that I truly need to move the needle? Strip away the external pressures and dig deep within. What are your core values? What brings you joy, purpose and fulfillment? 

Write those things down. Don’t keep them in your head. 

Step two, embrace simplicity. Our society glorifies excess and complexity, often leading us astray, we get more and more confused. So challenge the notion that more is always better. Focus on quality over quantity. Pare down your desires to the essentials that align with your core needs.

Step three, cultivate self-awareness. Understand. Your own motivations and triggers. Are your perceived needs driven by genuine personal growth, something that you value, or are they merely distractions? By honing your self-awareness, you’ll be better equipped to find out what truly matters to you. There’s a saying that, “I am the tap and the universe is the water.”

So don’t be scared if you don’t know what you need. Sometimes, instead of pushing too hard, it’s about letting go and just trusting that inside yourself. You already know what’s the best for you, and you just need to be in a space that allows that tap to open for your true desires to come forth. 

And step four is the most important, I think – to prioritize progress over perfection. Because it’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of an idealized vision and version of ourselves and our lives. But remember that it’s progress that moves the needle, not unattainable perfection. So embrace the journey and celebrate every small win you have along the way. So let’s recap: 

  • Step one, pause and reflect about what your core values are and what brings you joy and purpose and fulfillment. 
  • Step two, keep it simple. Focus on quality over quantity. 
  • Step three, alternate self-awareness. Whether it’s journaling, meditating, try to not get in your own way. Open that tap to let inspiration flow. 
  • And step four, prioritize progress over perfection. It really does only take many, many small steps to eventually get you where you wanna go.

Remember that I’m on this journey with you too. 

OUTRO: Thank you again for joining me today. If you like this podcast, please remember to subscribe or share it with a friend. And if you have the time, please rate this podcast five stars, if you like it. It really helps. 

You can also check out my website at That’s S-U-R-I-S-T-A-H-E-L dot com. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you next time.

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