You pick a goal and hit it. You’re supposed to feel good or great, even amazing—but, you don’t. Hmm . . .

You followed the formula: picked a goal, made a plan, worked your plan. You succeeded, but you don’t feel the way you thought you would. What happened?

You aimed at the wrong target.

Here are three ways that can happen.

1. You set a goal based on a “should,” whether you “should” on yourself or someone else did. You did everything required, rang the bell and got the coconut—but you really desire an apple. Maybe your family or others or one other prodded you to go after a coconut or lots of coconuts. You climbed that tall tree (or more than one), perhaps at some risk, to get something you didn’t really want.

Not so far away is an orchard with the kind of apples you desire instead. Research would inform you how you can access them and about when they’ll be ready to harvest.

Going for apples you desire will be a completely different experience than going after coconuts you don’t.

2. You chose to lose weight, lost it, gained it (or more) back—because what hasn’t felt good about your life didn’t change—even though you reached your goal. This happens anytime a desire to feel a certain way about yourself is projected onto a symptom rather than identifying and addressing the cause: one or more beliefs about the self that weigh far heavier on your life than any pounds you’re unhappy about. (Note: Not everyone with extra pounds is unhappy—about their size or their life.)

3. You haven’t asked the right question or questions for you to identify your True Target. Imagine you’re standing on the edge of a field, bow in hand, arrows in a quiver. Your True Target is on the field, but so are a number of other targets. Your True Target will give you the experience you truly desire. (BIG HINT: at the inner level).

Some of the other targets may offer just a part of the whole of what you want; others imitate what you want; and others offer nothing you want. Yet, if you don’t know it’s your innate right to ask right questions for you, you may aim at and hit a target you really don’t want. But hey, it’s a target and you did hit it; and maybe you settle for it. (How’s that worked for you so far?)

Maybe you decided not to aim at not-right-for-you targets, but decided to aim at the others because you don’t know what your True Target looks like—and “maybe” you’ll guess right. Plan to stay very busy. You may even call hitting all those targets “productive.” And, your arm may get quite tired or wear out.

Or you may pause and consider, as Indiana Jones did in the third movie in that series, when he has to pick the correct chalice: What do I know—rather than what others think they know? What do you know about you and what fulfills you—or would, better than anyone else knows? Who will you listen to?

How can you identify your True Target? Be absolutely honest with yourself about what you want the experience of each aspect of your life to FEEL like at the inner level of you. Then, aim and fire until you hit the bull’s-eye.

And, if anyone tries to time how long this takes for you or comments about it, ignore them. Better they shift their focus to their own targets.

You are what you practice.
© 2010, Joyce Shafer

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Author's Bio: 

You Are More! Empowerment Coach Joyce Shafer, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say ( Get free empowerment gifts, access the link to her interview about relationships, see which of her books and e-books may meet your needs, and read her current free weekly newsletter at