Years ago I got into the habit of setting goals at the end of December for the upcoming year.

And like most people, I failed to achieve them. There were some goals I hit. Like getting out of debt and quitting my job to freelance full-time.

But I’d say about 80–90% of my goals were just good ideas I thought I should write down. They came from my head, not my heart. So it should be no surprise that I made little to no progress on those goals.

And after reflecting on this I realized that there is a difference between goals that are discovered and goals that are made.

The goals we make feel artificial. The goals we discover feel alive and exciting!

Those are the goals worth focusing on.

But how do you discover your goals? Here are are few tips:

 1. Pay Attention to What Excites You: What goals, when you think about them, get you all sorts of excited? Recently the goal of “buying a home” made me really happy every time I thought about it. So I knew this was a true heart goal that was worth focusing on (side note: we bought our first home last week!).

 2. Shoulds vs Wants: Is it a goal you “should” do or one you “want” to do? There’s a big difference. Learn to connect with your true desires and you will see massive progress.

 3. What Do You Love to Learn About: What type of books, blogs or podcasts do you listen to? What stories really inspire you? These are all clues to your heart goals.

Take some quiet time to really be honest and reflect on your goals. Remember, the goals you discover are way more powerful than the goals you simply “make” because you think you should.