I have a confession to make. I often share this in workshops and I’m sharing it with you because I believe it will inspire you to keep moving your life forward even when you can see the goals because of the obstacles.

After trying traditional goal-setting in my early 20s and experiencing many setbacks early on, I developed an alternative to goal-setting that continues to work for me. I write down goals, affirmations, and “I am” statements that are meaningful and very much from my heart. I don’t look at them every day, week, month, or year. In fact, many of them are written down in journals between the pages of a day of gratitude and a moment of wonder.

Perhaps if I had some elaborate, well-laid-out plan, I would have “made it big” and be independently wealthy by now. The truth is this: My goal every day is to wake up with an open heart and be used by God. Interestingly, this approach has taken me to every place and created nearly every experience and “more” that I’ve scribbled down over the years as important to me.

For example, in January 1999 I wrote this: “I will write three books.” I’ve written five and two have been book deals. Here’s the truth:  I’ve worked hard, had super-sized faith, and dug deep within myself when I’ve needed to. I’ve made good and bad decisions that have taken me on detours, yet I’ve never gone down a dead-end road. I’ve worked harder at being a quality human being — a person whom I and others can trust, depend on, and believe in.

My confession isn’t to negate the value of goals setting, in fact, it confirms the power of it. What it offers is an alternative for some people who may not have the courage to write a goal according to their vision yet or the strength to look uncertainty in the eyes every day.

I offer this to you as a lifeline to give you hope — something that will get you started. All you need is an open heart and the willingness to scribble down your desires, put them in a secret place, and then quietly ask: “What do I do next?

S. Renee is a Life and Business, Branding and Communications Coach and Speaker. You can learn more at or by calling 888-588-0423.

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