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  • Kellie Jenkins

#12 Reimagining Your Shoulds as Gift-Goals

As the Women’s Coaching Circle journey comes to an end, our focus turns to the future. What have I learned about myself? What do I want to do with that?


Goal setting is the traditional method for designing a path forward for yourself. However, women often mistakenly believe that in order to create a shift or make progress you need to rely on drive, will-power and self-discipline.


Tara Mohr has a unique and refreshing way to look at setting goals. She advocates for what she calls “gift-goals”. So rather than setting goals that we think we should be striving for, or goals that somehow address the parts of ourselves that need fixing, we approach goal setting from a place of love and self-compassion.


A gift-goal is one that that truly resonates with and inspires you. It is a goal that comes from a spirit of self-care and self-love rather than perfectionism and self-criticism.

Gift-goals are fun and exciting to go after, largely because they are a representation of your heart’s desire. They are meaningful to you, align with your values, engage your passions and leverage your strengths. And for that reason, they are effortless to pursue.


Setting gift-goals is a natural way to integrate the learning from the Women’s Coaching Circle, as we’ve just spent 8 weeks getting to the heart of what’s important to YOU.


Here’s an example of how I turned my traditional New Year’s resolution into a gift-goal this year:


Should: Lose the extra pounds that have crept on as a result of COVID.

Gift-Goal: Plan and make delicious, healthy meals that give me more energy and make me feel lean and strong.


Two months on I am still inspired by this goal. That’s not to say that I have been perfect. I’ve eaten the ice cream and the Girl Scout cookies, but as a guiding principle it still offers hope and motivation. In those moments of choice, I am able to reconnect to the desire to feel strong and powerful. I imagine the taste of the sweet berries and the crunch of the salad and I am able to recommit to myself, as this goal is about more than the food, it’s about who I want to be and how I want to live.


Lingering Thoughts: What goal could you set for yourself that would inspire, delight and bring you joy to pursue?


*Developing gift-goals is part of a sustainable action framework that we share in Session 8 of the Women’s Coaching Circle that I cofounded with Laura Bennett. This program is designed to help high achieving women develop a deeper sense of self as a way to bring more meaning and fulfilment into their lives.


The Spring cohort of the program begins on April 1. See here for details and registration information.

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