Compassionate goal setting

I mentioned this here recently, but there is such a back to school vibe this September. I don’t know if it’s always like this and I’ve never noticed before, or if it’s because I launched something new myself, but wow – there is some energy in this month.

I think that energy is change… it’s calling for us to develop, learn and grow. It’s making us want to declutter all the things and start from scratch. It’s encouraging us to sign up to all the courses and learn all the things.

And hey – this is great. After what felt like quite a slow summer, whizzing into autumn with this energy is pretty motivating. But, I’ve noticed, alongside those bursts of energy and enthusiasm is coming a quiet sense of comparison, of not being good enough.


If I were to let these feelings take the reins, I would harness this energy in a negative way.


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I might set myself some huge, unrealistic goals just so I feel like I’m doing something… but then ultimately be disappointed when I fail. I might try and fit too much into one day and then feel frustrated because I didn’t figure out how to market my business in one sitting (OK, I totally did do that one).

When we don’t feel enough, we set ourselves up to fail. I do think however we can use this September energy in a positive way and still set goals – but set them from a place of compassion.

It isn’t about changing everything about ourselves to fit the moulds others flaunt, but figuring out what it is we really want to do. It’s about making changes in a sustainable way that allows us space to be kind to ourselves along the way.

Here are some ways I think we can do that:

Ask yourself, does this really need to change?

This is an important one. When everyone around us is making changes, launching new things and seemingly making shit happen, it’s easy to get swept up in it all. Before making any big decisions or setting any goals, ask yourself if it really needs to change or if you just want to feel the rush of change.

Sometimes, a change is needed. Other times, you’re better off doing what you’re already doing. If you’re thinking of making a change to your business, do a little market research – find out if your customers would welcome a change or if, actually, they quite like what you’re doing already.

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Photography | Elle Narbrook 

Consider how this change will impact your life

If you decide a change is needed, think about the way the change will make you feel. What will it bring to your life? Holding onto this is what will help you stick to it when self-doubt makes you waiver. Keep hold of the feeling or the outcome you know this change will make and keep coming back to that.

Break your goal down

This is one I’m sure you’ve heard before, but here’s why it’s so important for compassionate goal setting – it encourages you with small wins. When we set huge goals, we feel discouraged and daunted. When we come to do them and we don’t achieve them, we feel rubbish.


Smaller tasks help goals feel more doable, avoids overwhelm and gives us the chance to celebrate our progress and the space to learn as we go.


Set a reasonable time-frame for your goal

This ties in with breaking your goal down. If we set unrealistic time-frames, we’re only giving ourselves the opportunity to feel bad when we don’t achieve them. Don’t punish yourself like this – you’re allowed to take your time.

Set a time-frame that takes your daily/weekly routine into consideration, one that gives you space for rest and self-care. If you don’t you could end up burnt out and feeling even worse about yourself.

FXT19084 - Kat Nicholls

Photography | Elle Narbrook 

Recruit support

When you set goals from a place of compassion, you realise that you don’t have to do them alone. Reach out to your friends and family for support. If you’re in a Facebook group or have a community on Instagram – reach out to them. If you admire the way someone does something, let them know and ask if they can spare any advice.


If you’re feeling this energy to make a change and set goals, I hope these tips will help you set them from a place of compassion. Because you are totally capable of showing yourself compassion while kicking ass (the two aren’t mutually exclusive!).

If you’re feeling like you’re not ‘enough’ and want to recruit some support when it comes to your goals, I would love to help you.

In my self-worth discovery package, not only will we lift up the rug of ‘enough’ to see what’s really under there, we’ll work together on compassionate goal setting, offering you some gentle accountability.

Take a look at my coaching page for more information and if it sounds like something you could use, fill in this application form. We’ll then arrange a free call to check we’re the right fit for each other before getting started.

If you’re all set and have some goals in mind, let me know in the comments if today’s post has resonated and if you think you’re goals have been set from a place of compassion.


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Compassionate goal setting tips

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