The Be-Do-Have Approach to Identifying Your Goals

kayce neill

After the passing and reflection of each year, we are often asked, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” I confess, my answers used to be, “Oh dear, I forgot to make mine,” or “Why bother — I’m going to fail or break them by February anyway.”

These responses were common for me until I was introduced to the concept of the BE-DO-HAVE method for setting my goals.

What is the BE-DO-HAVE method? It is an extremely simple and highly effective process that will support, inspire, and motivate you in fulfilling your goals. There are two ways in which you can complete this process.

The first way to start is with the questions, “Who do I want to BE this year and how do I want to feel?” The answers to these questions will help you open up possibilities and discover what you can DO to elicit who you want to BE; which will lead you to HAVING what it is you desire.

The other way is to practice this process starting with the HAVE: “What is it that I want to HAVE this year (more money, a relationship. promotion at work, etc.)?” Next, identify the DO: “What do I need to DO to reach my HAVE (go to the gym, look for a new job, hire a nutritionist, etc.)?”

These first two steps are easy and most people excel at answering them. However, it is because we tend to stop at these two steps that we struggle to reach what it is we desire. This is usually because our HAVE’s and DO’s are only about changing our outside selves. When changing our outer selves is our only concern, the results and our commitment to our goals tend to be temporary.

We often experience this when we set goals such as “I will exercise and go to the gym every day this year” or “I’m starting a diet on January 1.” Most of us are taught that if we DO the right action, then we will HAVE what we want (or vice versa), and only then will we BE the person deserving of the item. It is the answers to, “Who do I want to BE and how do I want to feel” that is the essential ingredient, and final step, to achieving your goals.

Shakespeare’s statement of “To BE or not to BE, that is the question” embodies this final step perfectly. Take a look within, get honest, and decide, “Who do I have to BE to accomplish what I need to DO so I can HAVE what I want?”

Or another way to think of this step is, “Who do I need to practice BE-ing if I already reached, and am living, my goals?” You know, “Fake it till you make it.” The answers within your BE are the foundation to this exercise and to you accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions. Discovering and putting into action the ways you need to BE and how you want to feel will ensure greater success in your goals. And who knows, you may DO better and HAVE more than you ever could have imagined!

If you get stuck on this step, here is a great list of emotions vocabulary that can help. Most of us are only taught to express a handful of emotions. This list can be used for gaining clarity within this exercise and throughout all areas of your life. I invite you to give it a try.

Try this approach and most importantly, have fun discovering your new New Year’s resolutions. There is no single “right” or “wrong” way to do them; focus only on the ways that work for you.

After working through this process myself, my goals for 2016 are to BE, feel, and/or experience daily: elegance & beauty, play & pleasure, and tenacity. These characteristics are essential for me to take action every day towards my goals. As long as I focus on experiencing one or any combination of these daily, I know my DO and HAVE goals will be achieved, and more.

What are your resolutions for 2016? I’d love for you to share with us some of your BE-DO-HAVE goals for 2016.


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