Having goals in life, big or small, is so important. I believe that knowing what you want is critical to getting what you want. Moving towards our goals gives us a sense of meaning and purpose, points us in the direction we want to go and gets us interested and engaged; which is great for our overall happiness.
So you know you want to make changes to your life–but don’t exactly know where to start. Goal setting is the first step to creating the ‘you’ that you’ve envisioned. It doesn’t matter what the specific goal is, as long as it’s meaningful and it’s going to make a positive impact in your life.
The process of goal setting starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve. Some questions to ask yourself could be:
What wows you that you see other people do?
Think about the moments that have impressed you. Does someone display a trait you admire or have a skill you’d love to possess? What’s stopping you from working towards that?
What do you want to be the best in the world at?
The best father. The best student. The best gymnast. The best real estate agent. Why strive for anything less than the best?
What’s one thing could you do that, if you did it on a regular basis, would make a tremendous, positive difference in your personal or professional life?
Think small. What everyday habits would align you with a path that leads you to a higher quality of life?
Will who I am now lead to who I want to be in the future?
Reflect on where you are and where you want to be. What’s standing in between the two?
What areas of your life are making you unhappy?
What isn’t living up to your expectations? What can you do to change that? Your happiness is your responsibility.
I, personally, start a timer for 15 minutes and write down as many answers as I can to the above questions. After I have a sketch of these answers, I review them and circle the ones I’m most drawn to. I like to repeat this several times over a month-long period to reflect on what goals will have the most influence on my life.
Everyone has a different threshold for how many goals they can focus on and achieve based on past experiences and how substantial the goal(s) are. If this is your first time goal setting, I’d suggest starting with 1-3 major goals. Having too many goals will leave you with too little time and not enough energy to devote to the ones that really matter. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – especially if your goal is to lose a couple lbs.
After you have narrowed down your focus, give motivation to each goal. Write down why it’s valuable and important to you (ie. changing your diet because you want to be around long enough to see your child get married). A great question to ask yourself is, “when share my goal with others, what will I tell them to convince them it is a worthwhile goal?”
I’m excited to see how you have responded to these questions. Follow along with the rest of the series so I can help you turn your current ambitions into future accomplishments. Today is day one. You have to start somewhere.