“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” Andrew Carnegie
Is your life everything you wanted it to be? Are you in a great place financially? Are you in a loving relationship with your partner and family? How are your friendships? Are you working in your dream career or hanging on day by day working in a job you hate?
For those who answered no to the above, you are not alone.
Millions of people around the world aren’t happy with their lives yet are unsure or don’t know how to make any substantial changes to their life.
This doesn’t have to be the way!
For many of you life might not be where you envisioned, with the events of 2020 amplifying your levels of unhappiness of your current situation or where your life is currently at.
All you need to do is to make the decision that you wish to make a change then take action.
You can be living the life you wish to be living!
So how do we do this? One way to take charge of your life is to incorporate Goal Setting into your life.
What is goal setting?
Tony Robbins defines goal setting as “the process of identifying something you want to accomplish and establishing measurable objectives and time frames to help you achieve it.”
Goal setting can be about a specific area in your life or you can use goal setting for all aspects of your life, on a small scale or it can be used to totally change your life. It’s really a case of how much are you willing to commit or as James Clear notes “What kind of pain do I want?”
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” Earl Nightingale
Psychologist, Neurologists, Scientists and Scholars have researched goals for many years and the general consensus of the why or how a goal is successful or not is to. Some of these successful observations include:
- Taking ownership of the goal that we set.
- Choosing a goal that matters, one that will challenge you.
- Framing your goals positively.
- Embracing the journey
The post The Science around Goal Setting goes into this topic in a little more detail.
So how do you set your goals?
There are many different approaches to this topic with no wrong answer. How we at Your Goals Your Life look at goal setting is using a holistic approach and breaking down your life into 6 areas, Health and Fitness, Financial, Career, Relationships, Spiritual/Religion and Personal. If you want to expand these 6 areas that’s fine, though it’s probably easier to track if you keep these areas under double figures.
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Let’s go a little deeper into these 6 areas:
Health & Fitness: Your health is probably the most important asset that you have. For a lot of us, it’s easy to neglect our health (or at least our weight or appearance) as family and work commitments (as well as the aging process) take precedence. However little by little we move of the healthy ideal that we have and become this person that we don’t recognize, telling ourselves we don’t have time or energy or money or ability or whatever to get fitter and healthier.
You can have all the money in the world however if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything. No-one would make a deal where you receive millions of dollars in your bank account by giving up your health, so let’s make it a priority to improve your health and fitness. Set some health and fitness goals (relative to where you are in life) and turn back the clock.
Simple goals in this area could include a loss of weight or body fat over a period of time. Or if you are currently working out but would like to challenge yourself you could set a goal time or goal lifting weight that you wish to achieve by a certain time period. Or you may wish to overhaul your diet and your goal might be to eat a healthy diet for 6 days a week for a period of time or to reduce all processed sugars or alcohol from your diet for a certain period of time.
Financial: How many of you are in the financial position that you desire? How many of you are living pay check to pay check or at least don’t appear to be saving much each year? If this is you, when was the last time you created a budget or at least tracked where your expenses go? If finances aren’t your strong point let’s draw a line in the sand and make a point to improve these. Set smaller savings goals or loan repayment goals. Crush these then shift your sights higher! Eventually you will be on a roll and well and truly on the path to financial success. The key, setting goals and taking action!
Career: Who’s working in a job or in a field which they love? If not what have you done to change this? Think you deserve a raise but your supervisor or higher ups haven’t given this to you? Ask yourself what is your ideal job? What career do you ideally see yourself doing? Can you up skill to change careers or industries? Can you do further studies to get that dream job? Could you start that side business that has always been in the back of your mind? Set a goal that this year is going to be the year you take control of your career or create your dream business!
Relationships: Who’s in a relationship that they are happy with? Not just your romantic relationship, look at your relationships with family members or even your friendships. Are these in a good spot or is there room for improvement? What about your relationship with yourself? Or what about those who are in an unhappy relationship? It’s no secret that the busier we get the more our relationships are put on the back burner but you can change this. Set a goal to spend more time with your partner, even if it’s for 30 minutes or so every second day. Reconnect with a parent or a child, a friend, a relative, a neighbor. Invest some time and you will feel a lot richer for it and in a better frame of mind.
Spiritual/Religion: Do you find yourself living in a non-stop lifestyle, always rushed, never time for yourself. When was the last time you looked at your spiritual health or re-connected with your religion or faith? As the world we live in becomes more hectic, more intense, more pressurized, it’s easy to lose focus on your inner self or your faith or religious connection. Even something so small as a daily gratitude statement can help re-align you. Set goals that help you with the re-alignment or connection to your inner self.
Personal: This area is a bit of a catch all for personal goals such as learning a musical instrument or learning a hobby such as woodworking. This area can also cover travel, learning a new language, writing a book or screenplay, rebuilding a classic car, reading a new book a month, watching a classic film per month, basically a personal goal that challenges and broadens your horizon and may well provide you with additional skills.
So now that you have your areas to work with, let’s look at creating your goals. You can use a simple pen and paper or you can use this example goal setting page to help.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
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Tips to help with setting your goals:
- Find a quiet spot and complete this on your own. You can sit down with your partner or family members and discuss this later however initially complete this on your own.
- Set your long term goals first and then set shorter term goals that work towards the achieving of your long term goals.
- Don’t set these goals using your current situation or current mindset. Think bigger than your current situation or environment. Just because you haven’t exercised in 10 years doesn’t mean you can’t eventually run a marathon if that’s a goal you want to achieve!
- Set challenging yet realistic goals. Make sure you are stepping out of your comfort zone!
- If you haven’t used goal setting previously, start small. For example if you want to have a finance goal, start with saving $20 or $50 for a week. Assess that goal, if successful set a new challenging goal, if not successful dial down your goal for something challenging yet attainable, then rinse and repeat until you are doing something truly challenging and life changing!
- Get constant feedback., making sure the goal is suitable and making sure you are on track.
- Enjoy the journey, don’t just focus on the destination.
- Take action!