Setting Goals Can Be Life Changing or Paralyzing

“That which matters the least should never give way to that which matters the most.”

‘That which matters the most’ looks different for each person.  How we choose to spend our time, days, resources and energy usually reflects what we value in life.  That’s why goal setting is personal.  If you’re one of those people who have difficulty setting goals, it maybe helpful to ask these questions:  What are my core values? What is important to me?  What do I want out of life?  Where do I want to be in 10 years?  How can I contribute to the world?  For some people, this process of self-reflection and self-realization is life changing and liberating and for others, it’s a challenging and frustrating endeavor that paralyzes them.

Whether your goals are to contribute to the greater good of mankind or lose a few pounds, one thing to keep in mind when setting goals is to set S.M.A.R.T goals.  There’s a saying ‘If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.’ That’s why it’s important to set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals.

For example:
I will get in shape this year.  NOT SMART.
I am running 2 times a week for 45 minutes and hiking 2 times a month for 3 hours.  SMART.

Another important aspect in setting SMART goals is to write them in the present tense, this triggers your brain to subconsciously get you moving towards your goals.  Write them on a poster board and hang it up where you’ll see it as a daily reminder.  Placing pictures of your goals will, also help you visualize them better.

If you really want to keep goal setting simple then pick one word to live by this year.  For example, my word for 2012 is strength.  It’s easy to remember yet powerful because it will guide me in my actions and decisions.  And at the end of the year I can ask myself, ‘Did I have strength this year?’

The purpose of goals is to enrich our lives, not a burden of rules to keep.  It stretches us to our fullest potential, not serve as a reminder of our limitations.  It builds character, strength, and skill that cannot be stolen or destroyed.  This confidence creates beauty within which then reflects itself in the work of our hands.  Continue to dream and pursue!

Conversations welcome!  I would love to hear any comments, goals or questions you may have from this article.