What does it mean to set goals, and why should you do it in the first place? Living a goal-oriented life doesn’t mean that you have to be a driven, Type-A personality. Having an aim that you wish to achieve is not just about work. It can be about a hobby or a relationship, for example, and it can be a way of living a more deliberate and thus more meaningful life.
What are Goals?
Many people associate goals with big achievements, like weight loss or paying off a big debt or getting a college degree. These can be great things to achieve, and the points below can help you if these are the kinds of achievements you have in mind. However, if you aren’t someone who cares about trying for these types of objectives, you can still benefit from a goal-oriented mindset. For example, perhaps you want to improve your relationship with a family member. You can approach this using the same techniques you might use to run a faster 5K.
Articulate Your Intention
The first step is to identify the areas of life to work on and be as concrete as possible about what you want. This is easy for some things: I want to be the head of my department, or I want to get all A’s in school this semester. However, others might be more difficult. What does it mean to become a better cook or a better friend? For these types of resolutions, you need to think of what would constitute better for your purposes. For example, if you want to be a better cook, maybe you want to learn how to make five enjoyable dinners for yourself, or perhaps you want to be confident enough to host a dinner party. If you want to be a better friend, maybe this means setting aside more time each week to have coffee with a friend you’ve been neglecting.
Identify the Steps
Next, you need to identify the steps you must take. In some cases, these steps will be fairly clear and standard, but for others, you might need to get creative. For example, maybe you want to pay off a substantial debt, but you aren’t sure where the money to do it will come from. It might be possible to do this by selling your life insurance policy through a life settlement if you have the type of policy that has value beyond any death benefits. You can review a guide that tells you everything you need to know about a life settlement. If you want to become a better cook, the first step might be to purchase a cookbook for beginners. The next might be to try one new recipe a week. More concrete steps make it easier for you to achieve your goal.
Give Yourself a Reward
Achieving your aim feels great, but you can increase your motivation by promising yourself a reward when you get there. If what you’re trying to do is more of a long haul, build in those rewards with some of the steps along the way to help you stay focused.