How To Set Life Goals That Ensure Fulfilment And Happiness?
Without life goals it’s very hard to live the life we want. And if we aren’t living the life we want, it’s very hard to be happy.
Fulfilment in life starts with a goal. Ask anyone who is happy with where they are in life, and they’ll tell you that out of their little acorn a tall tree grew and grew and grew.
A great life rich in happiness doesn’t just fall into place by chance. It isn’t the result of an accident. We don’t role a dice and win. As the eminent motivational speaker Tony Robbins said, “if you don’t make your own plans, someone else will fit you into theirs.”
Without life goals, you have no vision of what you want your life to look like. And without this vision, there is little motivation to achieve the non-existent vision. As such, there is little reason for you to take action and change your life for the better.
By reading this article, you’re taking the first step towards achieving fulfilment and happiness. Now, let’s get you onto the next step by taking a look at how to set your life goals.
Evaluate Where You Are Now
Ask yourself where you are in life right now, and how far you think you are from a happy and fulfilled life.
The best way to figure out what you want from your future is to assess how satisfied you are right now. Are there any aspects of your life that are okay and just need tweaking? Or there parts that need a total and complete overhaul?
Decide What You Want Most
It should probably go without saying, but key to setting a life goal is setting one that you can see yourself actively working towards. A life goal needs to be something you want so gosh darn much that you’re prepared to make sacrifices to reach it. Desire is key.
A life goal needs to be something that both interests and excites you. It has to be so good that it alone gets you out of bed in the morning. It should be something that will add value to your life, as well as leave you feeling fulfilled and, of course, happy.
Write It Down
It’s okay to have a goal inside your head. But the problem is that goals inside our head often stay there. They never leave it!
Writing your goal down on a piece of paper suddenly brings it to life. All of a sudden, your goal is this real, tangible thing that you can actually see. Psychologically, this is really powerful stuff.
Once you’ve written down your goal, you can start to then set to refine it and define it. A goal stuck inside our head is too raw, too flimsy, too undeveloped. Once we get it down on paper, we can start to grow it so that it becomes something we really get excited by.
At this point, there is probably a good chance that you’ve set a few life goals that will improve your life in their own way. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to do absolutely everything we’d like.
If you chase too many rabbits, you’ll catch none.
For this reason, it’s important to settle on two or three of your most important life goals that will bring you the most value.
In case you haven’t heard of setting SMART goals, I’ll break down this acronym for you:
- S – be Specific. Instead of vaguely saying “I want to lose weight”, write down how much weight you want to lose and by what deadline.
- M – be Measurable. Work out how long it’s going to take you to achieve your goal(s)
- A – be Agreeable. Agree with yourself about this goal. Don’t begin working on achieving it until you’re happy that it’s right for you.
- R – be Realistic. Don’t set a life goal that you know is totally unattainable unless you won the lottery.
- T – be Time-based. Impose a deadline. You’re more likelier to achieve a goal if you’re working towards a deadline.
Make Yourself Accountable To Someone Else
It’s okay to tell ourselves that we’re going to do this or that, but it’s not always easy to stick to it. After all, being accountable to yourself just isn’t a very good motivator.
Sure, you’ve told yourself that you WILL go a whole week without eating cake. But because nobody actually knows you’ve said this, you’re less inclined to actually stick to your promise.
Telling other people about your goals is a good idea because it makes you accountable to them. You don’t want to fail because other people will see your failures. You’re more determined to actually see this through.
Write down why your goals are important to you. Write down what you stand to lose if you don’t stick to them. Write down what your life will be like if you achieve your goals. Paint an amazing picture of what your goals are going to do to you.
This will strengthen your conviction and commitment.
Set Smaller Goals To Supplement Your Life Goal
Okay, so you’ve decided on your huge life goal. It’s found at the end of the rainbow, and it’s going to bring you a lot of happiness. But do you know how you’re going to get there?
Smaller goals are like milestones that plot the course you need to travel in order to reach your final destination. They are the bridges that get you from point to point.
It’s not enough to have one big life goal. You need to know the journey that’s gonna get you there. Put an hour or more aside to draft a series of short-term goals.
This is really important. If you don’t believe you can actually achieve a goal, you’ll find it really hard to achieve it. Belief is incredibly powerful, and it can transform what seems like a too-good-to-be-true dream into reality.
It’s possible that the life goals you set right now are ones you will stick to for the long haul. But there is nothing wrong with tweaking them now and then.
Just like a startup tweaks its idea before fully launching a product onto the market, it could be that you need to experiment with your goals before finally settling on something. For example, what seems realistic right now might seem unrealistic in a year from now. If you can’t adjust to this, you might need to adjust the goal.