Setting better goals to build a better life
- February 3, 2016
Setting goals is important, but success isn’t just about creating a goal or two and working to meet them. It’s also about the kinds of goals you set for yourself. Without goals that are attainable but that will still make you stretch, the process of setting goals can quickly lose its meaning.
In other words, goals that are too difficult can leave you feeling like you can’t accomplish anything—but goals that are too easy don’t have a lot of value, either. To build a better life for yourself, you need to set better goals. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The best goals are challenging, but still realistic and attainable. Setting a goal to be President of the United States might not be so realistic—especially if you weren’t born in the US. (That natural-born citizen clause in the Constitution is staying, whether you want it to or not.)Setting a goal to be president of your PTA chapter, however, or student council president is a much more realistic goal. It’s also a lot more attainable. You’ll still have to work hard, but even before you start you can probably see yourself achieving it.
- The easy way isn’t always the best way. Sure, you could set a very easy goal, like remembering to take out the trash every Tuesday night, but taking the easy way out just to say you met your goal may not serve you well. Sticking with super-easy goals that don’t require any effort won’t help you build a better life for yourself.A better approach? Use easily attainable goals as stepping-stones—prove to yourself that yes, you have it in you to reach the goals you set… And then set progressively harder ones.
- Goals should be things that matter to you. If you choose a goal that’s not important to you, why would you ever work to meet it? This is why it’s critical to choose goals that are important to you. There’s no point in setting a goal to get 10,000 Twitter followers if you hate social media, for example.Instead, consider what you care about, and set goals related to those things that bring value to your life.
- What others think of your goals isn’t really that important. It’s okay if your friends or family members wouldn’t set the same goals as you, or if they don’t understand why your goals are important to you.Setting goals is something you have to do for yourself. It’s about being better than you were the day before—and becoming the best version of you that you can be. That’s how you build a better life.