Maybe the most powerful tool I have found that enhances the quality of my life is setting and executing goals. Powerful because it engages my creativity in helping me to go after what I want. Lofty goals are intentions that are generally mulled over and never put on paper. Goals written down become visual destinations. Like all trips you plan to take you will need a date to depart and a date to arrive. Developing strategies and identifying key tasks act like a road map plotting out turns and speed limits. It is wise to plan on alternate routes and to allow for delays.
What is it you want? Make a list of what you truly believe would enhance the quality of your life. Give consideration to the impact your want will have on others. I think your odds for accomplishment will be in your favor if what you want is helping others.
Learn all you can about mastering the art of self evaluation. It is crucial you evaluate the usefulness and meaningfulness of what you want. At times we all have experienced disappointment and surprise after we got what we wanted or what we thought we wanted. Learn to be very selective about what you want. Wants are what drive your needs bus. Don’t become someone who wants and wishes their life away. Become someone who is very in tune to what your mission in life is, someone dedicated to becoming who you were intended to be. Acing self evaluation means learning from our mistakes, accepting our humanness and that of others. It’s about asking great questions of yourself. It doesn’t mean you won’t be conflicted, it means you will build a muscle that helps you manage the conflict of your wants and needs.
The way we are programmed is that from birth to death we begin capturing pictures in our minds of the people, places, things and beliefs that we believe will help our happiness, help us to be need fulfilled. Some of the pictures are what we already have while others are pictures of what we hope to have. Because we have the picture doesn’t mean it’s good for us or that we will get it or should keep it.
The primary difference between people who are happy most of the time and those that aren’t comes down to this – the happy most of the time have worked to acquire the art and skill of self evaluation. Specifically learning how to evaluate those pictures we store or goals we set or wants we have. It is the skill of a champion; it is how you find your sweet spot. It is how you stop self sabotaging or buying into fantasies that aren’t within your grasp. Wanting something for a long time you can’t have or wanting it and not being willing to work for it is a set-up for unhappiness.
As you work on mastering the art of goal setting use the SMARTIE success method.
Specific – your goal is specific and written down
Measurable – you have a means to measure your accomplishment
Attainable – your goal is a stretch but it is attainable
Reasonable – your goal makes sense and is a right fit for your values
Timeline – you have set a time to start and time to finish
Impact – your goal will have a positive impact on someone(s) other than just you
Enthusiasm – you have invested enthusiasm and energy into your goal