How to set goals?
Having goals for things we want to do and working towards them is an important part of being human. The path towards our goals may not always run smoothly or be easy, but having goals, whether big or small, is part of what makes life good. It gives us a sense of meaning and purpose, points us in the direction we want to go and gets us interested and engaged, all of which are good for our overall happiness.
Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle said “Well begun is half done.” And with regards to goals, he’s right (as he seems to have been on a lot of things). Paying attention to how we set our goals makes us more like to achieve them and achieving them makes us feel good about ourselves and our lives.
Plan your step ahead:
Even if your goal isn’t to walk 1000 miles, thinking about the first step on the way will really help to get you started. Even if you don’t know where to start there’s no excuse – your first step could be to research ‘how to…’ on the internet or think of people you could ask or to get a book on the subject from the library.
Think and act:
Think of something you want to do or work towards. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s something you want to do – ideally something you’re interested in or feel excited by. It should be something you want to do for its own sake not for something or someone else.
Break the steps to goal:
This is especially important for big goals. Think about the smaller goals that are steps on the way to achieving your bigger aim. Sometimes our big goals are a bit vague, like ‘I want to be healthier’. Breaking these down helps us be more specific. So a smaller goal might be ‘go running regularly’ or even ‘to be able to run around the park in 20 minutes without stopping’.
When you reach your goal take time to enjoy it and thank those that helped you. Think about what you enjoyed and learned along the way. Now, what is your next goal or project going to be?