Life Goals 101
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RSCP
Heart-Centered Career Transition & Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coach
Since we were small children, the adults in our lives have encouraged us to set and achieve life goals. We’ve always been surrounded by questions like what do you want to be when you grow up? Do you want to have children? How many? Where’s your dream house going to be? What type of person do you want to marry? And the list goes on.
Setting life goals is essential. It helps us envision our futures, stay on track, achieve what we want to achieve.
So there is no question that we need to think about and set life goals.
Setting life goals is a meaningful way to keep your life on track and make the most out of your life. It is a good idea to create the set of goals you want, then make a list of them and revisit the list every year. You will, of course, need to make adjustments along the way. But keeping track of the goals that are important to you can help you be more focused on what you want in life. And it helps you become more self-aware, too.
Having a list of your life goals and revisiting them each year also forces you to sit down and focus on yourself every so often. During these sessions, think about what you want in your life. It gives you an opportunity to track your progress. And having the list provides you with a tangible object to hold you accountable. Think of it as a contract with yourself.
How to Set Life Goals
There are many ways to go about setting life goals. But there are a few practices that can help you head down the right path. For starters, you should limit your distractions. Making a list of your life goals requires you to get fully in touch with your inner self. It also helps you determine what you want in life.
You have to question yourself. And you need to be honest with yourself. Honestly examine the things that you want to achieve and accomplish in your life.
It’s crucial that the life goals you choose to set for yourself are attainable. Don’t make a life goal that’s totally impossible or highly unlikely. It's good to set high goals and stretch yourself, even to aim for something incredibly rare. But be practical, too.
For example, rather than making it a life goal that you “write a #1 bestseller,” make it more achievable like you are going to “write a book” by the time you are 35 years old. If the book ends up being a #1 bestseller, that’s awesome! But even if it doesn't make the New York Times bestsellers list, if your goal was to write a book, you will have succeeded.
Another example of an attainable goal would be becoming a professional singer as opposed to being a famous pop star. If you love to sing and entertain, do that. If you have a hit song and become a famous pop star, that's great! But singing for satisfaction is the goal rather than topping the charts.
Some Examples of Life Goals
Most of the time, when people think of life goals, they think of career goals, family goals, or financial goals. In reality, life goals are a combination of all those things and more. Your life goals can be anything that you want to accomplish in your life.
A life goal, for example, could be to reach a particular place in your job. It could be following a specific career. Or it might be creating the time frame for starting a family.
It could be visiting the Grand Canyon or living in a foreign country. The good news is that your life goals belong to YOU! They can be whatever you specifically want in your life.
Setting life goals is a great way to make sure your life is staying on track.
Life goals keep you focused on your dreams, and help you to achieve what you want in your lifetime. The process of determining and setting your life goals can also be a great experience. It encourages time spent in self-reflection. It can help you to become more in-tune with yourself and better aware of your desires and dreams.
If you limit your distractions, stay focused, and listen to yourself, you can accomplish whatever you want. Keep in mind that none of these goals are set in stone. What will happen is your list will grow and evolve as you do, changing many times.
Some things will get accomplished and some things you’ll lose interest in before you ever get close to it. Priorities change. Circumstances evolve. Keep an open mind and keep up your momentum.
Sometimes life throws you curve balls.
Occasionally things will happen to throw you off track. You may get sick unexpectedly, or you may experience a loss that you weren't anticipating. Life is full of challenges. The thing to try to do is to stay as focused as you can. Don't give up on your list if your goals are important to you. You may have to delay attaining them, but you don't have to give up on them.
Jim Rohn once said, "Success is steady progress toward one's personal goals." You don't have to try to attain everything all at once, but you need to keep your eye on the proverbial ball, too.
Keep your list of goals close. Check it periodically. Adjust as you need to. And live your life to the fullest.
Until next time.