Key #10 to Happiness – Setting Goals
There’re many reasons to set goals. People who set clear goals not only experience more success in their lives, but they are usually also happier and less stressed.
We can all look at our past and analyze different stages of our lives and see that we’ve been happier when we have had something to look forward to…and that is what having dreams, setting goals and visualizing them is all about. Goals are nothing more than dreams with a deadline.
But what about people who don’t have a clear passion or direction for their lives – no goals? Should they just pick something arbitrarily? If this describe you, don’t worry. Keep reading! There is a special section for you half way through this lesson.
Here are some of my favorite quotes on goal setting and success:
“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly.” - Cecil B. De Mille
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” - Oscar Wilde
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” - Henry Ford
“Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” - C. S. Lewis
“Give yourself the freedom to explore the possibility of life without limits. Goals are dreams with deadlines, a means to an end but not the ultimate purpose of life.” - Glynis Nunn
Here is what the Bible says about fulfilling your purpose in life, goal setting and success:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish”. Proverbs 29:18
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. Phil 3:14
“A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Goals give us focus. This is especially important when we’re depressed or down on ourselves. At those times, we need to take our focus off the current situation and focus or re-focus on the overall goals and dreams… or maybe set some new goals. Setting goals is a lifelong process that needs to be renewed and reviewed all the time…at least once every few months.
But what about people who don’t think they have any goals? Rest assured, God has put purpose and goals in every one of His masterpieces (humans that is, and that means you too). If you don’t think you have any goals, ask God to let the ones He’s put in your heart and spirit to bubble up to the forefront of your mind. Some people have never allowed themselves to know what they want. If this is you, just ask God to help you in this area. It’s His greatest joy to watch you become everything He planned for you!
People who think they have no goals are usually comparing themselves to others who are exceptionally ambitious and verbal about strong personal achievement goals. You know who I’m talking about – they are the ones who talk about being the president of a Fortune 500 company by the time they’re 40, a huge music or movie star, or the biggest contractor in the city by age 35! Of course some of these people will achieve these goals, and that’s great. Don’t forget however, the most important goal of all should be to hear those cherished words, “Well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, now I will make you ruler over many” by Jesus Himself when He welcomes you into the Kingdom for all eternity! So, let the driven people be who they were meant to be – you get to be the person God made you to be! He has more good thoughts about you than there are grains of sand on all the seas of the world – and all these thoughts include great plans (and goals) for you. (Ps 139:17 & Jer 29:11)
Goal setting is important for all areas of our lives.
• Spiritual Goals (like being more like Jesus)
• Home (Family Goals like being a better spouse or a better father)
• Health Goals (like losing 20 lbs.)
• Business Goals (like increase sales)
• Financial Goals (like becoming debt free)
• Social Goals (like making some new friends)
• Charity Goals (like giving more)
• Other Important Goals (like having more balance)
Correct Goal Setting Process:
• Identify an overall goal or dream (let’s say that you would like to be healthier)
• Break the goal down into specific goals (like losing 24 lbs.)
• Set a deadline (like…lose 24 lbs. in 6 months)
• Break it down into monthly and weekly goals (4 lbs. per month or 1 lb. per week)
• Determine daily tasks (not eating desert or minimizing your calorie intake or running 3 times per week for 1 mile to achieve your goals).
Keys to happiness exercise:
• Ask God for help (ask Jesus into your life if you have not done so already)
• Take some time on finding a meaningful why and set long term goals – They can’t be someone else’s goals…they have to be your own.
• Set realistic goals – It’s the difference between successfully reaching your goals and setting yourself up for failure. Let’s say that you wanted to lose 24 lbs. If you have not run for 20 years, it would be foolish to set an action plan to run 10 miles per day. It’s better to be more conservative and increase your activity as you get a feel what you can realistically do.
• Be consistent with your activity – 90% of success is just showing up. Don’t underestimate this part. Better to commit to less and be consistent than to commit to too much and then quit soon after you start.
• Visualize your why and goals at least once each week
• Look at your goals and action plan several times per week and adjust it if necessary
• Hint - if you're unable to perform your daily and weekly tasks or start making excuses - spend more time on your why (you’re probably having trouble because it’s not real to you – most likely from someone else such as an overbearing parent, teacher or other influential person in your life – ask God to help you hear Him alone)
May you find happiness by developing dreams and goals for yourself! Check in next week for another key to happiness. Get notified via e-mail here.
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