~ Brian Littrell
I must admit, I had an 'uneasy moment' when I first looked at the topic for this blog post: DIRECTION - Having goals to look forward to (the next point in the 10 Keys to Happier Living).
Don't misunderstand me - I'm all for goals. I love them.
I just have one problem: I rarely ever achieve them.
Phew! Now that I've got that uncomfortable confession out of the way, we can move on. :)
Seriously, we all need to feel as if we're moving forward in life, as if we're actually going somewhere instead of merely being swept along in the current of the daily grind (apologies for the mixed metaphors :) ).
When we're younger, our main goal might be to make it to the finals in our soccer team, or score an 'A' in a music exam or school grade.
As we grow, our goals also become bigger. From making it in our chosen careers, to buying a house, pursuing our creative aspirations (such as writing), or having a family... goals spur us on, give us energy, and make the 'ride' in life more meaningful and even enjoyable.
An article in Psychology Today presents on this topic very succinctly. Basically, when we achieve progress on our goals, our subjective well-being (SWB - how happy and satisfied we feel in life) increases, with a potential flow-on effect of motivating 'goal-directed behaviours' (check out this diagram from the article).
Perhaps instead of having one big goal (eg to write a best-selling novel), you could break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces (eg to write one chapter a week, or to spend an hour a day on your manuscript). If you can achieve the smaller 'mini-goals', you'll eventually get the big one sorted out - without getting too discouraged in the process.
To apply this goal-setting principle in your life (and also helping to contribute to increased happiness levels), aim to spend some time this week reevaluating your goals. Do you have any? Are they achieveable? What can you do today (or in the next week) as a small step towards them? (I think I should spend some time completing this exercise, too. :) )
I'l love to hear all about it on my Facebook page. :)