I’m all for goals. But, over the years, I’ve realized not all goals are created equal. In fact, some goals don’t matter as much as others. Focus on the goals that matter—meaningful goals. That’s when you produce transformative results.
What do I mean by goals that matter? They are aspirations that change your life when you accomplish them. And they also change you…
What are Goals that Matter?
Consider the changes that would make the most significant difference in your life. Maybe you want to become more productive or happier. Or you want to have better relationships. Possibly you want a fulfilling career rather than a job that merely pays the bills. You might wish for better health so you can run and play with your children or grandchildren.
Meaningful goals matter and involve aspirations that change the quality of your life.
Meaningful goals have a different quality—and result—than, for example, earning $200,000, publishing a book, losing 20 pounds, or finding a partner. Not that these aspirations are unworthy. They are! And they may even be aspects of achieving your meaningful goals. For example, losing 20 pounds could be necessary to feel energetic and flexible enough to play with your grandchildren. Publishing a book could be one step on the way to a career as an author or coach or even a way to leave a legacy.
How to Choose Meaningful Goals
So how do you choose meaningful goals? Follow these steps:
- Make a list of the qualities you’d like to possess.
- Make a list of the conditions you’d like your life to possess.
- Make a list of your values, and rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) to determine how well you are living into that value.
- Write down goals that include a “big-picture” view—ones that include the type of aspirations that, indeed, will change the quality of your life. These should help you develop the qualities you want to possess, and you want your life to include. They also should help you live into your values.
- Break each of those goals into smaller steps—mini-goals—that will help you achieve them.
Still struggling? Get out a journal and describe your best self a year from now. Also, describe what your ideal life (personally and professionally). This exercise will give you clarity on the quality you want your life to have and the characteristics you would like to demonstrate a year from now. Go for the feeling more than “things” or events.
Once you finish journaling on these topics, create goals that relate to your vision of yourself and your life. Again, break those down into manageable or doable steps as well. Get them on your calendar, too.
Go for Quality of Life
As you go through this goal-setting exercise, keep in mind quality of life. How would your life be different if you achieved your personal and professional goals? How would you feel if you stepped into and became that person you imagined? How would it feel to live the life you envisioned?
You might spend time journaling about the quality of life you desire. Then create goals that help you achieve the life of your dreams. Who would you have to become to live that life? What would have to be part of your world for that life to become a reality?
Goal setting allows you to achieve the results you want. But you’ll have more success reaching them when you set meaningful goals.
Tell me in a comment below about the meaningful goals you set for the New Year.
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