Research says that there are too many people who are considered successful but are not really happy. Post setting a goal and working very hard to achieve it, when they have finally got what they wanted, they feel hollow, unhappy and dissatisfied. The most important point in setting a goal is to understand what you want to become by achieving it. The following points will help in setting proper goals:
1) Are you the one who set your goal?
This is a classic case where a system (made up of peers, friends or family) expects people to reach a certain goal by a certain time. This ask might be so strong that your entity is judged by that very same system basis the criteria that it has set. People pushed into setting goals by this trap might ultimately reach their goal only to realise that it was after all not what mattered to them. They might have missed out on other things that were more relatable and important to them.
2) Do you think that the successful achievement of the goal will make you happy?
More often than not, goals set in today’s world are objective and materialistic. The most popular amongst these goals are – buying a bigger and better house/car, having a certain bank balance, getting something extremely expensive. The quest for a bigger and better house and the amount of bank balance or any of these materialistic things might bring in a momentary happiness but they evaporate as soon as the goals are achieved. People quickly adapt to the new advantageous changes and then want more. In a very short time, all these goals become bigger and more elusive.
3) Is it leading you or misleading you?
Each individual has their own tailor-made journey. No two people will have the same environment or passion. More often than not, people set and reach goals only to realise that they have taken a wrong turn from a crossroad. This might result in either a backtracking or a longer route to reach the right destination. Under both of these situations, it is a wastage of time and energy.
4) Is it stretched enough?
Many people are confused between an action item and a goal. They often set up a small target, achieve it and then believe a goal has been met. Completing a deck, getting essentials from the market, meeting friends and family are too trivial to be considered a goal. This becomes an easy way out but does not give the satisfaction that they might have aimed for. These small action items keep popping up pretty regularly and a feeling of exhaustion sets in to see so many goals being set and met. Count only those, which are stretched enough, take some time + effort to reach and really important enough to be categorised as a goal.
5) What is more important – the summit or the journey?
Again a very clichéd question but cannot be missed out. Sometimes people just pursue their goals doggedly. They don’t breathe or take a break till they have got what they wanted. The small milestones that they crossed never mattered to them and neither were enjoyed by them. They reach the summit in due time only to realise that the journey was very steep, difficult and sometimes lonely. If every small milestone crossed was celebrated and given its due credit, then the entire length of the journey would have become an enjoyable series of achievements.
Once you have worked on all the above questions and you have been able to set ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals for yourself, sit back and decide whether the achievement of the goal will make you happy. Have a detailed picture of how you will ‘feel’ once you get there. Start the journey with the end in mind. If the picture you have drawn makes you feel good and satisfied, then reach out and get it for yourself. You deserve nothing less than genuine happiness and complete fulfilment.