By now you would have set some personal goals for the year. Even if it’s just loosely defined in your head or written on a napkin. If your goals are really just loosely defined in your head only, do the work to define them clearly and write them down. That one step alone will keep you accountable.
I suspect though, like most people, that some of your goals are dusted off ‘rewarmed’ versions of last year’s as we’re always brimming with good intentions in January, only to shift into autopilot by March. Let’s assume for a moment that history will indeed repeat itself and pretty soon, you will lose steam and good intentions forgotten. So a different approach certainly seems worth trying this year. As the saying goes – insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.
Try these 3 very different questions for a fresh approach this year –
1. How will achieving your goals give you more meaning in your life ?
Particularly for your big, bold goals; putting them through this pressure test will determine if they will truly make a difference to your life. Why are goals that are meaningful important ? Often we focus on goals that we believe will make us happier. That’s natural. I haven’t met anyone yet who wants to be unhappy. Happiness though can be fleeting. You’re happy right after you got that promotion or that new job with the fancy title that you’ve been hungering for. But that euphoria fades over time. So it can’t just be about being happy. Being happier shouldn’t be the end goal. Goals that bring more meaning to your life are more important.
Goals that are meaningful are ones that are aligned to your core values and how you see yourself. They provide a deeper sense of contentment and satisfaction that does not fade. What is meaningful to one person may not be meaningful to another. Not surprisingly, people who have greater meaning in their lives are also generally happier.
When you focus on goals that are meaningful, you are contributing in ways that are important and fulfilling to you. You also get something back, in ways that resonate with what truly matters to you and gives you a deep sense of satisfaction. As such, you will not give up easily and will keep pushing ahead despite setbacks and road bumps through the year.
2. How can you inject more fun and enjoyment into your goals ?
Let’s not discount that difficult or challenging tasks are easier to handle when they are also enjoyable. You probably know this already. So why not find ways to inject some fun into your more challenging goals.
If your work goal involves heavy travel and one of your core values is ‘adventure’, take advantage of the travel to indulge in your sense of adventure. Do one fun touristy thing each trip. If connecting with people and building strong friendships is important to you, make it a point to have an enjoyable weekday catch-up lunch with a friend as a break from a stressful work week.
Deliberately finding ways to inject fun and enjoyment into the pursuit of your goals will help you set boundaries to give you opportunities to de-compress and build your resilience.
3. Who else you can add to your ‘team’ this year ?
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn
Collaboration is the new way forward. Gone are the days when we succeed by going at it alone. And why should we ? As stated by Janine Garner in her book “From Me to We” – Great leaders know that we can do more together than we ever can alone. Regardless of whether you are running a business or working on your own personal goals, surrounding yourself with the right ‘tribe’ is essential for success.
Ask yourself who is missing in “Team You” currently ? Is it someone who can help you with new skills ? Or someone who can widen your network of contacts ? Or perhaps it’s a mentor who can share his/her experience with a similar challenge who can provide the biggest value this year. Think about who else you can add to your ‘team’ this year that will make the biggest difference towards helping you achieve your goals.
Clearly, a lot has been written about goal setting. This time however, ask yourself these 3 very different questions before you go dashing off into action-mode. Ensuring your biggest goals are meaningful and aligned to your core values, injecting some fun into them and collaborating with the right people might just be the difference that makes this your best year ever.
To discover how you can develop goals that are meaningful to you, download our FREE eBook “How to Take Your Life to The Next Level” here.