A focus on goal setting – part one

When setting goals to achieve you have the best intentions at heart, but then something happens, and they are unable to be fulfilled. The need to fulfil goals comes from the expectation society places on us to achieve certain goals like buying a house, getting a good job or going to university. While there is nothing wrong with these goals, they simply may not be for everyone.

As individual as each person is, so are their goals.

With societal expected goals, people become competitive or obsessed thinking they need to achieve something they may not want – or even enjoy. As a result, this obsession can impact their lives in a negative way. You may end up missing out on something you really do value and feel more passionate about.

Values based goals are those which align with who you are, what you believe in and what you are truly passionate about. Goals made based on your values are also more likely to be achieved and leave you feeling good about yourself and your life.

The downside of being too focused on a goal you don’t feel passionate about means that your thinking becomes too rigid which leads to obsession and builds up as stress in your body. As a result, you may not only find your wellbeing suffering but your relationship with family, friends and colleagues.

Take a moment to think about why you need to achieve certain goals and who for. Are they for you or an expectation of someone else or are they what society expects you to do? Are these goals right for you? Do they align with your values and ambitions in life?

In order to achieve the goals expected of you, sometimes the things that really matter get pushed to the side. Sometimes it is not your fault that you got sidetracked away from chasing your dreams. You may come from a family where academic, sports and social goals are considered important to receive acceptance and love.

First if you are able to accept these pre determined beliefs have caused the problem the next thing to do is reflect. The following questions can help you reflect if predetermined goals have caused you to miss out on achieving those dreams you really value.

  • What hobbies or interests have you let go to focus on those expected goals?
  • Are there any activities that you wanted to try but have not had the opportunity?
  • Are there places that you dreamed of visiting but those expected goals have taken your focus?
  • Have there been friends, family or acquaintances that you have lost contact with and whom you had enjoyed meeting with?
  • Have there been any exciting events or activities that have happened in the past few weeks that you wish you could have participated in?
  • Do those goals help you bring more balance into your life?

When you have goals that are not focused on he things you feel passionate about means your brain reverts into a habitual mode. You tend to lose your drive, ambition and creativity. Setting goals that you can enjoy achieving will allow you to develop into a mindful being present mode.

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