That couldn’t be done, and he did it.—
Edgar A. Guest, American poet
Those of you who did a vision for your business also set goals in my January “Kick Start Your Business” series. Here’s another look at goals on a more personal level. Setting and achieving goals is one way to increase your happiness quotient.
It’s wonderful to dream. With just a little encouragement, we can close our eyes and conjure up a whole new life for ourselves. But a dream is just a dream until we make it our vision, something we are determined to move toward. Then we have to set concrete goals and take action to achieve them, step by step.
A goal is the basic unit of life design. A goal is something reachable, not a mirage that keeps receding ahead of us. A true goal is something that will hold still and let itself be caught. It’s concrete and we’ll know beyond a doubt when we accomplish it. Goals need to be specific, measurable, time oriented, realistic and most importantly, achievable bite-sized chunks.
Many months ago, the now famous Barack Obama once said, “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress,” and we watched him do it, step by step, for a long time, against all odds. He had the (almost impossible) vision, and he accomplished it by achieving one small goal after another.
Set goals for yourself and your personal (not just business!) life, write them out, keep them visible, break them into daily or weekly pieces. That way, you’ll learn to master the use of your time; you’ll experience ongoing accomplishments and a general sense of achievement. This helps to bring with a sense of contentment (or “happiness!)
Although we often overestimate how much we will accomplish in any given day (I certainly do), we generally underestimate how much we can accomplish in a year, given just a little progress every day.
In my personal life, I have a variety of goals. One of them is to learn Chinese. I’ve broken this goal down into daily and monthly tasks: Every weekday, I will practice Chinese for 15 minutes per day. Every month, I will hire a tutor to help me with my Chinese progress. This is just one of the many personal goals I have for the year. Like little rivers flowing to a big ocean, they all help to support the overall vision I have for my life.
I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. — Helen Keller
If you have not sat down and created a roadmap for your year, review these posts on goal setting (here and here) and just. do. it. Write them down. Break them down. And, get to work on achieving them because making forward movement in your life is a valuable component to feeling satisfied, content and yes, happy.
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