It’s the New Year and, for many, it’s time to contemplate where life will take them next. What opportunities they’ll be provided. What challenges they’ll face. As we move into 2018, it’s good to understand the concept of goal setting and how it can affect your ability to live a joy-filled life.
From the moment we are born into this world, there’s a list of predetermined goals waiting for us. From our first step and our first word, to our graduation from school and our first job, and it continues on throughout our lifetime. And, with each of these benchmarks, our desires, coupled with the expectations of those around us, bring about new aspirations. It’s a normal part of progressing through life.
By definition, a goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed. In a positive light, goal setting can help propel you toward a desired outcome by encouraging forward motion. Giving you the nudge to take action, rather than sit on the sidelines. Encouraging you to fully participate in your life story.
However, the act of goal setting can sometimes indirectly instill the belief that happiness isn’t achievable until you’ve reached the point of accomplishing that objective – suggesting that happiness can’t be enjoyed until you’ve arrived at a specific place, or state of being. Taking action and moving forward are necessary in the process of manifesting the life you desire. However, you can’t allow yourself to become too focused on what lies ahead, at the risk of delaying happiness and contentment. Instead, it’s important to fully engage in the one thing you have total control over, which is living completely in the present moment.
At this time of year, all too often, people place lofty goals by adopting New Year’s resolutions, such as, I want to work out regularly; I resolve to eat a healthier diet; I intend to go back to school. They can become so fixated on the end result, that their life doesn’t feel complete without it. Then, whether or not the goal is reached, each day leading up to that achievement can be spent moving along with blinders on, never really drinking up the experiences along the way.
The important message I’d like to convey is that life is, and should always be, about the journey. Goal setting is good, but not at the expense of giving up the opportunity to fully appreciate the people, places, experiences and challenges along the way. When you’re truly able to balance living in the moment with moving toward your goals, you’ll avoid missing out on all of the beauty that life has to offer. Then, whether or not those goals are reached, your days will be filled with joy and contentment. I wish you all a happy, healthy and abundant 2018!