Everything You Need to Know about Goals (Part II): Living a Fulfilling Life

by - February 26, 2018

Last time in Daily Motivation we learned how to reflect on what we want in life and to identify the values that would help us set goals and then accomplish them. And now that we know how to achieve our goals, we can move on to understanding why they are so important. In this second instalment of the Everything You Need to Know about Goals series, we're going to explore the unique benefits of short-term and long-term goals and shed some light into why they both form an integral part of not only your professional, but also personal growth. We're going to find out how they can help us live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Think of a goal you want to accomplish in the near future. It could be right this minute, tomorrow, or even a couple of weeks and months from now, but still try to keep it within the time frame of a year. Short-term goals add structure to our day and give us a dose of instant gratification once we complete the tasks on our to-do-list or finally see a month-long project to fruition. We often don't consciously think about setting them, because they're part of our routine, yet these goals actually contribute to bigger, long-term goals. Perhaps every day you drink at least two litres of water. It's not one of your planned or written down goals, yet you do it, because you want to have a healthy lifestyle, which is ultimately one of your long-term goals.

We have the tendency to overlook the short-term goals as we focus on the greater picture, but they have their own uniqueness that we can miss benefiting from as we're always in a rush to jump onto the next one, without completing the first. After you set a short-term goal, savour the moment of working on it. Don't think of the one that follows, whether that's today or next month. Just focus for a minute on the one you have now and be aware of how it feels when you achieve it. Then you will be ready to properly move on. Isn't it good to give your attention to one thing only for a change rather than always thinking of the next?

What about next year? What are your goals going to be? And the next two, three years? Long-term goals work a bit differently from short-term ones as you've probably already noticed. It might be easier to come up with a goal we want to accomplish next week, but when it comes to thinking months and even years in the future, we can easily become overwhelmed. I know, it's not something all of us can do at this point of time. Each of us are in our individual stages of life. Some of you might have your future planned out up to the greatest detail, but also there are those of you who are figuring things out. Not to mention there are people who don't like planning at all and go along with the moment. Whatever your way of thinking is - that's great. If you're happy with it, there's no need to change! A key thing when it comes to outlining the trajectory of your life in the future is to take your time. Don't rush anything. Know where you want to go, know where you want to be, but if you don't know yet - then that's exactly what you should be doing and this is part of the process of finding out. That's your long-term goal for now, so clear out the doubts and let go of the expectations. 

Long-term goals are good for our mental health and well-being, they provide direction in our life and help us align our actions with our dreams. They serve as a reminder of what our values are and what we want from life.

Fulfilling your everyday or monthly goals gives you the boost of confidence you need to believe in yourself and your abilities. This way you are not only working towards your long-term goals, but also you know that you are going to achieve them. Your self-esteem expands as you make your way through short-term goals that may otherwise seem small or insignificant to you in comparison with your dreams that require years to fulfil. And don't underestimate the power of believing in yourself. It may sound clichéd, but it's intensely effective when it comes to attaining anything in life. If you believe you can - you are halfway there. But if you lack the confidence in yourself, you may end up in a spiral of questioning, delaying and never taking the step to action. It's true that we rely on the encouragement of others and their support in order to move forward, but don't forget that you need to believe in yourself first, so then others can too.

You can easily see how the process of setting goals has a very clear contribution to our professional development. However, we often neglect slowing down and paying attention to the delicate link between goals and personal growth. Goals come from what we value most and what we want to achieve in life, but this doesn't limit their purpose. We change, adapt, and grow with our goals just like our goals change with time. At this point in time we believe we want to do X, Y and Z, but as our life progresses, we may find ourselves no longer needing X, Y and Z, but something else entirely that hadn't even crossed our minds before, because we are not the same people as we were back then.

Allow yourself to set goals and strive to accomplish them of course, but also trust yourself that if things change, you'll have the strength to accept what it is and continue your journey. There's no doubt that fulfilling your dreams can be an amazing feeling, but sometimes we learn much more in the process. Not getting what we wanted and worked so hard for can be painful I know, but don't let it define your actions afterwards and stop you from setting new goals. There's more to life than achieving what you believed you needed and we almost never see it that way then, but eventually the realization comes. And when it does, we'll know that we've grown for the better.

I hope you enjoyed our two instalments of these series and you are now ready to conquer everything in your way! If you've got any questions, drop me a message anywhere you like and I'll be happy to provide more information! Have a wonderful day.

In Daily Motivation we will lead the fight to stay motivated, whether it's about your job, the boring tasks you have to deal with, the workplace-built intolerance, finding the strength and time for your real passions, follow what truly makes you happy, or just live and wake up without the daunting feeling of having to go through another rushed day.

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