Let’s talk about setting goals for personal development. Working towards specific goals will allow you to live your life with intention and these days, given all the unpredictability and the unknown of the world, it is imperative that you know where you are heading. Personal goals provide you with a compass because as they say, if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!
We’ve talked before about becoming your best self and even if you are struggling with any number of mental health issues, your best self is who you are despite or perhaps because of your struggles. You see, you are unique, one-of-a-kind, and so your goals should be too. The direction you are going will be different from any of those people around you.
Which is exactly why it’s important to identify and set goals specific to your life and the life you want to be living. As humans, we naturally want our life to hold meaning, we need purpose and many of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out what that purpose is.
As you learned a few weeks ago, we gain confidence through taking action. Well, the same applies for our purpose. We must take action to find our purpose. When you are sitting around just thinking about your past and ruminating on the regrets, you are not serving yourself and you absolutely are NOT designing your life with intention.
You can start the goal setting process by asking yourself some questions. What do I want life to look like for me? What needs to be different? What are my unique gifts, talents, and strengths? Who do I need to become to have the life I want to have? What habits does this new person have? What does their everyday life look like?
Engaging in a bit of self-discovery will give you some clarity as to which direction you want to go with your life. Note, that it’s YOUR life. No one else is more of an expert in your life than you are. You are the pilot. Creating personal goals assumes that you understand that you are in control of your own life and that you play a major role in making it what you want it to be.
Review the various areas of your life and think about where you want to be in that particular area. While you are indeed a whole person, it is helpful to look at each individual sphere to see where you want to go in each. Let’s look at some of the key areas that you can focus on when developing your personal goals.
Professional/Career Goals: Where do you see yourself in your occupation or your job, say, in the next ten years, or perhaps even in the next year? Where do you want to be? Will you be in the same position, in the same department? Do you want to continue with the same company or find another opportunity? Would you like to buy a franchise or try your hand at entrepreneurship?
Health Goals: This encompasses your physical and mental health. How would you rate your current health? Are there certain ailments or issues that are keeping you from being your best self? What needs to change or what do you need to do to optimize your health? What habits are no longer supporting your wellness and are there habits that would better serve you?
Financial Goals: How is your financial picture? Do you feel that you are secure and in a good place or do some changes need to happen? Do you need to get honest with yourself about where you stand? Is budgeting something that has to happen? What financial habits are not serving you? Are you saving, spending, and investing money that is aligned with your priorities?
Identity Goals: Who do you need to be to be your best self? What is standing in your path or blocking you from living your best life? Are you keeping an open mind? Are you living according to your values? Is how you are spending your time in line with your priorities? Who is in your support system? What needs to change about who you are today in order for you to be the person you want to be a year from now?
These are only some of the areas that should be focused upon when you are setting your compass. Relationships, education, spirituality, travel, and other areas can all be included when you sit down to brainstorm your goals. No matter what you choose to focus on, it is important to do something.
Write down your goals. We’ve talked before about the power of using a journal. Use these questions as prompts to get your mind going about where you want to go. Tell someone. Having an accountability partner to support you and cheer you on has been shown time and again to help one meet their said goals.
Now, you have a choice to make. You can continue doing what you are doing and maybe you are fine with that. Or, you can choose to live out your purpose but first you have to take action and just like confidence, clarity of your purpose will come as you act. Again, you are 100% responsible for your own life and if you aim for nothing, that’s exactly what you will hit. What are you aiming for?
Grab a piece of paper and write on the top, “ Goals for 2022” then start your list. How do these fit into your long-term goals of happiness and success? Who do you need to be to achieve these goals?
Don’t judge yourself or your desires, but try to write down at least three areas that you would like to improve upon. Use the questions in this post to guide you as you create goals for your life. Remember you are unique so your goals will be too. Hang your list where you will see it daily to remind yourself of where you want to go.