One person had it all.
By the age of 25, he had an apartment in a big city, a secure and well-paid job at a financial institution, a girlfriend and a cat. For those around him, that’s what you usually call success.
But he was nowhere near the seventh heaven.
After some long and expensive therapy, he realized that all those hard-earned possessions weren’t what he really wanted. When daydreaming he was somewhere else – in a house on a beach, living all by himself and writing for a travel blog… well, he had a dog too.
This and many other stories like it show how important goals are. Not the accomplishment per se but the road to it is fulfilling the void inside.
We will show you many of the upsides and goal setting benefits here. And since happiness is a choice let’s see how achievements contribute to it. We’ve prepared five strategies that are actionable right away.
Measure the right way
The first one is derived from a basic rule in our system: use your goals so that you can gain confidence – take measure against what you have already done, not what’s still ahead of you.
It only looks like as if we put the horse in front of the cart. In fact, we are trying to change your perspective on the issue.
So, regardless of the end result, you will know for sure: you did all you could. You’ve met all your commitments and deserve credit for it.
How to take the 90-day measurement
This is pretty routine – at the end of every 90 days, you talk for 2 hours with your goal buddy to discuss progress.
And don’t you worry if you think these meetings are way too much effort! The return on them will be spectacular. And in no time, 3 months or so, you will be witnessing your own progress advancing few extra steps down the road. You may even break your personal record for how fast you can change.
Analyze and optimize
There are only positives in the detailed review and analysis of your objectives.
The attitude is the King here. Look proudly at your achievements and treat your past experience as invaluable opportunity to learn from it.
Any thought of prior success is a source of energy and confidence.
And what if you don’t have much behind yourself to look back to for inspiration? A careful and detailed measurement followed by a review of your actions will help you draw the right conclusions about what has been effective and what needs to be changed. You’ll be guaranteed an opening to improve your strategy and move forward with cool and focus.
But you will have this “history” of your previous experience only if you make sure to put it all on record.
Write it down
People, in general, tend to forget events gone, the negative as well as the positive ones. The best you can do to stop this from happening is to put it down “black on white” and afterwards you can always look back for renewed confidence. It will be also perfect if you manage to make it a habit of yours.
Even the smallest win is worthwhile the effort. Make a record of it anyway.
Scientific research suggests that the brain doesn’t quite differentiate between the “small” and “big” wins. Any progress in an important task, even the tiniest, has its effects upon you emotionally, motivationally and perception-wise. Therefore, every single step in the right direction brings up all the positives of feeling that you are on the rise.
You should snatch every single opportunity to recharge with self-respect!
Now we move on to the other approach – be present here and now!
Many spiritual practices highly value training in awareness of our thoughts, e.g. yoga.
For what’s known, each hatha position is a means of concentrating your entire being in the present moment and at a specific point in space.
Yoga teaches you to deal with life in its entirety and especially conflicts which are an opportunity to observe and learn something new about yourself. That is, to be happy and balanced, you must be able to look at yourself from a side. This will make you aware of your thoughts, emotions, responses.
You must be scratching your head and wondering what this has to do with the topic at hand? Believe us, it is more than it seems.
Now or never
Imagine the following – you are about to take on an important task. But your mind is somewhere else, either in the past (some stressful experience) or in the future (some worrisome uncertainty). Distractions like that don’t help efficiency and your overall productivity becomes the victim here. And these aren’t all of the traps here.
When your mind escapes into the future or the past, you are depriving the present of its realness. You surrender control, you miss on opportunities to improve and you lower your odds to avoid mistakes.
Goals and Focus
It is crucial that you are committed and fully dedicated to your actions in the now. Here’s how this principle applies to the weekly steps:
Once you make your mind in the beginning of the week you roll up sleeves and start digging it in. When you learn this modus operandi you attain the presence and awareness, the indispensable ingredients of satisfaction and happiness.
Of course, first you plan and act accordingly. And only then you analyze. But for the rest of the time, you have to be working without being unnecessarily distracted by doubts or overthinking what you do at the moment.
Enjoy the moment
There is yet another thing we easily underestimate:
It’s good when your goal is so exciting that you fall in love with working on it. It’s only natural then to focus completely on and immerse yourself entirely in the task. Be practical and use that to its fullest, be here and now and let that experience enrich your life with some extra delight.
There is some special joy in bigger and better confidence. Our third rule is about that – how having the right goals that depend entirely on you can contribute to it.
We mean not the formal contractual relationships but the day-to-day unwritten deals of mutual understanding with those around you. Or, by definition, these are the things you gave your word you’ll do.
People’s trust and attitude towards you are formed and depend on how reliable your promise is.
“Man of your word”
This is textbook one:
A small business owner was meeting a manager of a company interested in his services. The appointment was at 10am. The man was a little bit late leaving home, then he had to go back since he forgot his phone. Plus, there was heavy traffic and it was raining on top of it all. Either way, he made it around half past ten. The business lady was not there and he thought, “Great, she’s late too, no problem.” He waited for a little bit and then called her.
It turned out that she was on time but since he wasn’t she left. So he missed the “deadline” as well as the chance for a new client.
The importance of being serious
This is a perfect illustration of the consequences of such behavior. Everyone knows – first impressions last. Plus, in some societies, the delay is absolutely unacceptable. The rule of thumb here is:
When you have no punctuality whatsoever; when you’re not doing your job well and you keep breaking your promises, the result is always the same. That is, people quickly find out you are unreliable and this doesn’t help earning respect.
How about when you make a promise to yourself?
These arrangements are the toughest.
Examples abound – when you say you’ll go to the gym or you’ll be working towards your financial independence, but you never even make the first step? Then, on a subconscious level, you lose confidence and you too end up seeing yourself as irresponsible person.
Meet the deadline or renegotiate
It won’t take long to convince you.
We can’t underscore how important for self-esteem is to keep the promises made by you to yourself. In this line of thinking, make sure you carry out the actions you have committed to your objectives.
Of course, things happen and unforeseen problems are to be expected. What can you do then?
You have two options: either you meet the deadline or you arrange in advance for a new one and then you do it no matter what.
In other words, you take a good measure of the situation and if necessary change the course in time to avoid breaking your own promise to yourself.
Be careful what you promise to yourself
There is one more smart thing to do when it comes to be self-assured:
Think hard what exactly is the thing you are about to promise. When you aim at a seemingly unachievable 90-day goal, or it is such that involves other people and doesn’t depend on you, it is very likely that you will fail. This, in turn, will bruise your feeling of self-respect. Don’t let this scenario happen!
Let’s dive in deeper now. The other thing that unlocks happiness is when the chosen objectives are larger and greater than you.
“Bigger than you”
People are truly happy when their aspirations rank higher than themselves.
This idea, which has been repeatedly shown to work in numerous studies, sounds a little bit of a cliché. Perhaps it seems so because it is actually true.
Securing your own wellbeing is foremost. This alone and when done for its own sake depreciates quickly. You can excel only when aiming at things above you and your welfare. First, the loved ones, then the people immediately around you, or society in general – these are the beneficiaries of you as a decent person. Anyone who has done any good to others knows this feeling and appreciates how indispensable it is for a life guided by moral values.
Your own “why” question
There is a reason to pay close attention to Nietzsche’s words, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.
This truth has left an indelible mark in the heart of Viktor Frankl, the author of one of the 10 most influential books of the twentieth century – “Man’s search for meaning.” Surviving the Holocaust, this professor of neurology and psychiatry is the founder of a new psychotherapeutic school of thought. His “logotherapy” starts with the so called inherent “will to meaning” and then emphasizes how important is to identify the driving idea in the act of your living.
He believes that happiness is a choice and that only a purposeful life can help you make sense of it.
You are not alone on the road
All that was said till now doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of anyone.
On the plane, the emergency instructions are to put your oxygen mask first and only then save the child next to you.
Same goes on a regular basis every ordinary day of ours. This logic arises not from selfishness but from responsibility. And what’s the moral for us?
Let’s take, for example, our personal mission with the “GoalBuddy” project. It is to help as many people as possible fulfill their dreams and live a happy and rewarding life. But everything started with only two people who need that. It was us who were compelled to create a system. That’s how we helped ourselves first, gained experience and expertise, and now we are able to provide valuable benefit to others. To our great satisfaction, the cause is outgrowing us.
Finally, we come to the last approach. It is, first, to have a system of goal setting and achievement, and second, to become better and better in using it.
Become an expert in Goals
If you are here, you probably agree that the alternative to “the least resistance” and letting the circumstances be in charge of you is to take full control of your life.
Start employing Goal Buddy to its fullest and you will not only to be more effective and successful but a well-balanced and simply happier person. It is not just a set of practical and obvious tips like “Have a vision, action goals, weekly small steps, measure and analyze” … There is plenty of psychology knowledge involved as well. It will help you with fair winds and following seas in the journey called life.
Come back for the next topics on our web site! And till then, would you share with us? Which of your wins so far is your dearest? And what you consider to be the reason for that?
Thank you and see you soon!