Is setting goals worth it?

After the last two podcasts I have had a few people tell me that after getting into meditation and also doing the Dr Dolittle talking to animals exercise that they had had some insights about there need to change there work roles and in one case their entire life. This then turned into conversations about goal setting and decisions about setting the goals. Normally the traditional time for making life altering decisions is New Year. I guess that for many coming out of the Covid restrictions is like a New Year of maybe a new life.

  • Do you have a goal in life?
  • If you do has it changed or altered because of Covid?
  • If you do have a goal how did you decide on it or discover it?
  • If you don’t have a goal would you like to have one?

For many people their new life goal seems to be about being able to leave a legacy to the next generation. That might be because they want a lasting memorial and don’t want to be forgotten. While some want to ensure that their kids get the best that they can give them. I guess that all goals are worthy as long as they don’t hurt others. Through, it helps to make the game of life and your goals fun.

My goal is that I want to arrive at the end of my life with a smile on my face, I think that is  a good goal. I recon that if I am smiling at the end it would suggest that the journey has been pretty good, and that is the point. Goals are all ok but if we only focus on the end point we can so easily miss the enjoyment of the journey.

A goal is, by definition, the end of a journey. It could be that from that ending  could be other new beginnings and new goals to aim at.  But, any goal that we are aiming at is an end point, a conclusion. And yet the goal itself may represent only the smallest part of the journey. It is the journey that is the bulk of the experience that is what really counts.

So why have a goal at all?

For me a goals are good. They give purpose to the experience of being alive. So I will have a goal for the day. It may that my goal is to do nothing, but then to actively do nothing is actually doing something, if you see what I mean. Goal setting does not mean that we have to engage in endless activity. It may be that we are aiming at doing and working less and chilling out more and learning to relax better.

Often I will see every day as this blank cheque of time. We each have 1440 minutes in the next 24 hours all to be spent however we wish – wonderful. I try to split my day into segments there is the small pre breakfast segment that is a good time to go running, do yoga or meditate. The morning segment takes me through to lunch time, the afternoon segment through to tea time, the evening segment and then the night at bed time. I often set myself mini goals to achieve in the different segments of the day. It can be good to have an agenda or a list.

Goals can be bigger events. I have week goals, month goals, year goals and so on. These are not things that are written in stone they are things I would like to achieve or get done. If I miss the deadlines or decide to dump or change a goal that is fine by me. It is all a part of the game of life and, for me, it has to be fun.

Often a goal, once set, happens in a time line. The time line defines the process and the sequence of achievements that lead to the ultimate goal. If you think of a goal as a chain that is spread from the present moment to the point that you wish to get to, then the chain is composed of links. Each link is a step in the journey to the goal. If the goal is the top of the mountain then the journey is the chain. Each step that we take is a link in the chain. If we achieve all the links the we complete the chain.

Why set goals?

Human beings are energised and motivated by having something to achieve. There is enough evidence in medicine and neuropsychology to confirm that those of us that carryon learning throughout life, however old we get, stay younger and fitter for longer. Those that do not have goals and become static with no motivation go into decline and they get older quicker. Goals create purpose direction and meaning in life, without goals life can become meaningless. 

A goal can be big or small

Be happy, set goals. Remember that New Year will soon be here. Now, there’s a good time to set some new goals.

Take care

Sean x



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