Exploring Your Life Goals

WHY ARE GOALS IMPORTANT?

Living a meaningful and purposeful life requires that we have goals and structure. But schedules, routines, and structure may generate some discomfort, frustration, or fear. This is to be expected.

Holding ourselves accountable and setting expectations generates fear and anxiety because it means there is potential for failure and disappointment.

But remember, failure is an event, not a person.

And it’s okay to have failed. Actually, it’s necessary…it provides us the opportunity to grow. The fear associated with taking initiative and accountability is another sneaky tactic used by that annoying inner voice that’s constantly trying to “protect” you by keeping you stuck in the rabbit hole. 

Don’t get discouraged by that inner voice in your head that’s probably acting up right now.

It’s probably saying something like: 

Where do I start?
How do I start?
What is the first step?
Will this even help me?
What do I do first?
How many times should I do it?
How long should I do it?
Do I have to do this?

That annoying inner voice is trying to taunt you and stall you from achieving any forward movement. It’s trying to get you to compulsively seek certainty instead of leaning directly into your fears.

The simplest strategy is to remember that every act of embracing uncertainty is an act of defiance against that voice. 

Let’s act defiantly against that voice and formulate some goals!

EXPLORING YOUR LIFE GOALS

Meaningful goals can give direction to your life, highlight your most important values, and give a sense of purpose. This activity is designed to get you thinking about your short term and long-term goals in different areas of your life.

General Tips for writing goals

  1. When thinking about 5-year goals, ask yourself how you would like your life to look in 5 years. Then, think of your 1-year, 1-month, and 1-week goals as steppingstones to that 5-year goal.
  2. You’ll start more general with the 5 year goals. But as you write more short-term goals, they will become more specific and structured (the next tip explains what this means).
  3. When writing weekly or monthly goals, be sure to write goals that are measurable. For example, instead of “eat healthier” make a goal of “eat a vegetable with every meal.” Instead of “get fit” make a goal of “exercising 3 days per week.”
  4. Choose goals that are within your control. For example, “get a promotion at work” requires others to act. However, “take an additional online course to improve my professional skills” is in your control.
  5. When planning each of your goals, it is important to also consider any foreseeable obstacles and potential strategies for overcoming them

Complete the exercise below. When complete, you will be able to download your responses. Do not refresh the page or exit the browser or your responses will be lost. 

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TASK 6: THE VOICES

  • What was your internal dialogue like?
  • What were the voices in your head saying?
  • Were they mean? Were they positive or negative?
  • Describe what you noticed.

TASK 5: THE SOUND

TASK 4: THE SIGHT AND SMELL

TASK 3: THE TASTE

TASK 2: THE TALK

TASK 1: THE WALK

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