This is my answer to wikiHow’s question: How to pick the right goals in life, and achieve them!
Many of us have experienced the brief satisfaction of achieving a specific goal, be it when acquiring a new thing, running a marathon, or getting a promotion. These achievements may bring bliss for 2 days, but then we become disillusioned and eager to find the next goal to strive for. It can feel like running on a hamster wheel.
Research has shown that what most of us desire — more money, power, status, or pleasure — only brings temporary satisfaction. By contrast, a consistent sense of well-being comes from becoming aware of and appreciating what we already have or what we are experiencing in the present moment.
So how do I avoid brief satisfaction and focus on long term well-being?
Here are 5 steps to help you choose better goals and live a more fulfilling life.
1. Start with WHAT you think you want.
Write down what you want to be, to do, or to have?
For example, I want to quit my job and work for a non-profit organization.
2. Write down WHY you want it.
Imagine, how would you feel once you have achieved your goal?
For example, I will feel connected and purposeful.
3. Find out what moments or experiences in your life make you feel that way.
Ask yourself – When do you feel connected and purposeful? What activity brings about this feeling?
For example, I feel connected and purposeful when I reach out to people and get involved with local communities.
4. Carve out more time and space for those activities.
In this case, I will look for more opportunities to volunteer for a good cause or participate in community activities.
5. Come back to step one and adjust your goal.
For example, after this reflection, I may or may not be able to quit my job to search for meaning now. But volunteer work could give me the experience or connection that I need to transition to a non-profit organization. So, instead of beating myself up for not quitting my job sooner, I would adjust my goal to become an active participant in local communities.
Engaging in this process is important as most of us are online 24/7 these days. Without taking some quiet time to contemplate, we lose touch with ourselves and what we truly want in life…(Watch the full video here)