The concept of life plans can be so overwhelming and complicated that many of us simply choose to settle. Instead of setting realistic goals and planning clear strategies for achieving those goals, they opt to give in to the notion of a constantly changing and unpredictable life. Although it’s true that there’s no way we can know what the future holds, and that we do not have control over everything happening around us, this doesn’t mean we should ignore the importance of setting life goals!
If you’re intimidated by the process of effective goal-setting, don’t be. Here are some easy steps you can use for establishing realistic goals:
What are the things that can make you happy?
You need to be honest with yourself as you make a list of the things that make you happy. You shouldn’t limit your answers to those activities that you’re good at. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at it, as long as that activity makes you happy, include it on your list.
Try to think broadly. Perhaps you are someone who enjoys playing an instrument, sewing, or even reading. Ask yourself what things motivate you. Think of an activity that does not bore you. They should be activities that you could be happy doing every single day. Be honest and be realistic.
What are you good at?
What are your specific strengths? If you’re not sure what your strengths are, you may ask other people. Your strengths are not necessarily those things that you enjoy doing. For instance, you don’t really enjoy cleaning your car, but when you do, you can really do it well and seeing the result of your effort makes you satisfied.
Try to think of activities that make you proud of accomplishing. You shouldn’t worry about seeming conceited because being aware of your skills, talents, and strengths is necessary for your personal growth. Keep in mind that if you’re good at doing something, you need to give yourself credit for it as well.
What is it that can make you do something every single day?
Once you have figured out your traits or attributes, and your desires, the next thing to do is imagine yourself doing that thing every day, and even making a living from it. If you believe that it’s possible, then you should identify what you need to make it work. Do you need more experience? Professional training? Qualifications? Workspace? Materials? Whatever it is that you need to get started, write them down.
Try not to overthink things so that you will not be overwhelmed by what you need to do to set goals. Start where you are right now, and focus on what you want to become tomorrow. Successful career planning doesn’t happen overnight, and you need to have the patience to ensure you’re building your career one step at a time, beginning with goal setting.
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