Setting goals and going about achieving them has many benefits, yay right!
The goal setting and actioning process allows you to use your strengths, or helps you discover them.
As you make progress towards completing tasks you will feel a sense of achievement which in turn boosts your happy hormones, double yay. And setting specific and challenging goals positively motivates and energizes you. Plus setting goals improves your mental health and your personal success.
Setting goals at work focuses a team to accomplish more and is an effective way to increase productivity. But what about your personal goals?
Your goals at age 20 may be quite different than your goals at age 40, 50 or 60. The question is, whose goals are you working towards? Are you going off to study something because your parents want you to? Are you working somewhere because you feel you ‘have to’? Do you do it for success, the money, but hate getting out of bed each morning and going to work? Does what you are striving for have meaning, to you? Does it align with your values, the things in life that really matter to you? Are you living the life you truly want?
You may be an avid goal setter, or goal setting may be entirely new to you. Either way, the first thing to be aware of is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Because you may accidentally be chasing the wrong goals!
Intrinsic goals are inward focused, they are goals that have personal meaning. They are not about trying to validate ourselves to someone else. They relate to your interests and passions, or if you have no idea what your personal passions are, at least to something you like 😊
Intrinsic goals may include goals around your health, relationships, the contribution you make to your community or personal growth. If your goal is chosen by you/has personal meaning (Autonomy), is about strengthening relationships (Relatedness) or about learning or getting better at something (Competence) it is an intrinsic goal.
An add on here… when you are working towards an intrinsic goal, one that excites and motivates you, the joy will be in the doing, not so much the final achievement of your goal!
Extrinsic goals are about the ‘prize’ at the end of your journey. Extrinsic goals are outward focused; they are about trying to achieve someone else’s approval or validation – think wanting to become famous, get richer, buying more stuff or wanting to control others.
So, what is better? Is it bad to want to be rich?
Leading researchers have found that intrinsic goals make you happier and lead to lasting wellbeing.
Extrinsic goals on the other hand may lead to anxiety and depression, poor mental health, low self-esteem and generally feeling crappy about life. They don’t appear to make you any happier, or at least only temporarily.
So, will you be poor and happy or rich and crappy?
Nope, the good news is that when you focus on the things you truly value, that interest you, that get you motivated and excited, you are actually more likely to be successful than if you are not doing something you love!
So, enjoy the journey, do what you like doing, and ‘success’ will come.
PS or it may not, failure happens, things change. Sometimes things are not just up to you. Keep going! Believe, that with effort, good will come 😊
“The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.” Mark Twain