Did you know that there is one simple goal you can set for yourself today – and achieve it – that will boost your own happiness and make it easier to achieve your own biggest goals? It’s so small, so easy, and so, so rewarding. Wait ‘til you see what that goal is!
But first… when you’re setting a goal, be sure that you are applying the art of goal-setting so that your goals don’t backfire and end up causing you more unhappiness.
Researchers at Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of Houston found that we are happier when making specific goals that can actually be achieved, as opposed to abstract goals. Abstract goals often lack direction and a plan, and this doesn’t always just apply to the big “life goals” – it can relate to smaller, more achievable goals that aren’t clarified and believed achievable.
You’ve probably heard of SMART goals:
- Specific – know what you want, exactly what you want, and exactly what you will and will not compromise. Fall in love with that specific goal. The feeling you get when you think about it, will carry you through the challenges you’ll encounter along the way and make achievement so, so sweet! Knowing exactly what your goal is, increases happiness.
- Measurable – setting milestones and achieving them, boosts happiness (it IS about the journey, but boy do those milestones make you feel happy too!). Work backwards from the BIG goals, to yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and even in some cases hourly goals. Chunking it down like this makes even the biggest goals feel achievable.
- Achievable – stretch yourself, by all means, but not to the point where you feel it’s too much and give up (build UP to to the big stuff). Chunk your goals into manageable action blocks that you KNOW you will commit to. Remember that even 5 or 10 minutes of working on your goal every day is better than not working on it at all! The confidence you get as your skills and knowledge improve, are proven happiness-boosters!
- Relevant – although this may seem silly, ask yourself, does this goal support my other goals? You don’t want one of your goals to sabotage the others. And, is it truly relevant to YOU and your desires, or is it a goal that others have set for you (you know – like “go to college and get a good job” – while that is a fine goal for many, it may not be for you so don’t feel guilty about it). Be happy working toward goals that really mean something to YOU.
- Timely – setting a deadline will motivate you much more than “someday” ever will! And oh, the happiness when you exceed your own expectations and achieve your goals BEFORE your deadlines!