Plan for, and achieve your goals. It will make you happier. The sense of direction and control in life are tightly correlated with feelings of well-being and high self-esteem.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway
Earl Nightingale, the father of self-help industry and author of The Strangest Secret said once that happiness is “a progressive realization of a worthy ideal or goal”. I think there’s something to it.
When you wake up in the morning, and you know that today will bring you closer to your dreams, you instantly have more zest for life. When writing down your objectives, you idealize and imagine the bright future before you.
When you have a list of short-term and long-term goals you tend to live a more meaningful life.
Here are the ways in which goal setting helps you achieve more happiness:
1. Write down your goals and take responsibility for your life
Take the responsibility for your actions. Don’t let your life be driven by chance. It’s related to the locus of control theory in psychology. The more control you feel you have over your life, the more positive and optimistic you’ll feel.
Achieving your goals also gives you another, more immediate benefit. Each time you realize your objective, you feel like a winner. Your brain releases endorphins. That gives you positive reinforcement and motivation to dream even bigger.
2. How to set goals and feel happier
Set your goals and start achieving them. There are numerous guides about how to set your objectives. The masterpiece on this subject is a book called “Goals!” by Brian Tracy. I would recommend it to everyone who wants to get more results in a shorter time.
3. Goals and work satisfaction
Do the work which is congruent with your strengths and desires (or, do what your love to do)
We spend most of our waking hours at work. It is at work where one of the biggest battles for happiness is being fought. The more you use your strengths, the more engagement and work satisfaction you will have. Also, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do what you love every day. Life’s too short for drudgery.
“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” – Jerome K. Jerome
After doing a survey among thousands of workers, researchers from Gallup Organization pointed out twelve elements that constitute a salubrious workplace. In the words of employees, these are:
- “I know what is expected of me at the workplace.”
- “I have the materials and equipment that I need to meet my responsibilities.”
- “I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day at work.”
- “I got praised for a job well-done during the last seven days.”
- “My supervisor or someone else at work has a personal relationship with me.”
- “At work, I have someone who encourages my development.”
- “My opinion matters at the place of work.”
- “Mission and vision of my company cause me to regard my work as important.”
- “My co-workers are determined to do a good job.”
- “I have a best friend at work.”
- “During the last six months, someone talked to me about the progress I’ve made at work.”
- “During the last year, I had opportunities to develop and learn at the place of work.”
Can you say that some of these statements mirror the situation at your workplace? You should strive for that ideal. Above all, identify your strengths and do the tasks that correspond with them. Setting this as a goal will be a game-changer for you.
Unfortunately, most people in today’s workplaces are disengaged and plainly bored. It comes mainly from the lack of skill of the managers. If that’s the case in your company, consider changing jobs. Take responsibility for your situation. You can change it. Strive to do the best with what you have, or get out of the situation that’s hurting you.
4. How to set objectives and be happier at work
Identify your strengths. The best way to do that is by reading “The StrengthsFinder 2.0”. The book enables you to take a test that will uncover your “signature strengths”.
Do some introspection. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be? Are you doing it right now? If not, set it as an objective.
Identify roles and tasks which correspond with your strengths. Try to structure your workday so that you spend most of your time on tasks that give you satisfaction.