Keys to Setting Life Goals

One of the most important aspects to setting life goals is determining which ones are worth pursuing.

We all have varied interests. We’re not one-dimensional beings. While this makes for an interesting world it can cause great confusion in terms of goal setting. 

You must ask yourself, “Is the value I’ll receive back going to be worth the effort I’ll need to expend in order to meet this goal?”

This isn’t necessarily easy to know and answer.

It’s up to you to think through exactly what you’ll receive in benefits upon reaching your goal. It’s also up to you to think through precisely the work you’ll need to do in order to arrive at your desired destination.

Lack of motivation often occurs because you set a goal without understanding all the steps you’ll need to take.

If it becomes clear during the process that the value you’ll receive at the end is less important to you than mustering up the energy to get there…well, that’s when you become de-motivated.

Educate yourself on the entire process from beginning to end. Ask for advice from others who have already accomplished your life goals.

When you know for sure the end result is worth the effort you’re about to put forth you’ll feel empowered to see everything through. 

Sifting Through & Choosing Your Life Goals

So how do you go about choosing which goals are most important and worth the effort?

Again, there isn’t a simple, “one size fits all” answer. Here are some ideas:

The first step is to create the time where you can sit quietly and think. Begin to brainstorm. Don’t think too hard at first in terms of editing your notes. Just begin jotting what comes to mind about:

  • What do you consider most important in life?
  • How do you define success?
  • List all the things you find exciting, fun or that you feel passionate about
  • What do you want folks to say about you at your eulogy?
  • What is your life purpose?
Use these “life” categories as guides for setting life goals:
  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Happiness
  • Success
  • Service to Others
  • Personal Development
What goals are most important to you inside those major categories? Are these SMART goals?

If you find that coming up with major life goals is hard at first then simply focus on shorter ones that you might be able to meet within the next 6 months or so. 

Moving Beyond Setting Life Goals

OK, now that you’ve identified a goal or two that you know is well worth your effort…let’s get you there!

One of the most effective ways to accomplish a goal is to think through the steps with the end in mind. This is a concept brought forth by Stephen Covey in the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

It’s a simple idea. Ask yourself what the very last step is that you’ll need to finish in order to have the outcome you desire?

Then, ask yourself what the step is that has to be completed right before that last step. 

Keep working backwards until you come to the present moment in time. In front of you will be a step-by-step guide for how to achieve that goal.

As you can see, setting life goals isn’t difficult as long as you know which ones are rewarding enough to motivate you.

Think with the end in mind, naturally build that step-by-step plan and then begin working toward that which you desire!


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