The excitement of the New Year has indeed settled in with the first month already whizzing by. Setting goals for the year is almost on everybody’s wishlist with a flurry of New Year resolutions and lists that take over the social media feeds.
Ever wondered why it is important to set goals for yourself?
Goal setting is indeed important to set your focus. But, how do you know if this is the goal you ultimately desire?
Goals are the first step we take towards our aspirations. While long-term goals are good, it's common knowledge our personality changes with time, and so do our goals and priorities. Yes, to succeed you need to have goals, but you cannot do that without knowing yourself first.
Why does self-knowledge matter to set goals? Well, truly understanding yourself offers you the route to contentment and peace, and oftentimes, happiness. You don’t have to wait for luck to shine on you. You take charge and create that luck while enjoying the journey.
Best Way to Set Goals: 5 Golden Rules to Know What You Want in Life
Know Thyself - Socrates, Greek Philosopher
To design the life you want to live and set different goals in life that truly reflect your inner calling, you need to first be on the path to self-discovery. Knowing the ‘real you’ requires reflection on your thoughts and behaviors while building that understanding of what you truly want in life.
Find out how to know yourself better and then, use effective goal setting techniques.
1) Try different activities to find your true passion
You may be in a job you hate or you may be the owner of a startup feeling clueless why you are actually doing... what you do! Well, don’t you worry! Life is not about the perfect plan that goes according to the plan - it’s about adapting to the changes that happen during the process. It’s fine to make some mistakes or fumble a bit while trying new things.
How will you know what you like unless you keep discovering your own self? (Your new attempt to learn cooking might actually ignite entrepreneurial ideas!). Get to know what truly makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and attack those goals. (Besides making you look forward to Mondays!) It’s recommended to give yourself time to get you there.
2) Self-care, and the art of looking after yourself
Look for the tiny joys in life - reading a book, playing with a pet, or a long shower! Do these things to look after yourself. Practice self-care no matter how hectic your routine is with your job, parenting, business or whatever that keeps you busy. Don’t we spend hours planning to set up goals at work? It’s time to do something for yourself.
A simple, self-care routine ensures your thoughts are clear, calm, and your focus is indeed better to work on the challenges ahead. You’ll get an improved understanding once you can look in the mirror and truly love the image you see there.
“Doing what you love makes you relax, improves your mood, and builds a deeper connection with your inner self,” says Dr. Paras, Life and Leadership Coach.
3. Build upon your core values
The life that you live today might not reflect the life you had imagined or what you truly value. The life and the current (impossible) goals you are chasing might be the result of something you have been conditioned to believe in. A deeper reflection may reveal your life is a result of what someone else wanted from you - your parents, guardians, peers, etc. Your personal values influence everything you do.
Identifying these correctly leads to intelligent decisions. Creativity, excellence, discipline, enthusiasm, and more can be a part of your core value system. Personal values can also change when you re-evaluate your life. Why do you do that particular job? Or, what draws you to this relationship? You’ll notice these and many decisions are all based on your core values.
The biggest positive changes always happen when you identify and work on your goals based on your core values. It’s important to always be self-aware to lead the life you want.
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4. Journal it, build those conversations with yourself
A blank page is the best way to begin that journey towards self-awareness. Even if you hate writing, we suggest you try something new. (You might even like it!) Journaling your thoughts helps you work on your current problem-areas and have a much-needed conversation with self. It cuts out the mindless chatter when we write about the real issues in life.
Questions such as “Who am I now?,” “Who were you then?” gives a broader perspective to yourself. Instead of being on an “auto-pilot” mode for life, you can ‘listen’ to your inner calling and work on your personal vision board to truly build and improve your goal setting approach.
5. Letting go of self-limiting beliefs
Another step to building your self-awareness levels is to release those self-limiting beliefs. What are they? Ever heard those little, nagging voices in the head that whine, “I can’t do this!,” or “I will not get that job!” All through your life, you’ve built beliefs about the world and you. Pay close attention to the way you communicate with yourself.
Happy, confident, and successful people are not always optimistic every day. They work towards shaping their thoughts the moment they stray away from their goal.
Do negative thoughts arise because someone said it to you?
Did someone say you can’t do it?
Knowing the ‘real you’ requires reflection on your thoughts and behaviors
As you delve deeper into your thoughts, you can slowly erase self-limiting beliefs and expand your horizon. It’s then, you can work towards goal setting strategies based on what you truly desire.
We rarely realize the effect we have on self and others without intentionally meaning to present ourselves in a certain way. In a similar way, we cannot build upon our goals without truly understanding what our core self is about.
With a deeper understanding of yourself, you can realize your goals, and subsequently, your dreams.
How to Set Goals in Life for Yourself?
- Make empowered decisions that reflect your choices
- Know the bigger picture - find what inspires you, align it with your purpose
- Define what you truly want
- Set specific and measurable goals
- Be accountable, work on your time management skills
Don’t wait for the ‘someday, I will achieve my goals’ day. It’s not about waiting for a change of the calendar date such as the New Year. It’s not about wishing you had done it before or how you will achieve this in the near future. You have the power to begin right now, in the present moment, once you shift your thinking process. So, start with your goal setting and get your life back on track, today.
Are you looking for a life leadership coach for your goal setting strategies this year? Write to us to connect with Dr. Paras. Interested in coaching? We have a range of life coach certification programs designed for those looking to take their passion to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How can self-awareness be improved?
Self-awareness is about being aware and monitoring your own emotions and reactions to situations in life. An open-mind, strong focus, understanding triggers, being intuitive, setting boundaries, and self-discipline add to self-awareness. Journaling and mindfulness support the process to know strengths and weaknesses.
2) How does self-awareness help boost self-confidence?
A self-aware person is focused, optimistic, balanced, emotionally stable while regulating self emotions, reactions to others. When a person acknowledges own needs, believes in self, and sets boundaries, the confidence level soars with better decision-making skills. Clarity sets expectations to create desired results.
3) What are some examples of self-awareness?
Self-awareness is being aware of emotions and their impact.
i) Check-in with your emotions
ii) Identifying beliefs influenced by others, defining own beliefs
iii) Identifying strengths and weaknesses
iv ) Journaling to manage self
v) Making time for activities
vi) Defining values
vi) Managing reactions
4) What are the 5 areas of personal development?
Personal development is a continuous process. The 5 areas are:
i) Greater mental development
ii) Balanced Social Development
iii) Calming Spiritual Development
iv) Stronger Emotional Development
v) Healthy Physical Development
When you work on these 5 areas, you see a greater impact and improvement in self.
5) What is the importance of self-awareness?
Self-awareness is essential to understand one's own needs and wants and to increase confidence while knowing strengths and areas of improvements. It raises levels of optimism as a person is able to manage their own emotions while strengthening relationships around them. It supports better decision-making skills.