Goal-Setting When You Don’t Know What You Want
Goal-setting is something you must be doing now, and always. While goal-setting is particularly helpful in your career, it’s also a great tactic in most aspects of your life. How many times have you heard that dreaded, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” But it’s amazing and motivating when you realize what you responded to that question 5 years ago, is exactly where you are now. Sometimes our goals or dreams change or evolve over those 5 years, and that’s normal. But sometimes we know just what it is we want, and the path we put into motion today will lead us directly to our desires.
Goal-setting techniques may be different for each of us, but crafting time-specific and detailed goals can help you work backwards in identifying what tasks you’ll need to complete to reach those goals. Maybe its to-do lists that really help you out; take the time each week or each day to write out your to-do list, and make sure your daily tasks are in line with your larger goals.
It’s okay if you’re not really sure what your goals are. As we age and grow we dig deeper into who we really are and what we really want. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I love to do?
- What am I good at?
- How important is/Could I live without ____ (a career, family life, travel, etc.)?
- How do I want to spend my time?
Do some soul-searching to come up with the answers. Deciding how you want to spend your life and discovering what’s truly important to you will help you better shape your goals. If the only thing you discover from this exercise is that you’d rather pursue a career with travel benefits than settle down with a family right now, consider that a huge success.
If you find your life is on a path contradictory to what your larger goals are, don’t panic. Even seemingly arbitrary experiences will help shape you as a person and give you knowledge and perspective you may not have had prior. But defining your goals will help make sure this doesn’t happen; consider your goals a road map for your life, indicting where to stay on the path, and when to veer the course.
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