By Joyce Fiodembo
Why set life goals?
Setting life goals is the beginning of living a meaningful and happy life.
If you go through life without any plan or purpose, chances are you are going to go around in circles, and finally you’ll wonder how other people seem to have their life together and are happy while you are unhappy, -not sure of what you want or where you want to go.
To set great goals, it’s important to look at seven key areas of your life.
Use this workbook to reflect and answer the questions that affect the critical areas of your life.
What you will need:
Set aside 2 hours, get your favorite drink, a notebook and sit somewhere comfortable to begin this exercise.
Consider financial goals as specific targets you wish to meet at a certain point in time.
It could be paying off your student loans, an early retirement plan, college education for your children, or even plans to buy your dream home.
Whatever your financial goals are, setting them can be a scary thing for most people. Despite how important we consider finances, the mere mention of money has a tendency to send people into freeze mode.
Money is admittedly not a straight-forward thing to manage -but it is inevitable that we should.
By the way, you do not need to know anything about finances to set money goals. As long as you appreciate its value, then you are as good as anybody else, and you are set to start off.
Avoid looking at your plans in a form of hard numbers, regarding fixed figures. Goals aren’t set in stone, and so don’t beat yourself up if you do not meet them on time.
Let’s reflect on your financial goals:
1. Are you focusing on counting the coins and pennies?
2. Be reasonable in what you set, if need be, spread it over several months.
3. What are your previous expenses (list them)?
4. What can you realistically live without?
5. What is it you wish to achieve, can you define, or describe it?
(Is your plan to buy a car, pay off credit card loans?)
6. Do have a timeline set that you wish to apply to achieve it; have you determined how long you plan to work to hit your target?
7. What is your action plan for the target you wish to achieve?
Be open to reviewing your financial goals.
Regular reviews are a must to keep you on course.
Our spirituality connects us to our God. It is our inner connection to a higher power. This connection is what gives us faith, hope, trust and happiness.
Without any connection to God, it is impossible to be happy or to experience real joy.
The more spiritual a person is; the greater their well-being in all areas of life.
Take a moment to reflect on your spiritual goals:
1. Do you do stuff that promotes and protects the well-being of others?
2. Do you appreciate the meaning of suffering in relation to your spirituality? What lessons is God teaching you?
3. What do you understand is your connection to the world around you?
4. Have you any idea why certain things happen; is it for a reason?
5. What is the best way possible you can live your life so that you reach your highest spiritual self.
Spirituality will tone down life’s frustrations and grant you more control over your passions. Having a close relationship with God is the beginning of happiness.
The family is the strongest support structure existing on the planet. Family helps us gain balance in so many ways; particularly if it is a healthy family.
“Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.”
– Anthony Liccione
A supportive family may not agree with you or what you are doing, but they do not walk away from you when you falter. Even if you went against their advice, they stand by you and help you walk through the challenges you are faced with.
A family is something we don’t get to choose, unlike our friends. You get what you get, so it is best we make it work. A family is a social unit that includes parents and siblings. Someone described it as the place you are loved the most -yet you tend to act the worst.
When everything goes wrong, the family are usually the last left standing unflinchingly for you. That is what supportive family does for their loved ones.
1. Are you too busy to find time for your family?
2. Do you please other people over your parents?
3. What are you doing to promote your family? Remember, charity begins at home!
4. Do you appreciate your family; when did you last have a family get-together? Or buy them a gift?
5. When did you last visit your family?
(Family is not just important, it’s everything)
Even if for some reason you do not have a family, get yourself a surrogate family. It means the world to have people who are more than just friends. People you can call family. Whatever you do value family above all else. At the end of the day, a loving family will find everything forgivable and give you a lot of joy.
The relationships you form are some of the most important decisions you make.
Your relationships can cause you great joy or can be a source of grief and unhappiness.
Relationships take work. You need to know what you want out of them and be willing to work to attain it. Remember, it takes two to tango; you can’t just have your way all the time and neither can it be a one sided friendship.
1. How do you relate to your friends?
2. Do you have children, and how do they fit into the mix?
3. Do you go out of your way to make friends?
4. Are you looking for an adventurous relationship?
5. What is your idea of romance?
6. Are you looking for a long term relationship?
Your health is one thing you need to consider seriously.
A healthy life means healthy living. Our health is a factor that involves what we eat as well as our emotional and physical lives. You can’t have one without the other. Health goals are very personal, and should be accustomed to your own need.
1. What ultimate health goals do you have in mind?
2. What form of exercise are you comfortable with?
3. How much water or fluids do you take each day?
4. Do you take fruits and vegetables as a part of your daily diet?
5. How much time do you exercise a week?
Breakdown ultimate goals into smaller manageable bits and do not be too hard on yourself -and celebrate all wins, however, little they may seem.
Keep an exercise diary.
Your physical health counts for everything
Hobbies are activities we love to do repeatedly for fun. These vary from person to person, and any activity can become a hobby. They are not fixed, and so you can change from one hobby to another. Considering that they are mainly activities you pursue for relaxation or pleasure, they don’t necessarily provide you with an income. Through hobbies, you pursue interests that are not work related.
Because hobbies are usually done in your free time and generally have no financial reward, many people assume they are not worth the time. This is not exactly true. There is a myriad of benefits you can reap from hobbies.
Hobbies are a creative outlet, keeping your brain engaged and keeping you passionate about something. Doing stuff you enjoy helps you relax, calms your spirit and makes you happy.
Some hobbies can provide an income, but you have to be careful and differentiate a busness and a hobby.
Consider some questions to help you reflect on your hobbies:
1. Do you have any interests you can engage in on a leisurely basis?
2. What amount of free time do you have or can you set aside for yourself?
3. What did you love as a kid; does it have an adult version?
4. Is there anything you love doing with your friends?
5. Do you consider hobbies a waste of time? If so, can you change that perspective?
As you can see, you have no shortage of good things you can develop into hobbies. Hobbies help you better perform your job and grant you a healthier life.
Make a list of things you love that you can do during your free time and chose the one you love most and can easily make time for.
The process of education involves acquiring general knowledge, developing judgment and the power of reasoning. Education helps us learn specific skills or knowledge for our chosen profession.
Education does more than transform us into better social beings; it expands our levels of appreciation of things and life and keeps us informed and better equipped to make wiser judgment calls. It is vital to the success of your personal growth.
Education is not limited to, or defined by the certificates you attain; it also encompasses your social being which affects your happiness.
Let’s reflect on your education goals:
1. Do you have any educational goals you would love to attain?
2. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
3. Is there any way you can contribute to the knowledge base?
(The best way to learn is by giving. You can only refill a glass if it’s empty, so share your wisdom and create space to learn even more)
4. What are you doing to educate yourself in any skill?
5. What kind of reading are you engaged in and does it bring you joy?
Hope you enjoyed working on the exercises in this book.
Now that you are more aware of yourself, if you want to be happy, all you need is to Take Action.