Today, I want to talk about goals, progress and happiness and how all three things are interrelated.
For me the first few days of a month are always about revisiting my goals, taking a moment to realign myself with my values and mission and then working out my plan on what I’m going to do to help me get there.
In this article, I explore why seeing progress towards your biggest life goals can make you a happier person inside and out.
Did you know?
Pursuing your goals and having something to work towards is important for psychological well-being.
I don’t know about you. But I’ve always been a very goal-focused person. During high school I always had multiple things I was working towards. Whether it was house captain, being better at a certain sport, getting good grades etc.
In university it was no different, and now as I build my business and work full time, I always have a goal I’m working towards.
Sometimes I find it hard to understand those who don’t have any goals. Who aren’t working towards anything particular. How can you not be focused on bettering yourself each and every day, even if it’s just something small?
Although some of us may be better at goal setting and achievement than others, I 100% believe to my core that both of these skills can be learned and reinforced through habit.
I love this quote from one of my favourite success coaches, Darren Hardy. He says:
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
On the same note, Tony Robbins advocates that “Progress equals happiness” and I do believe these guys are on to something pretty special.
The Science Behind It – Goals & Happiness
According to a 2007 study, pursuing personal goals gives a person structure and meaning in their lives. The research also indicates that people who make progress towards their goals have better mental well-being than individuals who lack a sense of direction or purpose.
It may not sound like rocket science, but when we achieve one of our most difficult goals it can give us the confidence, motivation and the emotional reaction we need to continue taking action towards our other goals too.
I live by this strategy every single day.
The Importance of Commitment and Consistency
Like most people, a few years ago, I used to determine my daily priorities based on rolling to do lists and knocking off quantity rather than quality.
I’d ask myself, which items are the simplest and easiest to get done today, so I can tick off as many items as possible on that list.
In my head, I’d convince myself that this method was super productive. But at the end of the day, I’d find myself feeling guilty and defeated because despite what I’d tell myself, I knew that the most important and complex task was left unticked. Have you ever felt a similar way?
It’s not that I was procrastinating. I just had my priorities in the wrong order. Since completing a productivity course earlier this year, I realised that all I needed to do was shift my focus from quantity, to quality.
And wow, that small shift of focus has significantly impacted my progress towards achieving my big hairy audacious goals. I also feel so much happier and satisfied at the end of each day.
Now I’d love you to give it a go too.
Think to yourself, what is the one biggest and most valuable thing you can do today that will help you take one step closer to your goals? What is the one thing that if you get this done without doing anything else, you’ll be happy with your achievement?
It’s amazing how simply shifting your focus to completing your high return activities FIRST and taking small steps towards your goals each day, can make you feel so much more productive and content with your life.
You will no longer have that guilt hanging over your shoulders due to not doing that one high priority task that you promised yourself you would do. Especially when the excuse for not doing it is due to completing all the “small” insignificant stuff.
Are you making progress towards your goals?
The toughest question of all.
I love this time of the year as you can clearly separate those who have been taking consistent action towards their goals, from those who were all talk and never walked the walk.
Some may have even started by taking one step towards their goal, but never actually established a routine which allowed them to build momentum and keep a consistent pace going.
Procrastination is the biggest killer of your dreams. It does more than just undermine your performance but now science reveals that it can also impact your well-being, happiness and satisfaction with life.
So, what are your goals?
Is it to travel the world? Lose a few of those extra kg’s you built up over winter? Is it to learning more about healthy eating? Or maybe to live a happier lifestyle?
Whatever it may be, it’s always critical to continue taking small steps each and every day to get there.
If you’d like to learn more about living a happier and healthier lifestyle, check out the resources below:
- Why I Quit My Job to Travel the World at 24yo - April 25, 2021
- Why Seeing Progress on our Goals Helps us Live a Happier Life - March 10, 2021
- 7 Time-Saving Productivity Tips that Can Transform Your Life - May 4, 2020