Each month, Toronto Business Times solicits expert opinions on a question of relevance to the small business community. This month’s question is about goal-setting.
By Ivana Pejakovic
As the new year approaches you may find yourself thinking about goals: goals on your bucket list, achieved goals, and goals that failed over the last few years.
While you may come up with many reasons you were unsuccessful with past goals, I’ll ask you to think of a particular one.
Did you choose the right goals for you?
A common reason people drop their resolutions, even though they seem exciting at first, is that as time goes by these goals fail to add meaning to their life.
Yes, it would be great to achieve a wide range of things, but not all of those achievements would add equal amount of significance to your life.
Choosing goals that match your strengths, values and personal needs is the only way to bring meaning to your achievements and to boost your chance of success.
Stop chasing goals based on a desired lifestyle only. These goals may not match your natural talents or even what’s important to you in the long run, so they’ll quickly lose their appeal.
If you want to approach changes in your life with enthusiasm and sustained motivation pick goals that will give you meaningful results in the long term.
Use these categories to help you choose the right goals:
Strengths: Do the goals you pick typically involve improving your weaknesses, covering up your weaknesses, thinking about your weaknesses, or talking about your weaknesses? How often do you pick goals based on what you’re already good at? Goals based on weaknesses are an uphill battle. Assess your strengths and pick goals that will give you the opportunity to use them.
Values: What would you say is important to you? Your values justify the time and effort you put in to achieving your goal. When your goals are based on your values, they keep you going. Goals that overlook your values soon lose their charm.
Needs: Motivation always follows hunger. What are you hungry for? If you hunger for things like certainty, independence or spontaneity in your life, pick goals that will get you what you need. Recognize what you need to feel joy; the promise of fulfillment will motivate you to keep moving.
The new year is an excellent time to rethink your life and execute necessary changes. Psychologically, the start of the year creates freshness in your mind and is symbolic of a new beginning of life.
If there are goals you want to revisit from the last few years, ask yourself how well they match who you are. Otherwise you may get a similar result to the one you’ve already got.
Ivana Pejakovic, of LifeSense Coaching, motivates teens and young adults to approach life with desire and passion. She focuses on self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image and emotional intelligence.