The Importance of Goal Setting: Motivation, Not A Prison

Alright, so I just filled out a job application for a company that puts a great deal of value into the idea of goal setting. Part of the application was to fill out my personal, career and fitness goals over a short term period, a mid-term period and then long term. This inspired me to write about goal setting for this week.

While I do talk about enjoying the fact that I’m, for lack of better words, wandering in the unknown, I still need to focus on the future at hand in some way and what better way to do this then by setting goals for myself. These goals are not set in stone and at the same time they are quite generic, but it’s nice having a small path beaten out for you.

Let’s start with short term or 1 year goals.

Personal: These goals will usually have to do with relationships and your self.      Maybe you want to make a goal to make new friends, fix a relationship or begin improving on your self-image. Remember these are short term so don’t worry if  they aren’t too in-depth or serious.

Career: Maybe this means just getting a job like me. Maybe it means keeping your current job. Or it could just simply mean getting through the rest of the school year.

Fitness: You might not have any fitness goals in place at all at the moment. Now’s the time to go to the gym and start getting into general fitness. Maybe sign up for a class. Try yoga. Can’t touch your toes? That’s what the next stage is for.

Next are mid term or 3 year goals.

Personal: It’s time to maintain those 1st year goals. Keep up with friends,   maintain that image of yourself and if you feel like you might want to improve some more then keep going. You might have a significant other to factor in to your goals. This might be where you want to put that.

Career: Maybe you want to advance in your job. Could this be the time to goback to school? Maybe you’re ending school and going into the world of work. Maybe you’re starting a new degree. Where do you want to see yourself in 3    years?

Fitness: At this point you might want to be able to touch your toes, complete those difficult yoga moves, last more than a few minutes on the treadmill or bench press a certain amount of weight. Maybe try P90X?

Last are long term or 10 year goals. These are difficult to imagine. For me, this means I’ll be 29. That’s crazy. These goals for me are very generalized and contain a great deal more ideals and values than actual concrete benchmarks.

Personal: Maybe you see yourself in a longterm relationship. Maybe you’re traveling. You might have kids. For me I chose to focus on just maintaining the relationships I would have made in the past 10 years. A difficult task when     everyone has gone their separate ways.

Career: You might have no clue where you will be at this point. You might not even be sure if you’ll go back to school for a second degree or just get right into your field. Set reasonable goals that will set you along this path, but will allow you     to make a change if needed.

Fitness: If you maintained your fitness goals from the first two stages then maybe you just want to do just that with this stage. Don’t become stagnant. For those of you that are ambitious, climb a mountain.

It’s difficult for some to see themselves down the line a few years. You can’t say for certain where you’ll be. Maybe your goals and priorities will be completely different a year down the line, but that’s the great thing about goals. They don’t need to be hard and fast. They don’t need to consist of exactly what you are doing right now. Variety is the spice of life, so use these goals to change up your life and experience new things.

I highly recommend writing down your goals and putting them where you won’t lose them. Look back on them from time to time and see how you’re doing. Have your values changed? Are you on the track you thought you’d be on? Do you want to make any changes?

Anyway, now that reading week is done and I am isolated socially from my cohort, my job hunt continues. It’s getting to the point where stores should be hiring new employees so wish me luck!

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