The Happiness Connection  

Decide what you want

How many important things did you get done last week?

Do you even know what important things you needed to do?

If you answered yes to both questions, I’ll bet you are a goal setter; a person who identifies what you want to accomplish and then moves toward that end.

Not only do goals help you decide what direction you want to work toward, research shows that setting goals is strongly associated with feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

They can also foster self-confidence, encourage you to exert greater effort, and create self-fulfilling prophesies.

Studies suggest you are more likely to reach your objectives if you aim high and expect to succeed. If you worry that by setting your goals high, you may put them out of your reach, let me set your mind at ease.

Research shows the critical factor between goals and feeling good is the pursuit of them, not necessarily in attaining them.

This doesn’t mean that you can set a goal to lose weight, and then sit back and munch on potato chips. It’s the effort you put into reaching your goals that makes you happy.

I like setting goals, because they nudge me into action. It is easy to think about what you want, but putting action behind that desire can be more challenging. Getting crystal clear about what you want to achieve is the first step.

It doesn’t matter whether you concentrate on your personal life, or your professional life.

Create goals that are specific and can be measured

  • Setting a goal to be happier is an example of a non-specific, unmeasurable goal. How will you know if you are happier? Are you trying to be happier at this moment, next year, generally?
  • A better example if you want to boost the happiness in your life, is to choose an activity that you know will boost your feelings of well-being like smiling.
  • For the next week when I walk the dog, I am going to smile at every person I pass. This is both specific, and measurable.

List long and short-term goals

  • Goals that can be reached soon, are known as short-term goals. Soon isn’t a measurable term, and has no specific time frame attached to it.
  • Define it in the way that suits you, and your goals best, but include targets that can be attained soon, and some that will take longer; both are important to have.

Start by concentrating on one area of your life

  • If you find goal setting difficult, start by thinking about one area of your life. Setting a goal for your relationship, family life, work situation, or health, are just a few suggestions.
  • Like any other skill, you will get better with practice.

Get started today; set a goal, and then think of one step you can take to get closer to achieving it.

Baby steps are just as effective at moving you forward as giant ones, just make sure you are taking action.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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