One of the ways that we find contentment in today’s world is to set goals for ourselves and, ideally, achieve them. We try to make some specific amount of money, or visit a specific country, or read a specific number of books. Goal setting may even be part of therapy, as we work together to find and create goals that make sense for your core values.
Goal setting is both admirable and important, and giving up on goals or failing to complete them can be a source of unhappiness. But one issue that can arise is believing that the goals we create now are critical for our happiness in the future. Goals are important, yet what is also important is adaptability to the changes in where we are in life, who we are in life, and what we really need to be happy.
Our Goals and Our Lives Change with the Seasons
When you were a child, you wanted to grow up and be an astronaut or a fireman or the President of the United States. At the time, even without realizing it, you set a goal. Then you grew up. Life taught you more about who you are and what you wanted to achieve based on your life experience.
We look back on our childhood and we know that times change. The dreams we had as kids are (probably) not within our reach, and we are not the same person that we were in our youth. But, as we become adults, many of us start to think that the goals we have now should be treated as some type of necessity. Now that we’re adults, we start to convince ourselves that this is who we are, and our goals now are the only goals we’ll have that will make us happy.
The truth is that we are always changing. For example, in our college years, we may have been focused on finding a job that made us more money. Then we got a job and our goals could have changed to something like having children or spending more time with our families. Our life changes all the time. Our goals need to be able to change with it.
Seeing and Assessing Our Personal Goals
Our life goals are not meant to be static. They change regularly, even if you do not achieve the goals that you originally set. We are always growing and changing, and while we may still hold on to some of the goals and dreams we had in the past, we also need to be willing to reflect on who we are and what we really need to be happy. If we hold onto our past dreams, and do not look at what will make us happy in the now, then we’re going to miss out on opportunities to make ourselves happier that are more in line with who we are in the moment.
So while we should have goals, and we should work hard towards those goals, it is also very important to remember that our goals can change as our circumstances do. There is nothing wrong with seeing our goals as temporary – writing them with a pencil, and not a pen – and reviewing where we are now and what we really want to achieve. If you need help with achieving your goals, contact Flourish Psychology, today.