About the time I entered the “adult” world, I started to feel pressure to set goals in life. The kind that tells myself and other people that I have a plan of some sort. A vision for what my life will look like.
There was just one little problem, I had no idea I had no idea how to go about… well anything.
I knew setting goals got a bad rap for a very real reason but I also knew that there were people out there who were setting goals and accomplishing them successfully. I didn’t know how they did it but I had a very real desire to know
Can you relate?
Truth be told, sometime shortly after I graduated college and got married, I was a mess in life.
There was a part of me that felt I had no reason to get out of bed in the morning and honest, there were many days I didn’t.
I knew what I wanted my life to look like but I had no idea how to get there. It was awful.
There was a whole thing that had led me to be at that point: Josh had deployed three weeks after we got married, I moved to an entirely new place where I knew no one, and I didn’t have a job despite having this awesome degree I had just worked so hard for.
That’s just the gist of it. There was a lot that went into it but at some point, I think a small part of me had given up for a bit.
Given up on the idea that I could be happy right now… that was something that would happen in the future when my life looked the way I wanted or I finally got that thing I’d been waiting for.
Given up on the idea that it was worth the effort… life would just hand me another crappy hand of cards.
Given up on the idea that I was good enough…. What made me deserve the life I wanted?
I’m really not sure what it was, but one day I woke up and had just had enough. I have no idea what triggered it or what I even did that day.
I just remember I woke up and that was it. Things were going to be different.
Since that day, I’ve scoured the internet for countless hours looking up “setting goals in life” and “intentional living tips”. I’ve read many many personal development books and listened to hours of podcasts.
I learned that like everything else in life, setting goals effectively, is a skill set. One that comes naturally to some, and leaves others having to work at it but the great thing about skills, is that it’s something anyone can work on improving if they want to.
It’s been a few years since I had that day and I can tell you, my life is completely different now.
Which is why I’m sharing 6 ways my life has completely changed since I started setting goals in life below.
Change 1 – I Finally Had Direction
Over the years, I’ve come to the opinion that most people have the wrong mindset when it comes to setting goals in life and that’s why they struggle with them.
People view setting goals in life as something they have to live up to and accomplish or else they are failures. As if their goals are shackles and they’ll only be set free if they achieve them.
They are also usually under the impression that their goals have to be these huge grand things that prove their success.
The truth is that when you set a goal, the process in which you set it, should give you a guided map of sorts. It’s not meant to be something that’s binding. It’s just mean to help give you direction on your journey.
A goal set effectively, will have a plan of action to go with it. That plan is your reference for daily life. The thing you can go to when you’ve missed a step or aren’t sure what to do next.
Setting goals in life should never be oppressive. It should only guide you on your way to your dream.
Or in my case, give me direction in life and a reason to get out of bed.
Change 2 – Setting Goals Empowered Growth in My Life
Setting goals in life helped me grow in areas I never expected.
As I sought out resources to help me with my goals, I also learned to prioritize. I let the unnecessary things fall away and I simplified my life.
Doing so, both revealed things in my life that needed little adjustments and simply auto adjusted other areas that fell in line with whatever I was working on.
This part came as a very pleasant surprise. Along the way, I learned that when we aren’t growing in life we are stagnant.
I don’t know about you, but I never want to look back on my life and see that I was stuck in the same place, the same mindset, and at the same skill level for years.
I’m all for being myself, but I love the idea of always being the best version of myself. As I increase in life, the best version of myself exponentially increases as well.
I also love how setting goals helps me have visibly measurable growth in life! Growing is a foundational part of being an adult.
Related Post: How to Have a Growth Mindset as an Adult
Change 3 – My Quality of Life Improved
When I started to set goals, I also started to prioritize things in my life. Focusing in on the things that mattered most to me, allowed me to be more intentional in those things.
This is where a big part of the simplifying in my life took place. As a result, I got more done on a regular basis because I didn’t feel like I was running around trying to get just a little of everything done.
You see, my life quality improved, because I was getting more of what I cherished in life and less of the things that were just extra noise.
I focused on the important things and the important things rewarded me with improved quality of life.
Change 4 – Setting Goals In Life Clarified My Vision
We all have a vision for our lives but we have so much going on these days, getting to it feels impossible.
It did for me anyways. More than just impossible was that it metaphorically looked really blurry because I was allowing so many things to block me from it.
When I set goals and made an action plan, my vision for my life became much clearer.
This isn’t to say, I know exactly what will happen in my life, because I don’t. This is not a way for my to tighten a grip on the control factor everyone wishes they had for their life.
It just means, I knew who I was and where I was going a little clearer than before.
It’s a good feeling.
Change 5 – Setting Goals Saved Me Time
Setting goals in life helped me create an action plan that saved me so much time. I no longer spent countless wasted hours wondering what I should do.
I knew what I wanted to do long term, I knew what I needed to do short term to get there, and I knew how I needed to spend my extra time to help me with my goals.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t and still don’t spend every waking hour actively working on my goal.
But when a moment arose that I needed something to do, or wanted to work on achieving my dreams, I knew exactly how to go about it.
Change 6 – I Feel Like More of a #Adult
The fun one!… I felt like more of an adult!! Which isn’t exactly easy, you know?
Have you seen these mugs yet? I think it appropriately sums it up and we definitely all need one for those kinds of days!
It’s painfully hilarious only because it’s so spot on accurate at times. Like seriously, has being an adult always been this difficult cause it looked super easy when I was a kid…
I found that when I started to set goals in life for myself, it helped me fine tune my decision-making skills in many areas of life. I went from feeling at a loss and wanting to call my mom every five minutes (please say I’m not the only one) to feeling confident that I was making the right decision.
Learning to set goals in life will leave you feeling more prepared for certain circumstances in life. I suppose that is because decision making is another one of those pesky skill sets. When you set goals you are making solid decisions. The practice you get from that can help in other areas of life too.
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Thanks guys for a fresh new start!
Hi Kay, we’re so glad you found this article to be helpful!
Great article, thank you for sharing.
You’re welcome, David! Glad you find the article valuable!
I’ve been reading a book recently that discusses the benefits of applying systems over goals. For some reason, people get overwhelmed by goals. But applying daily systems to your life can help you reach those goals by making them feel more manageable. Good post!
Hey Patrick, We definitely believe in the power that creating habits/routines/systems has in a persons life. We have found it to truly be life-changing for us and we do talk about it throughout our blog. I can see how goals make people feel overwhelmed, but really, so can anything in life if you don’t have the right method or tools. Success in anything is just about finding the correct process! Sounds like you are on the right track with your book 🙂