Goal Setting

Your Annual Goals Need a Bigger Picture. Here’s Why.

Goals are, without a doubt, among the most powerful tools on the path to transformation. They clarify our destination. They focus our effort. They marshall our motivation. The result? They invite us to change.

But goals, by themselves, aren’t enough.

You can have successful days and even successful years and still fall short of a meaningful life.

Goals work best within the bigger picture of a life plan. Here’s why.

Personal Significance

SMARTER goal setting takes into account what you want. That’s important. But life planning, done well, goes further. A life plan connects you to who you are.

LifeFocus accomplishes this by helping you identify your personal values and craft your personal mission. Your values become clear criteria for decisions big and small. If a decision helps you become more like the person you aspire to be, it’s probably a good one to make.

Your mission, on the other hand, helps you stay connected with the bigger significance of your life: the why that resonates in your bones. What if you articulated your deep longings into a clear statement of why you’re on this planet? What if you kept that purpose top-of-mind so you walked with greater confidence and clarity?

Rock-Solid Motivation

Part of setting SMARTER goals is connecting to the why behind them. The bigger picture provided by LifeFocus takes this connection to motivation even further in two primary ways.

We’ve already touched on the first. It connects your goals to your aspirational identity. Your exercise goal isn’t merely about getting in shape. It’s about practicing your value of grit. Your therapy goal isn’t just about mental well-being. It’s about becoming a person who lives with greater honesty, able to bear more truth about the world and about yourself. Values, rightly leveraged, are motivation rocket fuel.

Second, your LifeFocus brings a single goal into a bigger picture. You begin to see it not as an end in itself but as a crucial stepping stone toward a life you can’t wait to live. The vision of that life will remain compelling, even when you’re in the messy middle of goal achievement.

Goal Synergy

When you know the big picture, you can create strategic connections to help your goals work together. For example, let’s say you know you want to welcome a child into your family in 1–2 years. This year, constraining your workweek and setting an ambitious financial goal could set you up to better meet the needs of that child. These goals might initially seem in conflict, but in the bigger picture of your life plan, you see how they work together.

Or, let’s say you want to be married in a few years but aren’t currently in a relationship. Delving into hobbies that will allow you to meet new people or addressing relational baggage in therapy might set you up to connect with a partner. Your life plan brings those goals into harmony so they’re mutually supportive.

Last example. Let’s say you finally want to go back to school to complete a degree next year. Working through your sleep issues and completing a reading goal this year might help you get in mental shape so you can rise to the new challenge.

You get the idea. A life plan like LifeFocus helps you set goals in support of a common vision for your Double Win. Then, you can begin to notice how to create strategic connections that set you up to succeed.

Built-In Pacing

We believe in risky goals—and encourage everyone to set several. The problem comes when your goals get so unrealistic that, together, they send you into the delusional zone. Here are a few clues you might have bitten off more than you can chew

  • You’re tempted to set more than eight goals this year.
  • You find yourself working on more than three goals simultaneously.
  • You technically have eight SMARTER goals, but you’re holding yourself accountable to substantial life changes that you haven’t turned into SMARTER goals—like overhauling a routine, quitting a bad habit, or making a financial benchmark.

In the words of Bill Gates, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Sound like you?

LifeFocus presents the solution by helping you plan for that ten-year horizon. You see all the changes you want to make in your life but have the relief of knowing you don’t have to do it all at once. This year you’ll work on your mental well-being and marriage. Next year, you’ll start pressing into your health and savings goals.

In other words, LifeFocus helps you set a sustainable pace for transformation—so you don’t become discouraged or burnt out from trying to accomplish too much at one time.

Goals are good tools. In fact, we can say they’re necessary for the Double Win—necessary but not sufficient. Life planning is the missing ingredient to making the most of them. To access greater personal grounding, motivation, synergy, and pacing, you need to focus beyond just one year. You need LifeFocus.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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