Once again the calendar has turned to spring and it is the season for growth and change. It is a time to reflect on what we really want for ourselves. The winter solstice has come and gone and the days are getting longer, buds are formed on the trees and life is starting anew. It is a time to:
Set aspirations for the future:
â€¢ What is my greatest wish for myself?
â€¢ What opportunity do I want to create for myself?
â€¢ How do I want my life to be different from how it has been?
Once you have identified your dreams turn your dreams into specific objectives:
â€¢ What specific objective steps do I need to take to fulfill my wish?
â€¢ What individual actions do I need to do achieve my wish?
â€¢ What specifically do I need to avoid doing to fulfill my wish?
Specific objectives gives goals shape, ensures theyâ€™re SMART, and gets one closer to the life one wants. SMART goals are: (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).
Objectives are achieved by making better daily choices
As a licensed psychologist, I help clients understand that we create our lives every day with the specific choices we make. Sometimes, weâ€™re creating our lives with unconscious choices that are not obvious. Our daily choices determine whether weâ€™ll meet our goals.
While many of our daily choices are not important, some choices are important. If I want to become more physically fit will I go to the gym three times a week to exercise or just go home? Will I take a long walk on a dark evening in the cold rain for extra physical activity or will I just stay on the couch? Will this choice I make help me to meet my desired goal or keep me in exactly the same place? Am I fulfilling an immediate gratification, or making a choice that will help fulfill a larger long term goal? Individuals make daily choices that further their goals or keep them in the same place.
What influences the choices we make? Many unconscious choices are made from past history. We remember unconsciously and do what has been safe and easy in the past. When goals feel hard to attain we feel like giving up. We may aspire to reach out more socially in personal life and work, but fall back to familiar isolation. For example, an underlying lack of self-confidence may stem from not feeling valued by important people in the past. It helps to look at what is going on in your life on a deeper level. Understanding the obstacles can make them more surmountable. You may have to ask yourself if your goal is truly important to you or not.
We have to value our own will in our lives and not leave life to chance or unconscious influences. Have a clear vision of your own future. Set specific measurable ways to keep track of your progress to make sure that you are moving forward. Check that your individual choices are consistent with your larger goals.