We all have a number of different ways to manage our lives. We might try to avoid certain emotions, such as feeling sad . We can set short-term goals like ‘get all my work done by the end of the day’. We refer to rules for ourselves such as ‘I should never make mistakes ‘. We refer these as goals , and different goals will vary in how long they may take to achieve and how helpful they might be . Yet, if we really want to move our lives in the right direction , we need to think about what our long-term goals are.
Identifying long-term goals can be difficult. Sometimes, it might help to reflect on what is important to us and what we really value. This could be what we value in our relationships with others, the activities we choose to invest in , and the direction in which we want our lives to travel. One way to think about these long-term goals, or values , is as the settings on compass .
Following a compass setting does not take us to a specific destination, but it can guide us in the right direction.
Similarly , we can value things that may never even be reachable , but will nevertheless guide us in a direction that makes it more likely that we live a meaningful life , closer to the way we want it to be.
For example, a person may value ‘being a good parent’ and work towards that goal throughout their life. This goal is unlikely to have a specific end point, but there is certainly a sense of what is important. There may be specific short-term goals we can set ourselves that will help us live according to the values we want.
For example, taking your child swimming at the weekend (even if sleeping late often seems much more appealing)might be a short-term goal that you could set for yourself in order to work towards being a good parent. When planning short-term goals, it is useful to think about whether they fit with your longer-term goals and values, such as how you would like your life to be and your relationships with the people around you.
I will complete in article 3 soon.
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