By Shelley Levitt
Make 2016 a year of bigger dreams, better sleep, stronger relationships and less stress!
3RD CHALLENGE: SETTING LONG-TERM GOALS
Subject: Chris Libby, Live Happy section editor
Expert: Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP, author of Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide
What Chris says
I sometimes think I walk through life like Forrest Gump. I don’t really plan things; I just kind of let them happen. I’ve always believed that if you work hard, good things will come your way, and, in my life, they have. I spent 15 years at a local newspaper and a couple of months after it folded I got a call about a new magazine that was starting up. That magazine was Live Happy. As well as things have turned out, I do have a nagging sense that if I want to continue to nourish in my career and life, I need to be more proactive and begin thinking about where I want to be in, say, five or 10 years and what steps I might start taking in that direction.
What Caroline says
I get an incredible amount of pleasure out of helping people come up with goals that are closely aligned with meaning and purpose for them. Often they’ve never articulated these goals to anybody else or even to themselves. So it takes what I call “forensic coaching” we walk through their strengths and their values and explore their appetite for risk-taking.
People like Chris, who are already happy and thriving in their careers, have a head start on setting and pursuing goals. Success flows from being happy first, not the other way around. If your job is bringing you joy, as Chris’ is, it’s the ideal time to aspire to be the best you can be by identifying some big dreams.
Take your emotional temperature:
If you’re feeling blue and pessimistic, you’ll want to do a mood intervention, with daily habits of gratitude, mindfulness and savoring, before your work on long-term goals. Life is transformed when people set hard goals. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Nobody changes and grows by playing inside their comfort zone. But if 2016 is the year that you want to explore risk-taking and you’re up for some hard work.
Far from being selfish, setting bold goals for yourself is a mitzvah, Hebrew for a good deed or an act of kindness that you put out into the world.”
I’d encourage you to step outside your comfort zone to pursue a goal that’s big and intrinsic, meaning it comes from your own genuine desires, values and interests. Playing bigger and bolder is what happiness, purpose and fulfillment is all about. When you set these long-term goals, you move into an expansive way of thinking. Your eyes aren’t on your feet, they’re on the horizon. Audacious goals are energizing and inspiring, and they’re contagious. The people around you will “catch” that vibrant energy, too.
Get ready to set some long-term goals along with Chris
Identify your signature strengths by taking the VIA Character Strengths Survey. A key tool in the field of positive psychology, the free survey assesses 24 different positive traits, such as persistence, open-mindedness, leadership, vitality and social intelligence. Research shows you’ll make more progress on your goals, and be happier pursuing them, if they’re aligned with your signature strengths.
What’s more, as you move along on your three-month goal-setting program, you’ll find new ways to apply your unique strengths to whatever goals you do set.
- Read Chris’s first blog about his goal-setting challenge, here.
- Read Caroline’s 6-Step Goal-Setting Challenge, here.