How can you find your goals in life

Find goals: 5 simple steps + 2 effective methods

For many people, it's a problem: finding goals. Personal goals, career goals or, in general, life goals. The big fear: You wake up one day at the age of 80 and you couldn't realize your wishes. To prevent that from happening, it's important to set clear and meaningful goals in life. We will give you examples and instructions on how to find and formulate your goals ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Finding goals: Please pay attention to this

In contrast to dreams and wishes, goals are events that we intend to achieve in the future. However, many people sit on the straight-line instict: They tend to think linearly. However, you may well find the following methods to find goals that will change shortly.

Or as John Lennon once sang: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." If the framework conditions - job, family, health - change, this often affects the goals. The intrinsic motivation is also decisive: if you define goals for yourself that do not correspond to your own ideas, but to those of others, you will not be happy with them. It is therefore important that you find your personal goals.

What goals can a person have?

First of all, the most important thing: We can give you numerous examples of what goals you can have in life. However, whether this list corresponds to your individual wishes is another matter. The following small list provides just a few examples of life goals:

  • Successfully become self-employed.
  • Run the marathon once.
  • To be married and have children by the age of 30.
  • Own your own house.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Learning a musical instrument / a foreign language.
  • Finally have the dream figure.
  • Practice a healthy diet.

Instructions: 5 steps to find goals

First of all, the most important thing: There is no one golden way. The following steps are just one way of getting your bearings.

1. Create the conditions

You have almost unlimited options. At the same time, this makes setting goals more difficult. If you want to find your personal goals, self-reflection is important. To do this, you may have to slow down elsewhere. Spend a little less time on loved hobbies, reduce appointments with friends or otherwise limit yourself. It is crucial that you take your time.

2. Let your mind wander

Finding an open approach to goals is brainstorming. Very important: turn off the inner critic. With this method it is expressly allowed to “spin around”. Write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how bold it seems. Have you always wanted to learn to dance ballet? Or would you like to hold an important office?

Everything has its place. In this way, you first collect ideas and can later formulate more specific goals. To do this, take a look at what is behind the ostensibly difficult to achieve goals: You may not really want to become a prima ballerina. But you need more exercise in your life. It may also not be a question of pursuing a career in politics next. But you want more responsibility in your job.

3. Determine area of ​​life and role

Proceed more systematically when you look at the area of ​​life in which you want to make plans from now on. If possible, free yourself from social or family norms or constraints. Only then are they really personal goals. Just because everyone in your environment is busily involved with family planning doesn't mean that it is in line with your goals. And vice versa as well. Clarify for yourself which areas of life you want to concentrate on and which part you take on in them. The areas of life listed below affect most people:

  • job and career
  • Family and social contacts
  • Finances and material security
  • Education and learning
  • Leisure and hobbies
  • Spirituality and Mindset
  • Health and wellbeing

4. Analyze and evaluate these areas.

Think about what is important to you in life. Suppose you want to make a career change. Then take a piece of paper and take notes. Is it about the job itself, i.e. about a professional reorientation? Is it about a different position, for example through a promotion? Or are you planning to become self-employed? Which sub-areas in this area of ​​life do you like, where is there room for improvement?

The negative points do not necessarily have to be related to the area of ​​life itself, but can also be caused by people. If you look at the actual / target state, you will be able to derive specific goals from it. For example, you come to the conclusion that you enjoy your current job, but unfortunately the working atmosphere suffers from having a colleague. One goal could then be to take action to improve the situation.

5. Formulate sub-goals

Some are prone to extremes. Either they can only envision goals within the next few weeks. Or the big picture will be seen in 50 years. On the one hand, the big picture is important when it comes to being clear about wishes in general. On the other hand, it can lead to the fact that we only see the big mountain and surrender to it. It is therefore helpful if you break down the really big goals into smaller, achievable sub-goals. This gives you structure and helps you keep track of things.

Find helpful methods in aiming

Just having goals is usually not enough. It's a bit like having wishes and dreams: nice to get lost in your thoughts. But that way you don't get any closer to the result. Various methods are suitable for specifying the goals:

SMART method

The SMART method helps to clearly define and implement goals. Behind this is an acronym that describes the following criteria:

  • Specific: You have a clear and detailed goal. There are no possible interpretations.
  • Measurable: Your goal is measurable and objectively understandable. In the case of intangible goals, you should try to find concrete sizes for them.
  • Attractive: The goal must be attractive to you, you must be able to identify with it. That increases motivation.
  • Realistic: Very important: your goal must be realistic. The more illusory your plan, the greater the likelihood of failure.
  • Terminated: Limit the time by when you want to achieve the goal. If you don't do it without a time limit, the risk of procrastinating increases.

WOOP strategy

The WOOP strategy works in a very similar way. The acronym stands for the following terms:

  • Wish: At the beginning there is the heartfelt desire that you want to implement.
  • Outcome: Visualize the result: What will be different when this wish comes true? How will the result affect you? From this you draw the energy for the implementation of your goal.
  • Obstacle: Find out the reasons why you haven't reached your goal yet: What are the obstacles in your way? Which personal characteristics / patterns / behaviors are bothering you?
  • Plan: Develop plans to break down these barriers.

Both methods can be clearly illustrated. Suppose you want to improve your Business English. As long as you just want to have better language skills, nothing will change. The whole thing becomes more concrete if you introduce measurable criteria, for example formulating your goals as follows:

In two years' time, I want to prove English language skills to the extent of level C1 with Certificate XY.

In order to achieve your goals, it is also crucial that your goal is realistic and that you know the obstacles exactly: If you know exactly that you won't have a quiet minute to study in the next two years, no goal, no matter how clearly formulated, is of use to you.

Test: How to find the right goals

If you want to check whether you are pursuing the right goals in life, we recommend this article (plus test) to you:

Find personal goals

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