Setting Goals For The Present, Not The Future

When you set goals for yourself, do you picture the benefits you’ll receive in a year, five years, ten years? Do you struggle on day by day in activities you don’t particularly enjoy – or actively dislike – because you want to reach a target some day in the distant future?

You might want to rethink your approach to goals, and goal-setting.

When Happiness Tomorrow Means Misery Today

How often do you try to root your happiness in achieving some future state? Here are some examples showing how goal-setting can go awry:

  • A father wants to spend time with his children, so works long hours to build up savings that he hopes will be enough for him to take a career break in a few years. Meanwhile, the children rarely see him on weekdays, as they’re in bed long before he’s home from the office.
  • An overweight woman wants to drop 30lbs. She goes on a rigid diet that involves eating foods she dislikes, because she’s convinced that she’ll be happy once she’s lost the weight.
  • A student decides to major in law (despite finding it dry and boring) because he believes that a law career will allow him to retire young and pursue his real passion – art.

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