When you set goals for yourself, do you picture the benefits youâ€™ll receive in a year, five years, ten years? Do you struggle on day by day in activities you donâ€™t particularly enjoy â€“ or actively dislike â€“ 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 theyâ€™re in bed long before heâ€™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 sheâ€™s convinced that sheâ€™ll be happy once sheâ€™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 â€“ art.
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