If you don’t know what you want, do you really want anything?

  • Relax Your Ideas on What “Goals” Mean We often think that a “goal” has to be something big. Maybe you’ve got the impression that goals need to be about money, or success in some way that society has defined.
    Relax! A “goal” is simply something which you’d like to do or achieve.   It could be buying a house or a car,  but it could also be something which might matter to no-one in the world except you – perhaps your goal is to learn to cook or photoshop.
  • Goals aren’t things that you feel you “should” do, you should try and stay  away from goals that have been imposed upon you by other people.
  • Start With What You Enjoy We all have natural interests and passions – things that we get really excited about (even though our friends and family might be bemused). Perhaps you absolutely love everything to do with baseball. Maybe you really enjoy playing the trombone. It could be anything!
    Write down a list of five or ten things that you really enjoy. Is there a goal buried in any of them?
    What goals arise from your interests? How could your hobbies become part of something bigger and more meaningful in your life?
  • If That Doesn’t Work … Think About What You Don’t Want You might have a really hard time figuring out what they want from life. Perhaps your interests and hobbies don’t seem to lend themselves to any actual goals. In this case, try writing a list of things you don’t want. That could be things like:
  • I don’t want to be overweight
  • I don’t want to live a life without meaning
  • I don’t want a bad relationship with my partner (family/kids/etc)
  • I don’t want to work in a job I hate
  • Write down whatever comes into your mind. Now turn these around to find your goals! For example, the above list would become:
  • I want to reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • I want to have a meaningful life
  • I want a good relationship with my partner (family/kids/etc)
  • I want to work in a job I love
  • Consider the Key Areas of Life In the great book, The Success Principles, Jack Canfieldsuggests that there are seven areas where you should consider setting goals, and lists these categories as:
  • If you’re still stuck in your goal-setting, go through these seven key areas. Do you have a gut feeling that any of them are lacking or out of balance in your life? Do any particular goals or ambitions come to mind?
    You might find it a useful exercise to write down a score for how you feel you’re doing in each area (from 0-10, with 0 being “awful” and 10 being “perfect”). Look at the areas where you score low. What could you do to raise that score? What goals might you set?



1 thought on “If you don’t know what you want, do you really want anything?

  1. Good point about goals being easily made but hard to reach. I’m sure most people struggle not with making goals but with reaching them. Making a goal is like making a promise to yourself – and if your motivation is lacking, there’s no incentive to keep that promise.

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