Research shows we’re not good at determining what will make us happy in the future, yet setting and achieving goals is critical to our well-being. Life coach Martha Beck offers a method for setting future goals but shows you how to experience the joy that achieving them brings today. I liked that this exercise brings me back to the present and helps me identify the elements of my life I’m happy with now. These serve as the foundation for all I strive for in the future.
Step 1: Pick your most ambitious goal. Write a sentence for it. My example (please don’t laugh!): I make a living as a writer.
Step 2: Project into the future a few years. Imagine what your life looks like after you’ve achieved that goal. I’m writing in my home office, a simple house filled with light, love, and the soothing sound of waves. I look out my office window. Jack catches a perfect little wave on his favorite longboard. At my feet, a black lab naps in a pool of sunshine.
3. Write at least three adjectives to describe how you feel in this scenario. I came up with content, secure, creative, joyful, loved, strong, humble, grateful, and purposeful.
4. Here’s the interesting part. Beck says to find something you’re doing now that makes you feel those adjectives. My projects to support low-income women achieve economic independence help me purposeful. Yoga gives me contentment and humility. When I do something unexpectedly kind for Jack or take a walk with Hobie I feel grateful and loved. Writing this blog feeds my creativity. Running the gorgeous Colorado trails gives me joy.
Try it and and let me know what you think!
- Lessons From Cloud Nine (online.wsj.com)
- Your Potential for Workplace Happiness and Success? Assessing Your Psychological Capital. (psychologytoday.com)
- 5 factors define happiness at work (casesblog.blogspot.com)
- Finding Your Life Purpose – Reveals The Real Purpose Of Your Existence (prfire.co.uk)
- Pursuing Isn’t Being: Why The Pursuit of Happiness Might Undermine Being Happy (bigthink.com)
- 21 Empirical Findings About Human Happiness (georgesaines.com)
- Thrive, What on Earth Will It Take? – Coming Soon: Global Premiere on 11/11/11 (jhaines6.wordpress.com)