Goal Setting and My Happiness Project, Part 1
April 11, 2011 Leave a comment
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the age old question, “Where do I want to be in 5 years, personally & professionally?” Like I said before, impending fatherhood has a tendency to make you think about all sorts of stuff that is typically “easy” to avoid. That, in combination with some changes likely in my professional world, is leading me to dig a bit deeper in this area. Some of my thinking on this subject has also been influenced by a book I recently completed titled The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It’s a tedious read, but its a story of her 1-year project to identify and document those things that bring her happiness, joy, satisfaction and engagement in life and also to identify those things that bring anger, guilt, boredom and remorse. Out of this exercise comes a set, again documented, of resolutions to pursue and principles that guide her actions broken into monthly objectives over a 1-year period. Gretchen is quick to point out that you don’t have to be unhappy to embark on a Happiness Project, rather its an explicit and written attempt to identify and focus on those things that already bring happiness in your life and to minimize those things that don’t. I’m at a great place in life right now with a new and wonderful wife, a baby boy on the way, but this seems like an interesting experiment and a way to get committed to some life planning. In fact, by sharing my plans to do it here, I’m already committed!
I posted recently about training for a difficult cycling event in May that is requiring a disciplined, daily approach to executing against a documented plan in order to successfully achieve the goal. For this type of fitness or event training, I’m typically very diligent, disciplined and ultimately successful. Interestingly, I don’t always apply this same goal-oriented approach to other things in life, both personally and professionally. But is it any different? Having a goal or objective, no matter what its nature or time frame would likely benefit from this type of planning, right? When I tell people that I’ve completed an Ironman Triathlon, they often say “I could never do that” and I always respond that ANYONE can do it, not tomorrow or the next day, but six months or a year from now with a detailed roadmap that starts easy, yes you can.
So this post is a setup to several more in this series –
1. My process for identifying 5-year personal goals
2. My development of a professional plan to achieve 5-year career objectives
3. My Happiness Project
As Yin to my Yang, Renee reminded me after reading a previous post that life shouldn’t only be about planning for the future, but also living in the moment and enjoying life as it comes. Yes, brilliant, I agree! So I’ll commit to “Living in the Moment” being one of my Happiness Project resolutions.
Bear with me, there’s work to do here!