Setting Goals and How Not to Lose the Plot

Setting goals for the New Year is what most people do around this time of year. And even though this is not the only time of year set out for setting goals, it is always important to know what goals are for and how not to get lost in your pursuit of your goals.

setting goals, determinationWhen Setting Goals, Put the Important Things First

Roger’s father always pushed him aside, making him feel that he was not good enough. Day after day his father would be working in the windmill, never paying much attention to his son. Seeking his father’s attention, Roger left school and started working alongside him.

This didn’t help much. Roger’s father was a hard man who drove his son to breaking point. But Roger didn’t give up. The more his father drove him, the more determined he became to succeed. He would learn all there is to know about milling and one day become a successful miller himself.

It was a sullen autumn day when he looked up and saw a ray of sunshine come through the door. The most beautiful girl he had ever seen was standing in front of him. She asked where she could buy a bag of flour for her family. Roger ended up carrying it home for her.

Roger and Rebecca got married a short six months later. Everybody talked about how in love they were. On his way home from work each day, he would pick arms full of flowers from the field for his beautiful bride. Only 9 months after their wedding their son was born and ten months later, they had a baby girl with her mother’s dark hair and rosy cheeks.

Their lives were perfect. Working with his father in the mill was still hard but coming home to his loving family every night more than made up this.

It was springtime and the first peach trees were blossoming when his father died. Being the only son, he inherited the mill. The evening of his father’s funeral, he was sitting at the kitchen table, sipping on a cup of coffee his wife lovingly put in front of him. The twig with pink peach blossoms snapped between his fingers as he decided to make his mill the most successful in the country.

Nobody expected Roger to be back at work so soon after his father’s death but at 4 o’clock the next morning, he hung his hat behind the door of the mill and started to work. It was with concern that his wife saw him leave before sunrise every morning, only to come back after everyone had gone to bed again. Trying to stay up and talk to him was of no use, he was locked away in his own world, driving himself to greater and greater success.

He was only 54 when he suffered a stroke. Running tests, doctors determined that he was also suffering from terminal lung cancer. The years of hard work and chain smoking had finally taken its toll. Roger was dying.

He needed his family. The mill, as successful as it was, couldn’t fill the void that was left in his heart. He had a family who loved him – his wife and son and daughter would stand in the room, looking at him with love in their eyes. He could see their mouths moving but he couldn’t hear them say how much they loved him. All he could hear after all these years, was the constant noise of the windmill grinding away, turning out bags of flour.

What is Important to You When Setting Goals?

We are all under a lot of pressure to perform. No matter how old you are or what you do, you are driven by society (and often by yourself) to be the best at what you do. From the time a baby starts walking and his mother compares notes with her girlfriends about how much earlier her baby was on his feet than his peers, we are pressured to succeed.

Setting goals is an integral part of success. However, it is important when setting those goals, to make sure that you set them with your and your loved ones’ best interests in mind and not to merely fulfil the needs of others. Setting goals merely to impress others will, at the end of the day, not fulfil you.

Before setting goals, look at what is important to you

The first step when setting goals would be to decide what is important in your life. It took Roger until the end of his life to realize that the love of his family was what was important to him. But his goal of becoming the most successful mill owner, superseded everything else. He was successful at being a miller but unsuccessful at being a husband and a father.

Make a list of your goals

When setting goals, you need to make a list of your short- and long term goals that you want to reach. Maybe you want to start a successful blog. Maybe you are setting your sights on writing that novel you have been thinking about for the past 20 years. Whatever it is, it needs to be on the list.

List your goals in order of importance

If you set your goal at selling a million copies of your book within the next year, you need to first think about why you want to do this. If it is so you can be known as the next JK Rowling, then so be it. But if you put your family at the top of the list of what is important to you and marketing your book is going to take you away from home for weeks at a time, you may need to change your goal. Putting your family above your book will eventually see you succeed.

The right goal at the right time will equal success

When you put the important things first and leave the superficial things for the bottom of the list, it will all fall into place. You will be happy and there is no goal in life more important than making yourself and your loved ones happy.

If you go after your goals without putting the people and things that are most important to you first, you are losing the plot. Setting goals to coincide with what is important to you, will eventually pay off. Not only will you reach your goals, but you will be as happy as anyone can ever want to be. The most crucial thing is not to lose sight of the most important things in your life when setting goals.


About Elmarie

Elmarie Porthouse is a freelance writer who specializes in ghost-writing content for websites. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
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