Mar 31 2012


People who set goals are happier than those who don’t!

Does that surprise you?Setting goals

This is not necessarily because these people achieve their goals.

Dr. Henry Cloud explains what it is about goal setting that promotes happiness. He says: It’s the process of structuring life in a purposeful way towards something that organizes your energy and engagement around a particular direction. If they start thinking in that kind of linear way then they don’t get lost in the subjective experience of whatever it is that they’re doing in that moment that isn’t going anywhere that causes them to unplug and just turn into couch potatoes.

I agree with him. Through my own experiences, when I’ve had literally years without goals, just trying to survive and make it to the next day, there didn’t seem to be any purpose. I felt like I was drifting. It was as if I was a marionette on strings, and someone else was controlling the strings. No goals, nothing to aim for, didn’t know where I was going. 

Contrast that with times in my life when I did set goals for myself – it made all the difference. I had a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I wasn’t just going through the motions ~ I knew why I was doing what I was doing. I had a purpose! I was so much happier.

You’ve probably heard the story of the guy who graduated and went to the train station to buy a ticket. When the ticketmaster asked him where he was going, he said ‘anywhere’. Since he didn’t know where he was going, the ticketmaster couldn’t sell him a ticket. If we don’t know where we’re going, any road will get us there. 

If we don’t know where we’re going in life, we just slither through each day without focus or purpose. We don’t feel fulfilled. There is no happiness. There is no bigger picture.

As Stuart Goldsmith says: “To set yourself a goal means to set yourself up for change. People fear change – it is the unknown. Fear immobilizes. Fear stops you dead in your tracks. It is safer to stay well within your comfort zone.”

Charles Noble says: “You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures.”

People who set goals are happier than those who don’t!

How happy are you? Your goals don’t have to be big or life changing. They can be small and habit changing. The point is that when you set goals, you get focused on something positive. You are happier! Go ahead and set some goals. If you haven’t experienced how a Life Coach can help you with your goals, contact me for a consultation.

Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.
~Fitzhugh Dodson

Please leave a comment and tell me some of your goals – big and small. I’d love to hear them.


  1. Helen

    This is so true! In my early 30’s I switched from working full-time/commuting in a career to being a full-time student with a full-time “filler” job. Then at 34, I switched to being a housewife working for my husband’s business. In the midst of all these changes, I found myself a bit lost. It’s amazing how much of our identity we draw from “what we do” instead of “who we are.” My first year of marriage was a real eye-opener for me as I discovered I didn’t know “who” I was without a full-time job outside the home. It was the first time in 17 years that I didn’t have a job or school to rush off to. Even though I was delighted that I no longer had to commute and no longer had the frustrations of working for someone else’s business, I found myself really missing the sense of satisfaction of a “job well-done.” What helped me so much to transition was learning to set goals for myself. Even something as simple as a “to-do” list for the week, broken down into daily goals helped me to feel the satisfaction of accomplishment. And having long-term goals has really helped me to feel a sense of progress in my life.

  2. Betty

    Helen – thank you for your comment. I’m glad you figured out how to transition and you have found ‘who you are’ without a job or school. I agree about the long-term goals giving a sense of progress. Way to go!

  3. Roni

    I sure do like Helen’s perspective on setting goals! If I may add, I love the feeling of accomplishment I have when I set and achieve daily goals….no matter how small they are. Those daily goals have also helped me experience life with a greater satisfaction in those ordinary days with those very ordinary but very blessed moments, no matter how little they are. :-

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