Choosing the Right Goals: How to Figure Out What You Want

This season is all about planning for success… but the best laid plans don’t do us any good if we don’t have time to actually make them happen. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

While I’m talking all about how to make time for the personal goals you set for yourself on Episode 099 of the podcast this week, I know that, for some of you, making time for your goals is not at all what REALLY feels daunting for you…

What happens when we find ourselves unsure of what we actually want, so much so that we lose sight of what kind of goals we need to focus on to ensure that we meet the success we’ve been dreaming of?

That’s what I want to focus on here today: How to figure out exactly what it is that you want, so that you’re able to choose the ‘right goals’ for yourself.

If setting goals for the life that you have always imagined sounds like an area that you might need just a little bit of guidance on, then I implore you to read on… I’ve got just a few helpful tips to help!


How to Figure Out What You Want



While we talked about visualizing yourself enjoying the success that you want to see in the back of your mind, as a way to boost your motivation and to help keep your eye on the prize as you’re taking steps toward your dreams… I just want to point out that, for a lot of us, the destination that we focus on can be the thing that trips us up if we’re not careful.

Here’s why: Some of the destinations that we keep in our mind’s eye are pretty vague! And while it is certainly true that having an endpoint can be helpful to maintain focus when it comes to your aspirations… if you’re someone that finds yourself stuck time and time again on ‘how to start’ working toward your big dreams, then it may be time to adjust the way that you’re setting your goals in the first place.

Example: Let’s say that you’ve created a general destination in your mind for the kind of life that you want to lead… Your goal might be to “earn a million dollars” or to “drive a fancy car”. If you find yourself stuck on how to break that goal down into smaller, bite-sized pieces then try switching the way that you’re approaching your goals around!

Dig a little bit deeper and take a general goal of “earning a million dollars” even further by focusing on the path that you might take to earn it in the first place.



Naturally, this brings us to my second tip: Focusing on the actual journey of the life that you want to lead in addition to the destination… If you find yourself a little unsure of where to start as you’re trying to assess which goals might be right for you, then try focusing instead on setting a life direction for yourself, rather than generalized life goals.

By zeroing in on the kind of life you envision for yourself, more than likely it will become easier to assess what kind of goals are better aligned with your life’s path. Give yourself the grace to determine goals that will reveal not just a run-of-the-mill destination, but rather a fun and enthralling journey overall.

A few questions to ask yourself to help determine your own life path include:

  • How do I want to spend my time?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • What daily activities do I want to focus on, that will motivate me to get out of bed each morning?
  • Who might I talk, hang out, or collaborate with to push me in a positive way?

Keep your answers to these questions in your mind as you work to set goals that will help you to create the journey that your answers have designed.



Here’s an important takeaway: In a lot of ways, goal setting is another way of making sure that we’re on a life journey that is meaningful to us!

And while our society is focused on busyness and persistence as the keys to success, I think that it’s important to consider that… if you’re finding yourself starved for motivation to keep moving forward, then it might not necessarily be your lack of persistence that’s tripping you up. Instead, it may be a sign that it’s time for you to change direction.

I want to encourage you to remember that it’s always possible to switch gears whenever you’re struggling to get started… If the goals you’ve set don’t pan out the way that you might have imagined that they would or if you find that they’re draining your life of joy instead of enriching it, then don’t worry!

It’s never too late to revisit them and to make any adjustments that will help shape your life in a way that gives you more meaning and more happiness at the end of the day. Flexibility is key, and failure is absolutely nothing to be afraid of—because life is full of challenges meant to shape us into our future selves.

Give yourself the opportunity to remain flexible when it comes to your goals, and don’t be afraid to adjust your sails to the direction of the wind when necessary.


What seems to be keeping you back from the journey of your ideal life? Share your struggles and your experiences with setting meaningful goals in the comments below… And head on over to Episode 099 of Productivity Paradox for an in-depth look at How to Make Time for Your Personal Goals!



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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton