Success and Happiness Come from Setting these 3 Kinds of Goals


When I was growing up, no-one really took the time to teach me about goal setting.

Instead of giving me practical skills for surviving and thriving in the world, my teachers focused on making sure that I could memorize long lists of historical dates and calculate the area of an isosceles triangle.

I’m sure that many baby boomers had similar experiences.

Where Do Success and Happiness Come from?

Since our education lacked practical advice in the areas of finance, productivity, networking and negotiating, most of us were forced to learn these skills in the school of life. Talking with other boomers, I have noticed a trend when it comes to goal sharing that I want to share with you here.

Why is this even important to people over 60? Simply put, most of us have completely the wrong idea about what our lives are going to be like over the next 20-30 years (or longer!) We have been sucked into the concept of retirement and, as a result, we have turned our minds off when it comes to planning for our future.

The truth is that retirement is no longer a destination. With decades ahead of us, it can’t be! We need a new way of looking at retirement – one that starts with a realistic understanding of what the future holds.

So, that said, here are the 3 kinds of goals that will help you to get the most from life after 60.

Long-Term Mission-Based Goals

One of the best things about being 60 is that you have a second opportunity to explore your passions and define your place in the world. When most people think about goal setting, they focus on “strategy vs. tactics.”

I find that it’s better to start with mission-based goals. Whether you have recently retired, or are in the final decades of your career, now is the time to reconnect with your core values and beliefs.

I personally find it useful to set a specific time every year to review my long-term, mission-based goals. I pack up my car and head out to a bed and breakfast, notebook in hand, for some quiet reflection.

If you want to take a less formal approach, that’s fine too. Just don’t leave this process to chance. Life is far too busy.

Force yourself to write down where you want to be in 1-5 years.

How do you want to change the world? How do you want to change your own life? What skills, people and resources do you need in your life to make this happen?

Medium-Term Strategic Goals

Setting strategic goals is difficult for many people. It’s easy to dream about the future or focus on tactical daily activities. Tying your actions together in a way that moves you towards your long-term objectives is tricky work.

When it comes to strategic goals, I like to think in terms of 3 month blocks, but, you can work in 1-month periods if you want. I also try to limit myself to no more than 3-5 strategic goals at a time. Any more than this and my brain has a tendency to turn into spaghetti.

Set aside time every 3 months to write down your strategic goals. Then, write down a list of all of the activities that you need to undertake to meet these goals. This will make the process of setting your daily activities so much easier!

Success and Happiness - Strategic goals can give your life structure, but, they can’t give your life purpose. Decide how you want to change the world and your goals will follow naturally. Success and Happiness - Strategic goals can give your life structure, but, they can’t give your life purpose. Decide how you want to change the world and your goals will follow naturally.

Immediate Tactical Goals

Productive people take time every day to evaluate and plan what they need to get done. They don’t just leave their schedule to chance. They organize their potential “to do” items and start with the ones that are both urgent and important. Once they are done with these, they move on to the items that are important, but, that don’t need to happen right away.

Just taking 5 minutes every morning to organize your daily activities will have a massive impact on your happiness and productivity.

Getting organized isn’t just about being more productive or making more money. Forcing yourself to be proactive about setting goals for your life can build self-esteem and happiness. When you feel like you are in control of your life, everything else is easier.

Most importantly, you will know that every action that you take is connected to your goals of making the world a better place, while striving to reach your own potential.

Do you agree with the three types of goals listed in this article? Why or why not? Do you have a different model for goal setting that you have found particularly useful? What do you think are the keys to finding success and happiness? Please join the discussion. 

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