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This Is the One Reason Why You Aren’t Happy

This Is the One Reason Why You Aren’t Happy

I used to tie my happiness to other people and their expectations of me, particularly at school and at home. I’d think:

“When I get an A it’ll make them happy, then I’ll be happy.”

“If I please all my teachers, then I’ll be happy.”

“If I please my parents, then I’ll be happy.”

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Ultimately, I was always thinking, “If I make ‘them’ happy, then I’ll be happy.”

A nice sentiment I’m sure you’ll agree. The only teeny, tiny, slight problem was that I wasn’t happy. I’d tied my happiness to other people and totally forgotten about whether what I was doing was actually making me happy. And, really, wouldn’t they have wanted me to do what I wanted rather than constantly trying to make them happy? It’s ridiculously obvious when written down like this, but if this is what you do, you’re not at all alone.

The trap of tying your happiness to external factors

If you tie your happiness to other people, you’ll never be able to control it, because you can’t control them. If they’re not happy or behaving how you want them to, what does that mean for you? Similarly, if you tie your happiness to your dreams and goals and achievements, it’ll always be fleeting. Because there’s always another dream or goal or achievement.

If you tie your happiness to stuff, it won’t last. Because you’ll always want more stuff. And you’ll always say, “When I get that, then I’ll be happy.” If you tie your happiness to money, it will evade you, because there’s always more money to earn. You’ll say, “When I have this much, then I’ll be happy.”

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This is why people who’ve achieved a lot sometimes talk about having that empty feeling: they’ve tied their happiness to something external. Yes, they’ve achieved a lot and have loads of money and stuff, but they’re the people who do say, “When I’ve achieved this, then I’ll be happy,” “When I’ve got this much money, I’ll be happy.” It’s never ending because, as I’ve explained, there’s always something else. More stuff. More money.

The one reason why you aren’t happy is…

So what’s the one reason why you aren’t happy? It’s because you’re not tying your happiness to yourself. You’re not tying it to who you are. You’re 100% in control of these things, and you can therefore be as happy as you want, for as long as you want, wherever you are. Of course, it’ll get rocked from time to time, but it can always come back to the rock-solid base that is you. And yes, you’ll grow and evolve, but you’ll still be you. You own your happiness. We all do.

Now I hear you ask, “Matt, oh wise one (okay, you probably didn’t say that), how did you tie your happiness to yourself?” I’ll tell you. I found out what was important to me. What really mattered to me, and why. Because that’s who I was — and am — and once I admitted who I truly was, I was so proud of me. I was happy.

Why you should choose to be happy

A nurse who worked in a hospice conducted a study on the regrets of the dying, and came out with a top 5 (look it up; it’s extremely powerful). One of the regrets, which really hit me at the time I read it, was: “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” To reiterate: this is one of the top 5 regrets of people who are at the end of their lives. I think that’s very telling. Perhaps they finally realized that happiness was a choice. Do you let yourself be happy? If you died tomorrow, would you have the same regret?

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If you’re not totally happy (which is not the same as being sad or depressed), I’ll leave you with these questions:

What would happen if you were happy?

What do you have to let go of to be happy?

When you allow yourself to be happy, what will you do?

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Want to read even more cool stuff about happiness? 20 Definitions Of Happiness You Need To Know

Featured photo credit: Nina Matthews via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 3, 2020

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals

refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

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What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

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Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

Specific

First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

  • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
  • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
  • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
  • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
  • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

Measurable

The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

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Attainable

The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

Relevant

For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

Time-Bound

The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

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Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

The Bottom Line

Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

Reference

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