Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Achieve Your Goals

In late December, I was talking to my family about New Year's resolutions. I asked them what resolutions they had, and their responses surprised me. Apparently, they do not make resolutions anymore. They were so convinced that resolutions were useless, that they have stopped making them. Although in one way, I admired the honesty of this approach, in another way I was somewhat shocked. Achieving your goals is one of the most important things in life, and just because you meet with some failures does not mean you should stop setting concrete goals. After all, you have no chance of learning how to achieve your goals if you never set them!
There are many different ways of setting goals. A lot of people have one method by which they claim you can achieve your goal, but in my experience different methods work for different people. Some people, for example, rely heavily on religious faith to achieve their goals. They will tell you that to achieve your goals, you need Christ, or some other commonly known religious figure at the center of your life.
This may work for them, but it is not the only way to achieve your goal. Other people have a much more concrete approach to setting and achieving goals. They say that, to achieve your goals, you have to think and act like a highly successful person. They use psychological tricks and personal affirmations to help achieve your goal. In many ways, these affirmations work much like religious faith does for those who are more interested in it. Rather than using faith in God to achieve your goals, these people advocate using faith in yourself.
Still other people say that the best way to achieve your goals is through therapy and counseling. They say that the reason people are dysfunctional is because they have certain deep conflicts holding them back from achieving goals in their lives. They advocate all kinds of different therapies to achieve your goals, from solution focused therapy, to psychotherapy, to life coaching.
In my personal life, I believe that the best way to achieve your goals is to combine elements from all of these approaches. If I feel alienated from myself and my goals, sometimes I will make a list and figure out what I have to do, and other times I will pray to God for guidance, or seek out a therapist. The best way to achieve your goals is to figure out what works for you, and for me it depends on the goals, and on what is holding me back.