Goal-setting, happiness and success
March 05 2018 11:35 PM

By S Zuhair Naqvi/Doha

In our busy world, we often get so caught up in the motions of life that time gets away from us before we even realise. When we look at our lives we’re sometimes surprised at the progress – or lack thereof – that we have made, with thoughts such as, “By now I should have been promoted/have more money/be married/own my own business,” being frequent occupants in our heads. Whatever the benchmark of our expectations, we are notoriously bad at estimating what can done in the time we have, to quote Bill Gates “we overestimate what we can achieve in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten”.
Many of us make resolutions but too few of us set realistically ambitious goals for ourselves. We may have dreams and big picture life targets such as wanting to be rich, successful or happy, and yet we often leave it up to luck to figure out how we will achieve it.
Goals help turn our dreams into reality and allow us to take control of our direction, as opposed to leaving it up to chance. Feeling optimistic and excited about the future not only increases the likelihood of staying focused and motivated to achieve our goals, there’s also a direct correlation with happiness. That is, we feel happier in the current moment when we are working towards clear goals.
Evidence has shown that one of the most effective ways to accomplish any goal is to develop a series of micro-goals. No matter how big your dreams are, you can break them down into bite size, manageable chunks by simply asking yourself, “What can I do today/this week/this month to move me closer to my goal?”
Micro-goals have three major benefits:
1) No matter how big your ultimate goal is, you can start now: Do some research, send an e-mail or buy a book
2) Ticking off micro-goals one at a time helps us feel motivated and inspired to continue; and
3) It forces us to prioritise and focus, pushing procrastination out of the way to get something done.
So whatever you want to accomplish, do not leave it to chance. Instead, write yourself a daily, weekly and monthly list of micro-goals. For extra motivation, write a list of all the reasons you want to accomplish it. All that’s left to do is start.

* S Zuhair Naqvi is the Managing Director of DicoTech Qatar WLL, and an EMBA alumnus of HEC Paris, Class of 2016.

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