A couple of thoughts about…
THE ULTIMATE GOAL and EVERYDAY GOALS & OBJECTIVES
First, can we all agree that the ULTIMATE goal is to have a good life—healthy happiness, including freedom from physical, psychological, and emotional pain—for all residents of this universe, a perpetual stretch goal for the advancement of all sentient beings? Okay? Yes? Good. For now, however, let’s consider the slightly less lofty and decidedly more immediate issue of personal aims and aspirations.
When listing or even thinking about everyday goals (goals are broad and general, i.e., lose weight) and objectives (objectives are narrow and specific, i.e., lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks) make sure that you focus on fertile personal benefits and not sterile metric features. For example, weight-loss without context and texture — stuff that shakes your bones and lifts your spirit — is simply a feature, a measurement, a physical, psychological, and/or emotional state of being. Lose ten pounds in ten weeks? Okay, sure, but so what? What will that bring me? What’s the benefit? How will it shake my bones and lift my spirit? The quick answers are:
- “It will bring you nothing.”
- “There is no benefit.”
- “It won’t shake your bones or lift your spirit.”
Unless…unless, and until, the activity is put into personal context and enhances the texture of your life. The emphasis, by the way, is on YOUR life. If your goals are selected and declared in order to please mom, dad, spouse, partner, or Oprah, and not triggered and fed by personal passion, they will starve and die quickly and, often, painfully. But you already know that.
Sticking with the example of the bathroom scale, the goal is not weight loss. Shedding unhealthy or — self-ascribed — unattractive pounds is a vehicle used to get you somewhere. The goal, the destination, is subjective well-being, HAPPINESS according to you. And, for most people, that includes things like:
- physical comfort
- emotional contentment
- mobility and travel with ease
- ability to pursue active hobbies
- liking what YOU see in the mirror
- fun with kids, grandchildren, friends, and neighbors
- improved job opportunities
- expanded social relationships and engagements
So, If your goals are not shaking your bones and lifting your spirit, you are either pursuing goals assigned by others, or, perhaps, you are missing the point. It isn’t what the scale reads, the calories you count, the days marked off the calendar since your last drink, the packs of cigarettes you didn’t buy, or the number of miles you ran last week. It’s about healthy joy and fulfillment. It’s about the dash that separates the year of your birth from the year of your death, It’s about the quality of thriving, not the metrics of surviving.