Do you have an idea of where you want to be in the future, but don’t know where to start? If so, it helps to differentiate between your aim and your goals. Your aim is the big picture or your desired outcome. Your aim can be anything that inspires you. It could be to live a healthy lifestyle or feel satisfied in your finances. It is the large picture that you can create goals for.
Goals are more tangible and can be measured. Goals can end and be achieved. You can then create more goals. Aims generally don’t have an end. Aims like, “be happier,” will continue your whole lifetime. Your goal is activities or ways of being that can help amount to your aim. Let’s say your aim is to be happier, then you set goals that you can do daily or weekly that make you happier.
Your aim is your vision of your life that helps guide your goals. Goals will fizzle our without having a “why” for achieving them. New Year’s resolutions are often set as an aim or a goal, which can be too broad to reach them. For instance, many people for resolutions focus on losing weight or living a healthy life. While these are great aims, they need more tangible goals to achieve them.
How to Develop Aims and Goals
1. Sit in a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and connect to your breath. Try to connect with yourself and your deeper self.
2. Start to focus on your intention for your life in a year, five years, and ten years from now.
3. Bring your attention towards any negative thoughts or limiting beliefs. Do you have a part of yourself saying, “You can’t achieve this because…” or “You don’t have the time because…” You have the power to live any life you wish. You can make the time it it’s a priority. Trace these thoughts back to their root and ask, “Why do I think this?”
4. Look at the different areas of your life from health, family, relationships, career, spirituality, to personal development. Ask yourself how you want to be living in each of these areas. Try to envision yourself living your fullest in each of these categories. How are you spending time? Who is there? What’s your energy level like?
5. After looking at each area of your life, begin to picture what characteristics or qualities you would need to cultivate to reach your aim. Do you need to cultivate strength, persistence, consistency, or compassion? Focus on some qualities that you can work on.
6. The next step is to identify a goal from those aims. Choose one goal that you want to achieve in the next three or six months. Remember that your goal should come from your overall aim. Write this goal down. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change, like “lose 40 pounds” or “work out every day.” This goal can be waking up at the same time every day, eating unprocessed foods, or doing yoga three times week. Whatever it is, make sure it is manageable.
7. Now to support your goals, create action steps. Action steps are small ways of being that aid and support your goals. It can help to set one to three small action steps for your chosen goal. If your goal is to wake up early, then an action step could be to not be on your phone an hour before bed. This will help you fall asleep more easily and aid in waking up. If your goal is to not eat sweets, an action step could be to not keep sweets in your house. Your weekly action steps will continue to keep you on track and make progress with your goals.
8. A key thing to making progress is prioritizing that goal or aim. It can be easy to say you don’t have time with kids, work, school, etc. You make time for the things that are important to you. At the same time, remember that starting small is important and keeping to goals is challenging. Start where and when you can and continue to build up to your aims from there. It’s not a process of a few weeks or months, but the rest of your life!
9. As you begin to visualize your life, aims, and goals, allow yourself to envision what is possible for you to achieve. What are your dreams? Keep coming back to these to inspire your goals!
10. Lastly, these goals and aims you set are for you. They are here to make you feel more positive and live with more energy. Never punish yourself or get upset by not fulfilling a goal. Keep trying and do it out of love and compassion for your higher self.