Like a captain on the sea is using a compass to navigate to the destination you can use your goals as a compass, too. You can see your goal as your destination. However, it also is a navigation tool like a compass or a lighthouse.
In the article about why having goals is important we have listed the following points:
- It helps you to take control of your life
- It provides clarity and helps you with decisions and with prioritizing daily tasks
- It works as a tool to actually achieve and create something
- Goal setting provides a sense of purpose and it is motivating in itself
- It helps to be happier and thus it can have a positive impact on your health
On your path towards achieving your goal you need to take a variety of decisions. One of the first decisions is what goal you would like to pursue. Then you create a plan and you decide what steps to take. When you face obstacles you need to decide how to handle them.
Like a captain and her crew navigate the ship over the ocean you navigate towards your goal.
If you are like some other people and you have to work for a living there are plenty of decisions to make every day. And, not all of them are related to your biggest goals. You need to decide what to eat, what shirt to wear, how to handle the project at work, whether to visit your parents or your friends, and so on.
There is a competition going on between all the different decisions. There are important decisions and urgent decisions, and many decisions that are in neither of the two categories.
Now, decisions about our big goals or life goals tend not to be too urgent. Therefore, we are busy with our daily routines, our job projects and leisure activities and think we can decide about our big goals later. Also, these decisions tend to be big, because they involve big goals and therefore they might be a bit scary.
Focus and Prioritization
Your decisions about your big goals and life goals deserve at least as much attention, time and energy as all your little and seemingly urgent decisions. This is not easy because your boss, your friend, your smartphone, all fight for your attention. It is easier to say yes to another project assignment or to a movie night than to work on your life goals. We see the tasks at hand and not the undefined tasks involving our long-term goals.
However, it is easier only in the current moment. In the long term it is much harder. Imagine if your goal is to live from passive income within the next ten year. You can watch a lot of TV in ten years. But if you work on your goal instead, your life will probably be much more enjoyable after ten years. And, also super important, the process within these five years will be more fulfilling, too.
The quote from Jerzy Gregorek, a world champion weightlifter, poetry writer, and the co-author of “The Happy Body” brings this to the point:
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”
So, focus on your goals and prioritize the decisions related to your big goals and life goals.
The Decision Tree
You can imagine all your decisions as the branches of a tree. By the way, you decide more than you think. Also if you decide to postpone or to omit a decision altogether, this is a decision.
When you take active decisions you are in control. When you follow the decisions of other people or if you decide not to decide actively, you give away control. You lose control of your life.
For each decision, for each activity, think about how this can help you with your goals. This is your compass for decision making. This is your compass on your journey towards achieving your goal.
This does not mean each and every decision needs to be completely aligned with your goal. Balance is important, too.
Now It Is Your Turn
Be more aware of your goals in your day to day activities. When you decide all the big and little things in the course of your week do a goal check. How do these decisions align with your big goals and with your life goals? When you have a weekly task list (and it is a good idea to have one) double-check these tasks whether they are supporting your bigger goals. Also, actively add tasks related to your big goals.
This will help you with your navigation through your daily routine and still keep the big picture in sight.