It's been over a year but I remember this day with such clarity! I just came out of my last exam in college. It was a performance for my world dance class. I was plagued with uncertainty about the future but couldn't have been any happier than I was in this very moment.
What's a life without purpose?
Most of us are still trying to find a purpose, connect the dots and to ultimately tell a story which gives our lives meaning. Some people are lucky enough to have figured out what it is they’re passionate about and can’t live a day without doing. For those of us who haven’t, having goals that you’re constantly working towards even though you’re not sure of the bigger picture, is a worthy alternative.
Goals are important because as long as you have an idea of what you want to achieve, you have a starting point. Nothing is set in stone and you can always go back and make changes as needed. There are different types of goals from religious to social and financial; this post is mostly about career goals and finding that purpose in life.
I’m a few months away from the end of my Msc programme and apart from knowing that I'm doing well in my courses, I can't adequately evaluate my performance over the past year. Not everyone cares about performance metrics, but I do. I like to know exactly how I'm improving as an individual and how I’m making an impact.
I graduated from college in May 2015 and while excelling in a rigorous MSc programme is great, I feel like I should have done more in the past year. The problem is, I couldn't tell you what the 'more' is. This is where setting goals come in.
In hindsight, it would have been great if a year ago, I wrote down a few things I wanted to achieve in the next year. But you know what they say, everything is clearer in hindsight. Knowing this, I’d hate to be in the same position next year. So, I've written out some short term goals which I won't be sharing here🐶I know I'm reaching with some of the goals on my list, but I'd rather aim high and fall short than aim low and exceed expectations.
Continue reading for some tips on how to set goals effectively.....
Location: Washington Square Park, NY
The 6+ hours I spent customizing my graduation hat the night before the commencement ceremony were definitely worth it.
If this is your first time, mapping out your goals can take a little bit of time. DON'T RUSH YOURSELF. Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful for this exercise:
Be succinct - when you’re evaluating your goals, you dont want to be uncertain about whether or not you’ve been successful because the goal wasn't clearly stated in the first place
Be reasonable and honest with yourself - for example, if you know you eat a lot of junk food, don’t expect to easily become vegetarian within a months. BUT, if you're able to achieve this, more 💪🏽💪🏽to you
Start small and make incremental additions to your goals so you’re not overwhelmed - back to the previous tip, start with cutting out certain foods and then following a vegetarian diet once a week, twice a week, and so on until you reach your goal
Don't make a laundry list - remember this isn't meant to be a play by play of your life in the next 5 years; rather it should be a checklist of a few key things you'd like to address in the short term. i.e. start your own business, become a devout christian, find your passion by trying different things
Let me know how your goals setting exercise goes and if you need more guidance!