Happiness is a relative subject and what makes one person happy might not make another.
For you, happiness may be finding peace with who you are or having the freedom to pursue your deepest dreams. Regardless of what your version of true happiness looks like, it is an emotion that is always accessible and obtainable.
When you are happy, it feels like you have the motivation to accomplish anything. You feel relaxed and not worried about dark clouds of doom and gloom moving in overhead. Happiness may seem elusive, but with the right goal setting, achieving happiness often feels within reach.
Goal setting is an important part of choosing what goals you want to work towards in life. The process of goal setting is just as important as having goals that provide a clear path and plan to work towards every day. After all, goals give you focus and direction in your life and can help make you more productive. When you set your goals, you establish a measurable objective to make progress towards so you can make your goals happen.
Oftentimes we have goals, but we fail to achieve them. This is because we do not plan out the steps to get from start to finish. A goal-setting process forces you to think about the journey instead of the end destination. Here are a few steps to get you started:
1. What results do you want to see?
Before you set a goal, take a deep hard look at what you are trying to achieve and ask yourself if it is truly something you want something you are willing to put in the time and energy to work towards it. If you are not willing to put in the time, it may not be worth pursuing.
If after step one you end up with a laundry list of goals to pursue all at once, you may have a difficult time achieving them all. Prioritize your list. If you have smaller goals that will be easier to achieve, put these at the top of the list. Reaching these goals will increase intrinsic motivation to tackle something that might take more time.
3. SMART goals
Once you have narrowed down your list, make sure your goals meet the SMART criteria:
The most important part of SMART goal setting is to make your goal as specific as possible so you can track your progress and know whether you met the goal or not.
4. Write it down
Writing down your goals increases your chances of sticking with them. When you write down your goals you are emotionally invested and more willing to take action. Your brain will look for every opportunity to work on achieving your goal. Writing down your goals also gives you a place to refer back to when you have overcome obstacles.
5. Break down your goal
This is very important for big goals. Think about the smaller goals that are steps on the way to achieving your bigger aim. Having several smaller goals makes each of them a bit easier and gives us a feeling of success along the way, which also makes it more likely that we will stay on track.
When you reach your goal, take time to enjoy it! Treat yourself to something for all the hard work you put in.
In the end, your goals may be specific to happiness or a path that creates happiness within. Sometimes though it might be a little harder to achieve happiness, especially if you suffer from depression. If you experience continued symptoms of hopelessness, irritability, sleep disturbances, and reduced appetite, the next best step would be to reach out to a mental health professional. They will be able to help create the best treatment path for you, whether it is therapy, ketamine infusions, or other medications. No matter the treatment, seeking help is the first step in getting you back to feeling like you again.