goalSummer is a time where we usually have less energy and enthusiasm for work, but more time for reflection. So it is a good time to look at your goals, verify them and prepare an action plan for the second half of the year. Sonja Lyubomirski in her book „The How of Happiness” suggests the following exercise for the selection and implementation of goals that should help increase your personal level of happiness. Please think about the goals, that are currently important to you or have been important in your life recently. ?Goals? include intensions, wishes, desires and motives. List from three up to eight your most significant and meaningful goals. Now, for each of the goals that you wrote down, check off if there are:
  • _ intrinsic
  • _ authentic
  • _ approach-orientated
  • _ harmonious
  • _ activity-based
  • _ flexible/ appropriate
What does it mean? Intrinsic goals arise from our personal needs, motives, interests, and their realization gives us pleasure. They are the inverse of extrinsic goals, which are set by others and for which we are rewarded by those 'others’. Authentic goals are those, which we ?own? and realization of which is rewarding for us. If we do something because we are willing to succeed, we are talking about approach-oriented goals. They are the opposite of avoidance-oriented goals that are associated with a fear of failure. Harmonious goals are those that harmonize with each other, that means, the realization of one does not conflict with another / other goals. Activity-based goals focus on task or activities that are challenging for us. They are the opposite of circumstance-based goals which result from the current situation, and usually are simple and easy to achieve. When you are able of modify your goals due the change of your situation or appearance of new opportunities, your goals are flexible. If your goals do not meet the above criteria, i.e. are external, inauthentic, avoidance-oriented, conflicting, circumstance-based and/ or rigid it?s high time to modify or abandon them. The pursuit of such goals sooner will result in frustration and tiredness than satisfaction. Moreover, it is unlikely that you?ll achieve them. It?s better you ask yourself: what?s important for me?; what?s meaningful for me? It?s more likely that you?ll persevere and succeed at goals that have larger purpose or long-term importance.   Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The How of Happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. New York: Penguin Books.

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