My young nephew aged five, was over visiting during the Christmas holidays and as he was being tucked into bed before going to sleep, he very quickly shut his eyes and I asked him “What are you doing?” and he said “I am choosing a dream” he thought for a few moments and then said “I am right now, I have chosen a dream” and then promptly proceeded to fall asleep.
Dreams and goals are something that we as adults can become cynical about, especially as life flows past with its relentless activity, tasks and mundane-ness as we sucumb to the daily grind. We don’t take the time out to do what is important but not urgent, such as making time to plan, set goals, become clear in your priorities and determine what is really important to you and your life.
The Importance of Setting Goals
Here is some food for thought regarding the importance of setting goals from interviews of Harvard MBA graduates.
“So, Why Do 3% of Harvard MBAs Make Ten Times as Much as the Other 97% Combined ?
The answer is a simple question: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program and found that :
- 84% had no specific goals at all
- 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
- 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them
In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the graduates of that class. You can guess the results:
- The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
- Even more staggering – the three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together”.
(Source: from the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack).
Happiness is Not Just about Money
Happiness is not all about money and economic and financial growth (see a study that looks beyond financial growth as the only measure of success and ultimately happiness). This new digital world has provided us with an amazing range of activities that are not just about financial success but about happiness and enjoyment at a very basic and self actualized level.
- Top footballers on a few hundred thousand a week can come home and find the most enjoyment is to play Grand Theft Auto (that only cost them $40) on their playstation
- People go home and blog about their passions and interests and their blog posts are read by hundreds of thousands
7 Core Categories for Goal Setting
So what are the seven core categories you should be setting goals for that are important for you and bring you joy.
- Financial: such as total income or earnings, savings or debt elimination goals (maybe wanting to earn $250,000 a year)
- Career and Business: New projects , partnerships or relationships
- Fun Time: Vacations, Trips or special events or even taking time off (6 months working followed by 6 months travelling)
- Health and Fitness: Losing weight, getting fit and good nutrition (this could be running 10km’s or even a marathon)
- Relationships: This can cover family, personal or business such as mentors
- Personal: Anything you personally want to have, be , or do and can include educational and spiritual goals (or even a a sports car)
- Contribution: This covers the areas of charitable, community or mentoring goals (could include donating your time at a local soup kitchen)
So take some time to plan, set goals and importantly dream.
What dreams and goals are are you choosing?