how to be happy 101.

i was talking to a friend the other day about goal setting, telling her about how my little lists of things to do brings happiness and a sense of accomplishment and confidence to my life. it might have started when i saw this video in college and i wished that i would feel accomplished that day (which has been a goal of mine each day since), or probably it could have been on my mission, or possibly after my mission, since i was dying to do things that gave me a sense of worth. whenever it began, i love setting goals, working to accomplish them, and feeling the sweet success that immediately follows. 

i establish specific, measurable, achievablerealistic, and time-targeted goals, and in return feel personally developed; like i've grown and become better. 

you know those things in our lives that we can't control (there are actually a lot of those things)? maybe you don't have the career you wanted in life. maybe you went to college, eager and zealous, ready to be a school counselor and help the youth of the world cope with their lives and maybe instead you work at a desk scheduling someone's meetings. or maybe you thought since you lived in marriage-ville usa for 4 years that you would have found someone for yourself by now. or maybe you really thought you would be living in new york city instead of the place you grew up. i think at times this makes one feel that they are doing something wrong, that god is unaware of them, that their life is a shambles; all those bad sad feelings. it's really hard to just come to terms with the fact that sometimes, things don't work out. 

here's my theory:  setting goals and reaching them make up for some of those life plans that never come to pass. for me, goals are little aspects of my life that i can fully and completely control. my goals provide a sense of direction and purpose. when i accomplish a goal like "learn the art of ceramics", i feel like i have given something to the world, and to myself. regardless of my dating status. regardless of my job status. regardless of worldly circumstances. i accomplished that goal solely, by and for myself. i like to think that who ever said to "take life by the horns" meant this sort of thing:  take charge, set goals, reach them, make a difference, choose happiness, peace, love, and rock & roll, amen.

no really, here's a great quote:
"i am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. when one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, she will then be able to make a great difference in the results she attains in this life."
- m. russell ballard

here's what i think you should do, i think you should make a list of things to do. maybe it will start out as things you have been procrastinating for months. maybe it will just be simple at first: "get in shape", "read a book". but once you delve into it, the possibilities are endless!

how to set goals (according to courtney):
1. start by writing your goals down. if you don't write them down, they are just passing thoughts.
2. if you're having a hard time coming up with a good list, ask your family/friends. i'm sure they'll have advice for you.
3. talk about your goals, or in my case, blog about them. this adds an accountability factor. your friends will ask how you're doing, and even if they don't, still tell them about how you're doing. there needs to be some reporting.
4. ask yourself what have i done today to accomplish my goals?
5. include easy goals that can be achieved short-term, and hard goals that can be achieved long-term.
6. i like to throw one or two in that seem nearly impossible, then i feel really great if i accomplish it.
7. make them personal, things that don't depend on someone else, just you. YOU are responsible for achieving your goals, no one else.
8. give yourself a date of completion. 
9. i make three goal lists: a list of new years eve goals - these are often super personal/spiritual goals that i don't share with many people. i also make a list of birthday goals (25 things to do before i turn 26) - these are funner! and crazier. and then, obviously i have long-term life goals - "bucket list" items like "buy ridiculously expensive shoes" or "go to greece" or "get more schooling". 
10. try to focus on topics that are career or education minded, financial or family minded, physical or attitude minded. 
12. be committed. just do it. you go girl.

1 comment:

brittney said...

I was literally writing my weekend goals down when I read this post. I definitely agree with A) writing them down and B) having a system for accountability. this is lovely.