Use Your Passion as a Compass for Goal Setting

Setting goals wasn’t always easy for me.

I’ve been a productivity junkie (for lack of a better word) for as long as I can remember, so I’ve always heard it preached that goals are essential to making a better life yourself.  It was always a good idea to have goals in various aspects of your life.  So you should set goals for your career, your athletic endeavors, your finances, etc.

But what I didn’t often see was that some of the more important goals you should set surround following your passions in life.

After all, when you look back on your life, do you think you’ll cherish the fact that you improve efficiency in completing those TPS reports week after week or that you achieved your goal of seeing everyone of your favorite groups in concert?

By no means am I suggesting that you should completely disregard any career or financial goals, but I feel like more emphasis should be placed on setting goals that will bring more joy to your life.

What’s your passion?

Strangely enough one of the biggest roadblocks when I tried to set goals around my passions was that I had a hard time defining my passions.  It’s hard to know what goals to set when you can’t define your passions.

So I arranged some time alone to think about what brought happiness into my life.  I focused on what activities I enjoyed with friends, what places I’ve always wanted to visit, what sports I enjoyed playing, what music groups I’ve always wanted to see.  At the end I didn’t exactly have an exhaustive list, but I had a place to start.  I identified a couple of items that I knew I could achieve with a little planning and used a couple of these as my goals.

You may not have this trouble.  You may be fully aware of what your passion is and you may even be lucky enough to pursue it daily.  I applaud you for that and wish more people would take this approach.

But if you’re struggling to really identify your passion like I was then set aside some time for yourself to do some thinking.  Go somewhere quiet with just a pen and paper in hand and jot down some of the things that you really enjoy doing.

I would suggest avoiding using a computer to do this brainstorming as it tends to provide too many distractions.  A pen and paper lets you focus on just the topic at hand and the free space on the paper will provide a good canvas for your brainstorming.

Set at least one goal based on your passion

At the end of your brainstorming session you’ll hopefully have a clearer idea of what you’re really passionate about.  What I don’t want to see happen however is that you become overwhelmed that you have so many passions that you would have to set a goal based on each of them.

What I suggest you do, is set just one goal based on your passion.

The reason for this is that you’ll still need to set goals based on your career, health, finances, and other areas of your life.  By also setting a goal based on one of your passions, it doesn’t allow the rest of your life to suppress this passion.

So why shouldn’t you set more goals around your passion?

You only have so much time and motivation in the day to move your goals forward.  Instead of spreading your focus thinly around several different passion goals, it’s best to focus all your available energy on achieving one goal.

Once that goal is achieved, you can set a new goal in another area you’re passionate about.

Don’t let life get in the way

We all have responsibilities in life that will steal our time and move us away from our passions.  I realize that we can’t just shun these responsibilities, but I don’t think it’s fair to ourselves to delay our passions completely to a later period in life due to these responsibilities.  What tends to happen is that these passions get suppressed indefinitely and as we only get to live this life once, we end up regretting the things we didn’t do.

So take some time today to reflect on what you’re truly passionate about and set a goal to take action on your passion

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