There are so many studies and statistics about how many people set, and reach, goals. One often-cited study by the Ford Foundation says that only 3 percent of people meet their goals. I have not been able to locate or validate this study. However, from an anecdotal perspective, I work with people every day who are very dissatisfied with where they are, and dream of doing something differently. There is no “right” or “wrong” on this — it’s all about what matters to each of us.
In my own case, I look around at people who are retired or taking it easy and think “I don’t want that.” I don’t strive to work hard now with the anticipation of slowing down at some point. It’s not a goal for me to relax or spend more time on the golf course (although I admit that I do love to play golf and know I would get better if I spent more time at it!). I thrive on my frenetic, crazy life. I love everything I get to do. I love making a contribution, and I love using many of the talents God has given me to try and make a difference every day.
It’s possible to make the most of our time and enjoy it. We don’t have to choose between work now and play later, or sacrifice those things we care about hoping we can turn our attention to them someday. I run a full-time consulting business, teach three classes with over 200 college students combined, devote several hours a week to the local animal shelter, have three kids, nine pets of my own and several animal fosters, and do radio and television interviews on a regular basis. In between, I have written four books in the last three years and traveled to speak all over the world.
Not everyone wants a life like mine with so many activities, but some people do want to do more than they are doing right now, or want to add something to their life. What are some of the secrets to opening your life to include more things you care about, without feeling like you are at a tipping point of “too much”?
This week, commit to setting your goals if you haven’t done so. If you have, set your priorities and make your plan. Find things that you enjoy and that fuel you, and manage the stress that can steal your happiness.