This is the time of year when we start to reflect on the things we have accomplished throughout the year. And, depending on what kind of year you’ve had, that reflection might make you happy, or you could become depressed if you have not met all of your goals.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
For many people, the destination is in reaching their goals. However, even though goals are a necessary part of becoming successful, reaching them should not be the thing that makes you happy.
Without goals, you do not have a clear indication of what you want to accomplish; but too much emphasis on how happy you will be once you reach those goals will just eat up important moments in life.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Enjoy the Journey, Not Just the Destination?”
The goal is just the destination; and everything you do to accomplish that goal should be considered the journey and be looked upon with anticipation.
In the end, reaching that all-important goal may not make you as happy as you thought it would. And, it’s short lived satisfaction because now that you have what you want, you’ll be looking for the next new thing, and be setting more goals to get to the next step.
It’s just like taking a trip. I plan my trips months ahead of time. I love the planning phase, and the anticipation as I work through the days leading up to the trip.
There is proof that just the anticipation of something pleasurable can activate the brain’s pleasure centers.
It’s the same way with goals. Just the thought of what you’ll get when you attain the goals might bring a smile to your face – and that’s a good thing. However, since goals are meant to be updated and changed, it’s hard to put all your happiness into the future of the goal.
Try instead, to stop and smell the flowers every now and then, and enjoy the journey of each day with anticipation and satisfaction of what is to come.