Forget Goals – Plan for Being Happy in 2012

Do you really want to accomplish all of those goals you’ve lined up for this year? Honestly?

Or would you rather just be happy?

One of the problems with personal goal setting – as with business planning and budgeting, is the tendency to extrapolate from what was achieved the previous year to reach for a little more.

Worse yet is to intentionally overshoot what is attainable to provide an extra cushion because you fell short the last time around.

A better approach to goal setting is to simply ask yourself what will make you happy this year – then write down everything that comes to mind.

You’ll make some interesting discoveries.

Being Happy is More Honest than Goal Setting

Have you ever set a goal that was doomed from the moment you inked it? The reason is you probably picked it out of thin air with some kind of hope that it would make you happy – even though deep down you knew it wouldn’t.

When you ask yourself what will make you happy you add a giant dose of reality to the goal setting process.

A goal is a moment in time; whereas, happiness can last for a period of time. In other words, it’s something you can really buy into.

Happiness is the tangible result that comes from achieving the goal.

This is why focusing on what will make you happy allows you tap into your emotions and feelings to find the honesty that is necessary to commit to achieving something worthwhile.

Little Successes Make a Big Difference

When I went through this process, I discovered that in addition to big goals, there are a number of little things I’d like to do that are easily attainable. Their accomplishment will no doubt provide the fuel that will sustain my efforts to catch the big fish.

Isn’t it more enjoyable to celebrate a 100% completion of anything, rather than say, 50% progress towards a big goal?

Knowing you are only halfway there can actually be a demotivator. Ugh! This is one reason why I really like the 12 in 12 concept I learned over at

The idea is to simply choose one small goal, challenge, or activity and commit to doing every day for one month – after which you are off the hook.  Of course, you can also choose to keep going with it.

Either way, you then choose your next challenge for the following month. In my mind, this effectively takes the 2012 marathon and breaks it up into 12 little sprints. Surely you’ve got the will to go the distance for 30 days.

What happens after you successfully complete a sprint? Exactly, now you have the confidence to tackle a marathon.

Being Happy Gives You Ownership

One thing I have discovered is when you are confident a goal will make you happy – you own it.

As a result, it becomes that much more actionable. Things like doubt and fear are no longer part of the equation.

Why would they be?  You know you going to be happy.

And what could be more energizing and motivating than that?

Plan on being happy this year, and I’m sure your business will eagerly come along for the ride.

Leave a comment below or share this with your community with any of the share buttons below – or with those on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until next time,  Jeff

Photo Credit: idea go