Set your goals for the New Year
As another year draws to a close, most of us are looking forward to making new beginnings. This is the time when we set goals and frame resolutions – eating healthier, exercising daily, changing our dysfunctional habits, improving our relationships, taking good care of ourselves, augmenting our assets, and practicing meditation seem to top the list. Once we have decided what to do, we try to put the plan into action. There are times when we succeed and phases where we don’t do well – some of us achieve a goal and move on to the next, others fail but keep trying and a few become disillusioned.
Although it is commonly believed that high achievers are a happy lot, often the truth is that most of them struggle with emptiness and meaninglessness. They feel that despite setting and achieving a lot of goals, something big is missing from their life. This happens because their most sought-after goals lack a deeper vision and are based upon incomplete self-knowledge and social conditioning. No wonder a majority reports that nothing has changed, and perhaps nothing will change. When we encourage them to reflect deeply, they realize that life is too big, and their goals are usually too small to bring a significant transformation in their life as well as the lives of those around them.
So, what is the alternative? Perhaps one needs to let go of a narrow outlook and envision the bigger landscape. Sufi mystic Rumi believed that there is an undiscovered deeper knowledge within us holding the key to bliss: “There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired, as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts. There is another kind of tablet, one already completed and preserved inside you. This other intelligence does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid, and it doesn’t move from outside to inside through learning. This second knowing is a fountainhead from within you, moving out.”
If you wish to move forward, then stop chasing specific and short-lived goals. Instead, come up with an all-encompassing vision to guide your life. Imagine the perfect, the highest possible, the strongest and the most evolved version of yourself and think of an ideal life. This will give you an idea of what all you need to change about your present life. With this newfound awareness, aspire relentlessly to sculpt your body, heart and mind moving closer to your ideal.
The journey becomes faster when the aspiration stays in your consciousness all the time like a constant flame. For strengthening your aspiration, you need to repeatedly remember and concentrate on it several times in the day and allow all your thoughts, feelings and actions to be guided by it. In other words, you call upon the highest ideal within you to shape yourself to perfection and with patience, perseverance and practice you transform into a new being.
Although your goals keep you moving, they don’t tell you the right direction. For a blissful and meaningful existence, you need to first create a vision for your life and then set specific goals to fulfill this vision. Therefore, let’s do something different in the coming year: let’s begin with a grand vision and then set goals to bring our life closer to this vision.