6 Examples of Setting Personal Goals
We’ve all seen loads of cliche bucket lists. Swim with Dolphins, Do a sky dive, See the Northern lights blah blah blah! Whilst it’s probably a good idea to have these things I think it’s more important to have personal goals. By personal goals I mean things that actually mean something to you, things that would come from actual life experiences and go towards enhancing your life and the lives of those you love. Not just things that would look good in an Instagram post or things to brag about to your friends.
I have been thinking of setting personal goals for quite a while now, I usually think of them while I’m running. I think of what would mean most to me and how I would achieve them. They are not particularly “out there”, nor are they super exciting but they would make me happy. I have this slightly macabre theory that on my death bed I will feel one of two feelings, contentment or regret. I intend to make damn sure it’s contentment. Achieving some of the following 6 personal goals will certainly help.
1. Take my Dad SCUBA diving.
I’ve always had a passion for the marine environment and it’s been a constant companion throughout my life. From snorkeling on family holidays as a kid through my devout wearing of a “save the dolphins” badge as a teenager and ultimately to leaving my retail management career to go to university to study marine biology (to the ridicule of my peers at the time). It all started with my Dad taking me and my brother snorkeling as kids. We’d row out to the rocky areas in a rubber dinghy off the beaches of southern of France and Spain. My Dad would tie the boat around his ankle and we’d spend hours out there. The love of the undersea world was born in those hours.
My mum is very poorly with Alzheimer’s and won’t be with us much longer and my Dad is her full time carer (big change for a retired international businessman). I know he wants to and that he will love SCUBA diving but he’d never do it for himself. One of my biggest life goals is to take him SCUBA diving when my mum is no longer with us. He’s never had the time to do it and it would be an honour to pay back the support he’s given me in life to do this with him.
2. Not run out of money every month.
I’m a teacher (obviously) and my wife is a social worker. We work very hard but as you may know, teachers an social workers are not paid a big salary (despite being voted the most stressful jobs in the UK recently (See graphic below). We also live in an expensive city with four children. Life can be tough. I hate the fact we struggle and nothing would make me more happy than to be able to live a little more comfortably and to have a little money left at the end of the month. Part of the reason I started this blog was to be able to (hopefully) earn a little cash from it in time as it grows so please excuse any ads on this site. I don’t have a desire to be a millionaire, just to be able to afford a few treats and not have to worry about finances.
3. Not having to teach till I’m 68.
Currently I’m 43…most of you will see the issue already! I love teaching and working with kids but the thought of another 25 years of it makes me want to run away and live in a cave, seeing out my days rocking back and forth, feeding on hand caught bats and insects! OK, so that maybe a slight hyperbole (only slightly!) but I just can’t do it. I teach at 100 miles an hour, whizzing around the room. I have tried slowing down but it doesn’t work, it’s not me (even I was bored shitless!) I’d like to retire a bit earlier and be able to do something a little more relaxed with my wife. I’d still like to work with kids but maybe in less well off areas of the world. Maybe teaching and supporting kids in African schools.
4. Be able to buy my wife (and maybe me) a better car.
This one is a little more material but still qualifies as a personal goal. My wife loves cars (not obsessively) and she’s a bit of a wannabe racer. I’d love to be able to buy her something a little more sporty than the little banged up Daihatsu she drives now. I’d like to park her new car outside our house and then go in and present her with a key and tell her to look outside. My car is also a pile of crap that breaks down with saddening regularity so whilst I’d never spend much on a car for me, I’d like something a little more reliable (I do have a yearning for a black Mercedes though!).
5. Be able to support my children as they grow up.
Back to the more honourable personal goals. Most of us have made withdrawals from the bank of Dad over the years, so you understand this one. My Dad worked extremely hard over his career to be able to support my brother and I, often at the expense of treats for himself (actually I can’t remember him ever treating himself to anything, which makes personal goal 1 in this list even more important). Nothing would make me happier than to be able to do the same for my children; whether they are teenagers needing money for nights out and outfits or 43 year old married adults who need a bit of petrol money for work or to fix a broken down car (again) (see personal goal 4 in this list). Like my Dad, I’d like to do this for my kids.
6. Dive again/more.
The only one of these goals that is specifically for me. I thought I better include one. As noted in personal goal 1, I love the marine environment. The first time I tried diving was when I was working in retail, I’d won some holiday/vacation vouchers in a sales competition and decided that finally I should go and learn. So I booked a week at a Red Sea resort and booked a dive course. From the moment I went underwater all the joy of snorkeling with my Dad came back but multiplied by at least ten. I dived a lot during my marine biology degree, in Indonesia and Honduras and I’ve dived in other nice and not so nice places. Recently though it has become a thing of the past, I’d love to bring it back and do more. Underwater is where I find my peace.
Go and Set Some Personal Goals.
So there you have it, my 6 personal goals. Like I mentioned at the top, they are not too crazy or unachievable but they are personal, hence the name; personal goals.
I challenge you to go now and set some. I’d love to see what you come up with. Comment below with your personal goals.
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These posts on the Center for Inspiring Greatness gives some great personal goal achieving tips:
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