Purpose as define by Webster is: “the reason for which something exists, is done, made etc. An intended or desired result, aim or goal. To Intend or resolve.”
Finding life purpose is the determining factor in setting your goals and objectives in life. If a person lacks a clear purpose in their life, career or business it is difficult to set and achieve meaningful goals. Without a life that is purpose driven, people easily lose their direction and motivation or the will to continue when life throws them a curve, they hit a pothole or face difficult challenges.
Without a life purpose it is difficult to develop any sense of satisfaction for accomplishments along life’s path.
In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning Victor Frankl gives us a clear connection between finding a purpose in life and goal setting. Frankl, an Austrian Psychiatrist, was a prisoner in the German concentration camps during World War 2. In his award winning book, he details the psychological trauma of the camps and how those who survived attempted to deal with the inhumane conditions.
From his personal experience and professional training, he reveals the connection between a life that is purpose driven and goals:
“It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future, and setting goals, even if he doesn’t achieve them. It orients his efforts, and brings meaning to his suffering. It creates purpose. This is what brings him his salvation in the most difficult of moments of his existence, although sometimes he has to force his mind to the task.”
His insight gives us a clear understanding of the connection between our need to set goals and purpose. When we have a purpose, a goal, it gives us a reason, a cause for our actions – motivation.
Motivation can be defined as a concept used to describe the factors within an individual which arouse, maintain and channel behavior towards a goal.
Another way to say this is that motivation is goal-directed behavior.
You know you’ve selected a goal when it meets the criteria as a SMART goal.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
Specific: Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen what motivates you. Specifics, defined goals help us clearly define what we are going to do and focus our efforts in it pursuit.
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. In expending energy on your goals, you can measure your progress, and stay on track. When you reach your target dates, you experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your goals.
Achievable: A goal needs to stretch you slightly stretching your abilities. While it may be out of your comfort zone, you should still feel you can do it, though it may need a real commitment from you.
Realistic: Set goals that you can attain with some degree of effort. If they are too difficult, you may set the stage for failure. Too low and you send yourself the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement but not too high so that you feel frustrated and dispirited!
Timely: If you don’t set a time, your commitment is too vague and scattered. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to starting or taking action now, no necessity in acquiring the resources or the skills to make it happen.
Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.
SMART goal setting provides you with all the ingredients to making your hopes and dreams come true, keeping you on track and on your life purpose. Finding a purpose in life and living a life of purpose, a life that is purpose driven, can lead to greater happiness. Setting and achieving goals based on your life purpose can lead to a greater sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. With a life that is purpose driven, teeming with goals, you’ll soon discover for yourself what is the meaning of success.