Last week, I wrote about Setting Goals that Fit your Personality Part I. It will be helpful for you to read that first here. When you consider setting your goals this year, start with the goals that will give you the most return on your investment, and I’m not talking financially, I’m talking psychologically and emotionally.
In last week’s blog, I wrote about the five basic needs. Certain needs are more important to you than others. There are basically two factors to consider—one is how important the need is to you and the other is how well are you meeting it right now. I will use myself as an example. Connection is my highest need. 2020 was not the best year to increase connection for me and for most other people in the world. I live alone so I don’t have much face-to-face interaction with anyone, particularly since the outdoor dining season ended here in Chicago. The good news for me is that I’ve found ways to increase my connection, even in the world of quarantine and COVID-19. Zoom has helped me connect with people I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve been able to continue much of my work on Zoom. While I’m not crazy about flying, I have driven three times to Pennsylvania to see my sons and their families. Had that not been the case, my Connection need would not have been met very well. In 2021, I would be looking to set some goals that will help with connection.
What I wouldn’t do is set weight loss goals that interfere with me spending quality time with my friends. That wouldn’t make sense regardless of what the world thinks I should be concerned about. My absolute best solution would be to link my weight loss goals to my need of Connection. If I can invite friends to exercise with me or to try a new food plan together, I would be more successful.
Let’s say your highest need is Significance and the world is telling you that you need to have better work/life balance but you aren’t feeling off kilter. You have a high need for Significance and you are satisfied with working most of the time. For you, work/life balance includes 90 percent work and 10 percent personal time. When you are getting your needs met working, that’s exactly what you should be doing. People who might want to set work/life balance goals would be those who feel trapped by work. They are giving a lot of time to it and resenting losing out on things in their personal life.
Should you set money goals? That depends on how important your Safety & Security need is to you or how frustrated it might be. Safety & Security is one of my least important needs, however, there was a time in my life several years ago, when I was drowning in credit card debt. My Safety & Security need wasn’t any bigger during that time, but it was most definitely frustrated. That year, it made sense for me to have goals around reducing credit card debt. Whenever a need is frustrated, you will feel a strong push to do something about it.
Unfortunately, sometimes people choose goals because someone else assesses that’s what they need. There is no shortage of people telling you what would be best for you. Still, no one else will be able to tell you which of your needs most needs to be met. You are the one who knows that. People who know you well, might be able to make an educated guess but you are the only one who truly knows.
Spending quality time with your children would be a great goal, if you are seeking to be a better parent or to develop a better relationship with your kids.
Implementing a self-care routine, would be a good thing to do if you are feeling frustrated around Freedom or Safety & Security.
When you are planning your focus and accomplishments for 2021, start with an evaluation of your basic needs. You can take an assessment here. This will help you understand which needs are most important for you in terms of your personality. Then self-evaluate how satisfied each of them are. Start with the need that’s the largest. If your largest need is satisfied but your smallest one is frustrated, then think about what you could do that would help you have more of your unmet need in your life. Know that what might satisfy one person’s need, wouldn’t necessarily satisfy someone else in the same way. Riding on the back of someone’s motorcycle gives me a tremendous sense of freedom; someone else might be terrified.
This is why it’s important that you set and work toward goals that you believe will help you become more need-satisfied. Don’t frustrate yourself setting goals you probably won’t make progress toward. You can accept that some things just aren’t important enough for you right now to pursue, but if your situation changes, you might want to go after different goals.
To have a successful 2021, first you need to know yourself and what you need. Then you need to set goals that will satisfy your most important needs. Finally, you will want to used focused energy and attention to move toward the goals you set. To help you make 2021 a better year than 2020, check out my Goal Attainment eBook with Action Book.