A word on goal setting - Rethink Central

A word on goal setting

by | Jul 24, 2012 | Goals

“Imagine if you concentrated on all the joy in your life, every day – don’t you think you’d feel better?”
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Joy isn’t much discussed in the modern world.

Or rather, not on a day to day level: talk of joy is usually reserved for things that are extraordinary: like births or weddings.

But here at Rethink Retreats, we think joy is much more common than that. Or it should be.

On of the exercises in our forthcoming Career Course, one right at the beginning, is to make a ‘joy list’.

And that’s just exactly what it sounds like – a list of all the things that bring you joy, no matter how small.

Things like, a really good cup of coffee, or sliding into a bed with fresh sheets, or popping bubble wrap. Things that on any day, no matter how rubbish it starts, will be improved by the arrival of this joyful thing. For me, just being near a gerber daisy, a red one with those big sunny faces… and my day is lifted.

Imagine if you concentrated on all the joy in your life, every day – don’t you think you’d feel better?

And once you’ve got your joy list, you can refer back to it whenever you like. It’s the perfect antidote to feeling blah – just pull out the list and go do a few things from it and instantly you’ll feel better.

This is important as one of the strange functions of the human mind is that, when you feel down, you can’t remember all the things that will make you feel better. With a joy list you’ve got it right there in front of you.

I always get clients to do one of these, and it’s fun to see how different they are for people. Some are very long, some very short, some have lots of sensual things, some people get joy from puppies and children, some from crossword puzzles and a really nice cup of tea. But everyone feels better for doing it.

Some clients laminate them. They’re that useful.

And strangely it’s worth checking them regularly. I do this exercise at least weekly, as I teach it so often. And even so, when I check my list, I usually realise I’ve not done some of my joyful things recently.

Thinking about it, I haven’t bought flowers for ages…

Liz Scully for Rethink Retreats

Take Action!

Start your joy list right now. Write down all the things that bring you joy right now, however unimportant they might seem.

Don’t censor yourself – just get it all down on paper. Remember it’s impossible to get it wrong, some people have pages and pages, some only 10 things. But we’ve all got some things that always make us feel joy.

Keep the list to hand over the coming week, and keep adding to it as you remember things to add to the list.

Then make sure you DO the things on the list regularly. Give yourself a little joy boost regularly


This post is part of Prioritise Month on the Rethink Retreats blog. Read other great articles on goals and priorities here:

Eat the toad
Underachieving? Break goals into smaller chunks
Change your life in 30 minute chunks

And of course, do lets us know some of your joys below. Do you like gerbers, for instance?


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