What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar

Why do we set goals? The obvious answer is to get stuff done in our lives that we want. On another level, we set goals and go after them to deepen our sense of achievement and self-esteem. There’s something we get out of being the type of person who does what they say they’re going to do. At the same time, most of us forget about that part of achieving goals. We set out to do things because we’re going to get something out of it. Whether it’s money, romance, a better body or even a medal, we focus too much on the tangible result and forget to applaud ourselves for the type of person we’ve now become as a result of achieving our goals. It’s funny, because when we don’t achieve our goals, it almost becomes clearer – that effect. We berate ourselves for who we’re being. We tell ourselves we’re a loser or stupid and even feel guilty for not doing what we’ve set out to do. There’s a sense of shame that becomes deeply embedded into our being when we fail to complete our goals. Conversely, when we achieve our goals – we skip over the good stuff. The moment when we can look at ourselves in the mirror and recognize who we’ve now become because we achieved our goals. We forget to embrace our dedication, perseverance or kindness. And in essence, we miss a chance to use what we’ve learned to become all those qualities in other areas of our life. Forgetting to acknowledge our new selves keeps us from recognizing that who we were in this instance is who we can be in all areas of our life. It’s like having a really good workout, but forgetting the nourishment that will help the muscle grow. So, rather than simply looking at the “what you get” aspect of goals, embracing who we’ve become can double or triple our initial investments in ourselves and help us achieve even more than we knew possible.

Weekly Path to Peace: Embrace who you’ve become by achieving your goals.

  • When is the last time you did something big? Did you stop and acknowledge who you’ve become or how you’ve grown as a result of reaching your goal. Look back at some of your achievements and see how much you’ve invested in your future self by pausing and identifying the qualities it took to reach what you wanted. Simply journal or write about it without judgment.
  • Take a moment to consider a goal you’ve recently reached. Who have you become as a result of reaching that goal? Have you become more confident or dedicated? Have you embraced peaceful and generous? Identify all the ways you’ve become something different than you were before. Share your achievements with someone and allow yourself to soak in your own praise and victory.

As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.