Setting Goals

To each is a goal to which he turns; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever you are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah has power over all things. H.Q. 2:148.

Setting goals is important as they give direction, meaning, and purpose to life. Most people do not set goals. Therefore most people are mediocre in the six major areas of life. One should set simple goals in all the six major areas. On the other extreme are people who over obsess about their goals. For example; they set several goals for their financial and work life, but neglect the social and spiritual life. These individuals often experience burnout and unhappiness.

Furthermore one should not set too many goals. How many of us set numerous goals year after year but end up not succeeding at most if not all? They then fall into a state of depression over being a failure. Furthermore when one sets too many goals, this adds tremendous pressure and stress and leads to goal fatigue quickly. Do not be overly ambitious in the goal-setting department. Keep it SIMPLE. Many goal-setters are on what I call the goal setting treadmill. This is the personality that always set goals, have elaborate charts, spreadsheets, notes etc. They then have these broken down into daily small/smart goals, then hourly goals etc. I recommend setting no more than two goals for the six major areas of life. Once these are accomplished then move on to more. The six major areas are;

1. Physical
2. Intellectual
3. Spiritual
4. Social
5. Emotional
6. Financial

Setting goals in each of these areas should ensure that you lead a balanced life. How many times have you seen businessmen and professionals work on their jobs or businesses seven days a week. What about their family/social life? What about their health or physical life? Of the people that set goals, most only set financial goals. It has been ingrained in us since grade school to grow up, finish school, go to college to get a good job so we can live a luxurious life. But what school didn’t teach us is that most who take this perspective have marital problems, health issues with no social life.

One could even set too many goals in the Spiritual department as evidence from this hadith, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “ Have I not been informed that you offer prayer all the night and fast the whole day? I said,”yes.” He (SAW) said, “ Do not do so; offer prayer at night and also sleep; fast for a few days and give up fasting for a few days because your body has a right on you, and your eye has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you…” Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.155 narrated by Abdullah bin Amr (RA)

In other words, our life must be balanced. We cannot pursue one goal so excessively and to the detriment of other areas of our life. These other areas have rights!

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