Buddhist Approach to Goal Setting: Achieving Goals in a More Meaningful Way

Setting goals is easy, you would think. And somehow that's true. But often the goals are not reached. So something seems to go wrong from goal setting to goal achievement. The reason for this is often quite simple: we do not know how to set the right goals and how to work towards them.

There are countless methods and you may have already tried several. And maybe you ask yourself why exactly this method should bring success now, where the methods of other (and more competent) people fail. Well, our method is based on Buddhist philosophy. This philosophy has been around for centuries (it's about 2500 years old) and has helped many people achieve their goals in a more meaningful way. In this blog post, we'll explain what the Buddhist approach to goal setting is, how you can apply it in your own life, and what benefits you can expect from it. We will also discuss the disadvantages of this approach and, of course, share our method that we have extracted for you: C.A.L.M.

What is the Buddhist philosophy for goals

The Buddhist approach to goal setting is based on the philosophy of Buddhism. This philosophy teaches that all beings have the potential to reach nirvana, a state of perfect peace and bliss. To reach nirvana, you must first let go of all your desires and attachments. But even before you reach nirvana, you can focus on your goals and achieve them in a more peaceful and holistic way.

Now let's take a closer look at how you can do that.

How can you apply this to your own life

You can apply this Buddhist philosophy to your own life by setting goals based on what you want to achieve, not what you think you should achieve.

Did both sound pretty much the same? But they are not.

Let me explain.

For example, if you want to lose weight, your goal should be to get healthier, not to look a certain way. If you focus on your desired outcome, you're more likely to achieve it in a more meaningful way. Often, you'll still get what you wanted in the first place.

Sounds good? I think so too.

Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, we've also shaped some practical steps into an easy-to-remember system you can use to make things easier on yourself:

CheckIdentify your goal. More than anything, you should think things through. Most of the time we think that certain things or situations are our goals, when in fact they are what we hope to get out of those things or situations. Once you know your true goal, move on to the next step.

How can you remember this step? Imagine you are evaluating a goal using a checklist. If you want, you can also imagine that you put the goal on a lift - just like a car.

AnchorMeditate on your goal. Refrain from immediate action, because that can lead to wrong actions. And the best way to do that is to meditate. The reason is that meditation first gives you pause and support. Once you are filled with peace, it is time for the next step.

An anchor is a great image to visualize this step. The anchor holds you in the desired position.

Layout: Design your plan. It's easy to take action without having planned properly. And as Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." A proper layout can go a long way.

What does the right layout look like? It depends a lot on the nature of your goal, but there are some principles:

  • The bigger your goal the smaller the intermediate steps
  • Think about what to give up to achieve the goal (Lose weight? Less treats, Better grades? Less social media, etc.). This is the Buddhist part of letting go (called the third noble truth).
  • Think about what you need to be able to complete the steps.
  • Think about what other benefits you will get when you reach your goal. There is hardly a goal that does not bring something positive with you. And that increases the appeal of the goal.
  • Make sure that the first steps are easy to master. This motivates and helps you build momentum.

MakeDo the steps you have planned. When you have figured out what you need to do, do it. It should be relatively easy since you've broken it down into manageable steps.

Now it's up to you to work through your steps. Enjoy your process. And document it. It's a great feeling to look back on what you've accomplished. This was also taught by the ancient philosopher Seneca, as you can from this short article learn

Here again, briefly and concisely summarized for you đŸ™‚

The next time you have a goal, just think about C.A.L.M.

Oh, and don't beat yourself up if something goes wrong. You can either let go of the goal (yes, that's an option too) or - if it's important - go back to the steps A.L.M. and try again.

What are advantages of this approach?

Besides achieving your goals yourself, there are many other benefits to using the Buddhist approach to goal setting.

One of the most important is that letting go of attachments and desires that have been holding you back from achieving your goals makes your life freer overall. This can be very helpful if you have a lot of negative feelings or behaviors that are holding you back. By letting go of these things, you can even focus on your goals and achieve them in a more positive way.

Another benefit of this approach is that it can help you find more meaning in your life. If you set goals based on what you want to achieve, rather than what you think you need to achieve, you are more likely to find meaning and purpose in your life. This can be very helpful if you feel that you are not really living your life to the fullest.

If you want to learn more about how to find meaning in your life, you might want to check out the japanese principle of ikigai be just right for you.

Are there any disadvantages with this approach

The Buddhist approach to goal setting also has some drawbacks.

But spoiler alert: no big ones.

Probably the most noticeable is that it may take you a long time to achieve your goals. This is because you have to let go of more and more attachments and desires before you can focus on your goal. If you are not patient, this approach may not be for you.

Another disadvantage of this approach is that it can be difficult to find Buddhist teachers or mentors, but sometimes (for example, for very large set goals), needs them. The difficulty in finding teachers or mentors is due to the fact that Buddhism is not as popular in the Western world as other religions and therefore there are not as many people who are familiar with it. If you want to use this approach to goal setting, you may need to do your own research or find a Buddhist teacher or mentor who can help you. Of course, you can also just share with like-minded people . For example, us on Instagram:

Can you mix Buddhist and non-Buddhist approaches to goal setting

Finally, it is important to know that you can mix Buddhist philosophy and non-Buddhist approaches to goal setting. For example, you could set a goal of becoming healthier and then apply Buddhist principles to achieve that goal. This is not an either-or; you can use both approaches to goal setting and many people find that they are more successful.

If you are looking for a more meaningful way to achieve your goals, the Buddhist approach to goal setting may be right for you. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to this approach, and you may need to do your own research or find a Buddhist teacher or mentor to help you. However, if you are willing to make the effort, you will find that this approach can help you achieve your goals in a more peaceful and holistic way.

Okay, that's it. We hope that you will have a lot of success with the C.A.L.M. principle. Of course, it is not a guarantee to reach goals, but the successes are impressive and the application is relaxing - as you know it from the Buddhist philosophy.

If you are interested in Buddhism, you can find an article about the founder here: Gautama Buddha: who and how was he really?

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