1st Edition

Happiness Through Goal Setting A Practical Guide to Reflect on and Change the Reasons Why You Pursue Your Most Important Goals in Life

By Christian Ehrlich, Sashenka Milston Copyright 2022
    78 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    78 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    An evidence-based, practical guide to reflection on the most important goals in life, this book provides a unique framework and thought-provoking exercises to modify personal and professional goals to increase happiness.

    Why we pursue our most important goals in life is an important question, and the answer we give ourselves greatly influences our happiness. This book presents the goal-striving reasons framework to illustrate the essential positive and negative ingredients: pleasure, altruism, self-esteem, and necessity. This new framework and the practical exercises throughout the book will enable readers to change their reasons for pursuing goals and achieve the ultimate aim of becoming happier in life.

    There are many books on happiness – no other discusses happiness specifically from a goal-setting perspective. Human resources and mental health professionals, mindfulness practitioners, coaches, mentors, higher education staff, postgraduate students, and others will benefit from the hands-on guidance in this book.

    Part 1 The Big Picture; 1 Introduction; 2 Why happiness matters; 3 Things to consider on your happiness journey, including a word of warning; 3.1 Intentional activities and life circumstances – two areas for long term happiness; 3.2 Happiness requires constant fuelling; 3.3 Valuing happiness – can this be a bad thing?; 4 Why goals matter for our happiness; Part 2 The Four Reasons; 5 What makes for happy goals? – The goal-striving reasons framework; 6 Self-esteem: Goals that you pursue for self-esteem reasons; 6.1 Strategy 1: Reduce goal-striving for ego reasons; 6.2 Strategy 2: Learning goals (and how to deal with failure); 7 Pleasure: Important goals that you pursue because they are enjoyable; 7.1 Strategy 1: Match your goals with your heart; 7.2 Strategy 2: Do something fun – on a regular basis; 8 Altruism: Goals that make the world a better place; 8.1 Strategy 1: Engage in "acts of kindness" on a regular basis; 8.2 Strategy 2: Reflect on your own impact; 9 Necessity: Goals that you pursue because you need to make a living; 9.1 Strategy 1: How to avoid doing things out of necessity for your most important goals; 9.2 Strategy 2: Reducing social comparison as another reason for why we want more; 9.2.1 Use more internal standards to evaluate your own progress rather than how you stack up in comparison with others; 9.2.2 Make it a goal to be okay with people who are better than you; 9.2.3 Remind yourself that nobody has it all; Part 3 Related Topics Around Goals; 10 Assertiveness and assertiveness techniques; 10.1 I-statements; 10.2 Reciprocity and concessions; 10.3 Broken record; 10.4 Putting it all together; 11 Creativity/creative solutions; 11.1 Going for a walk; 11.2 Mind maps; 11.3 Asking others for help/getting coached; 12 Summary; Index


    Christian Ehrlich completed his PhD at the University of Kaiserslautern on work motivation. He is currently working at Oxford Brookes Business School. His research interests are around goals and happiness, where he developed the goal-striving reasons framework on which the "Happiness through Goal Setting" training is based.

    Sashenka Milston is an Executive Team Coach. She also continues to lecture at Oxford Brookes Business School. She has taught at universities and colleges in Australia and the UK and trained and coached teams and individuals internationally. Sashenka holds a PhD in Psychology.

    "If there was ever a time for the pursuit of happiness, it’s now. This book encourages you to reflect on the reasons behind your goal setting and explains how you might reconsider those reasons to find happiness."
    Dian Harvey, Psychotherapist, UK

    "I have found this book so helpful! The authors guide you progressively through a reflection on what really lies beneath your life goals, using all the latest evidence. I use the approach for myself and in career development coaching at work."
    Professor Helen Walkington, Oxford Brookes University, UK

    "For anyone lacking in career or life direction, some insightful ideas and practical activities designed to question choices which may not sing from the heart. A holistic approach to goal setting through looking at achievement through a very different lens."
    Emma Robinson, Careers Consultant, Oxford Brookes University, UK

    "This book is offering a practical and research-based framework to coaches, mentors, line managers, coach educators and anybody else involved in developing others for crafting more meaningful goals. I am using the ideas and exercises in this book with my coaching clients who found they are highly motivated to work on their goals and the approach benefits their well-being. Being more focussed on their learning instead of performance liberates them to find new resources to fulfil their potential and achieve their goals. Personally, having used the goal-striving framework as a self-coaching tool for some time now, my business has benefited immensely as I am aligning the business goals with my overall life goals, hence making them more sustainable."
    Claudia Filsinger, Executive Coach and Coaching Supervisor at Moving Maps Ltd, Associate of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University, UK