How to mindfully set goals for your life

What are the roots of you life goals?

  • Thursday, August 1, 2019 8:30am
  • Life

By Dora Gyarmati

Special to the Reporter

We are a month away from the start of the school year; I figure this is an excellent time to talk about goals.

I know you think why the school year, why not the usual start of the new year?

January is a busy time, and new year resolutions fall short most of the time. We grind, we push and we fail. Then we identify with the failure and that’s no fun.

I believe for smart goal setting, we need space and we need time to think. August is a time when we relax a bit more and take time off work. There is leisure in the air. By the time mid-September hits, we are back at “working mindset.” Thus, August is the perfect time to sit in the shade and make some notes in your journal.

I like to follow a flow chart when it comes to mindful goal setting.

Here are the questions that I ask myself:

Is this a goal that simply must be done?

Such as taxes, going to the dentist and so forth. You know, life stuff. It ain’t fun, it is never gonna be fun, so suck it up, stop procrastinating and simply make time in the calendar to get it done. So open your schedule and create time, right now.

Is this a life goal? A new direction in health, with career, family?

If it is this second category, then it needs further examination.

Why do you desire this “life goal” and what is the root of the desire?

To explain, why do we want a particular car? Because we like how it drives. Is that all there is? Or maybe there is a social prestige along with that purchase. And why do we want social prestige? Does that make us feel successful? You see where I am going? The root of your desire is always a few layers down and often we do not want to admit, not even to ourselves the source of our desire.

Once you know the root of your desire, then ask, is this my desire?

I know, at first glance, you tell me: “of course, Dora, you are ridiculous; it is my goal, thus my desire.” I say, not so fast. Every idea that we carry in our mind came from somewhere. We learn our culture from the country where we were born and raised; we learn our first wishes from our parents and our friends. So, is your desire yours? For example, if you want to go to medical school, is it because you want to cure people or is it because your parents think it is a great profession? If you want to lose 10 pounds, is it because you will be healthier or is it because society will think you look better? Before you go anywhere with your goal, you must determine the source of your desire. You must understand your desire.

It often happens that once someone clearly understands the desire behind the goal, their desire disappears. To that, I say: well done! Good work. Now you can think and meditate on a goal that is worth your time.

If you made it this far and you still want to reach your life goal, then it is time to answer some questions on the process.

Life is lived between your goals. You must think of the process that leads to that goal. If you don’t like or trust the process, there is a great chance that you will not reach your goal. But if you like the process, you have already won, even if you never reach your goal. So take some time identifying the process.

To explain, in my 20s and early 30s, I worked in scientific research for a while because I liked studying and learning about science. It took me four years working to admit that I hated the day-to-day work. I loved science, but the tediousness of research was not my gig. It never occurred to my young self to think of the day-to-day.

But process is in everything, not just jobs. If you wish to be in a bigger house, you should recognize that it will cost more money and more upkeep. Will you enjoy the extra work that reaching this goal requires? Because if you do not enjoy your additional responsibilities, then your bigger house will become your prison sooner than you know!

Life is a process. Instead of being a prisoner of your desires year after year, build awareness in your life and be conscious of your actions. Take some time reflecting and journaling this month.

Dora Gyarmati teaches yoga and mindfulness classes. She owns Spira Power Yoga in Issaquah and West Seattle. Her company M3Bmethod also lectures on resilience and stress management to health care professionals.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Listen and Talk students playing on playground. Courtesy photo.
Specialty school coming to Kirkland

Listen and Talk is a specialized program for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Decorated statue at Marina Park in support of Black Lives Matter efforts. Reader submitted photo.
Ribbons for Black Lives Matter

The display at Marina Park coincides with statewide efforts of the local King County Black Lives Matter chapter.

Kirkland Wednesday Farmers Market will run every Wednesday from June 5 through September 25.
Kirkland farmers markets are ready for shoppers

Both Kirkland Wednesday Market and Juanita Friday Market are practicing social distancing during their reopenings.

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Hannah Scholes. COURTESY PHOTO
Waste reduction from home

A monthly column from Waste Management.

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Showing their appreciation for EvergreenHealth workers

First responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville stopped by the Kirkland medical center to show their support for their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

From left, Evan Shouse, Lauren Shouse and Ellienn Tatar stand outside their Kirkland residence. Courtesy photo
Making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic

LWTech Foundation COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund lends a helping hand.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.