Setting goals…Seems fairly straightforward: Set the goal, think about how you are going to do it, and then do it. Right? Maybe. In today’s social media driven society, the future that we envision for ourselves is constantly being influenced and compared to everyone else’s present. Food for thought: Are we setting goals for ourselves, or are we setting other people’s goals for ourselves

I am not standing on a multi-million dollar yacht, basking in the sun next to Jay-Z off the coast of an exotic country. (Beyonce’s latest Instagram posts). I am however, over halfway through a master’s degree, living on my own in Toronto with one of my best friends, writing a blog post for GEM. I have a lot to be proud of and sometimes I have to remind myself that I am happy, and making things happen for ME. It’s important to be inspired and ensure you have a sense of self-direction; and a day in the life of Beyonce’s shoes would be amazing, because let’s be honest, it’s Beyonce! But, if we focus too much on everyone else’s goals and accomplishments, we may lose sight of the importance and the value of our own.

When you’re thinking about your future, it really comes down to acknowledging 2 things: What makes you happy, and what is important to you.


Think about what makes you happy; Write them down, or say them out loud

  • Ask yourself: Are the things you are doing today going to make you happy tomorrow?
    • Example: Being social, and spending time with friends/family makes me really happy. Am I being the best person that I can be to those people? Am I putting in enough quality time with people that I care about?

Think about what is important to you; write them down or say them out loud

  • Ask yourself: Are the things that are important to you going to make you happy tomorrow?
    • Example: Having a job I love is important to me. Is what I am doing right now/today going to help me get to my dream job? What can I do to make myself a more qualified candidate for my dream job?

Make sure before you set any goals or intentions that they reflect who you are, what matters most to you, and what makes you happy. Trust me, it is a lot more rewarding to follow your own dreams than to follow or wish for everyone else’

If you want a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects – Albert Einstein. 

Jenna Smith writes about how to set goals as we begin our mentorship program. Jenna is a mentor in the GEM program. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Education at University of Toronto and has been a GEMinar facilitator.