Geneva: Setting goals that are realistic and seem to be attainable may be key to your well-being and life satisfaction, scientists say. Wealth, community, health, meaningful work: life goals express a person’s character, as they determine behaviour and the compass by which people are guided, according to researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland.
It can therefore be assumed that goals can contribute substantially to how satisfied people are in life – or how dissatisfied if important goals are blocked and cannot be achieved.
Researchers conducted a detailed examination on how life goals are embedded in people’s lives across adult. The study included data from 973 people between 18 and 92 years old living in German-speaking parts of Switzerland; more than half of the participants were surveyed again after two and four years.
The participants had to assess the importance and the perceived attainability of life goals in ten areas – health, community, personal growth, social relationships, fame, image, wealth, family, responsibility/care for younger generations, and work – using a four-point scale.
The findings reveal that perceiving one’s personal goals as attainable is an indicator for later cognitive and affective well-being. This implies that people are most satisfied if they have a feeling of control and attainability.