by Dr. Wendy O'Connor, Positive Psychologist + Life Strategist for Women

Happiness Deconstructed Part 5: Achievement

Working towards our goals (and completing them) provides us with multiple benefits, one being a sense of accomplishment. Think of the last goal you accomplished, identify it in your mind. How good did it feel to accomplish that goal? This sense of accomplishment or achievement is a key component to flourishing. In order to truly feel happy we need to achieve. We often think of accomplishments as only big things but they are also the small daily tasks we set out to complete. In fact, most of our accomplishments are on the smaller scale but we all too often dismiss them as unimportant. Let's start with this, I want you to ask yourself a few questions:

* What was the last big goal you set out to achieve?

* How did you reach it?

* What would you attribute your success to?

* What emotions did you feel at the finish line?

* How did you keep yourself going when you wanted to give up?

In order to cultivate achievement in our lives we first need to identify exactly what it is that we want to achieve and why. Here are 5 tips:

* First, set goals that align with your values. These will be the most meaningful goals, goals that you will feel intrinsically motivated to accomplished. What are they? Write them down.

* Second, BEGIN. Stop waiting to feel 100% ready, because you rarely (if ever) will. You need to begin NOW. Why? Because in a year’s time you’ll wish you

started today.

* Third, name 10 small steps necessary to accomplish in order for you to reach your larger goal. Remember, we work on ONE larger goal at a time in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. What are those 10 necessary steps that will lead you to your bigger goal?

* Fourth, reward ALL progress. I don’t care how many times you try and quit. Reward every millimeter of progress towards your goal. Make a reward list today.

Start again. And again. And again. Know your WHY and CHOOSE to begin again regardless of perceived failures. Why? Because you want and DESERVE happiness in your life. You deserve a truly fulfilling life. And this is something you have control over.

* Fifth, wake up each and every morning knowing exactly which accomplishments you plan to set out and achieve. Knowing your destination as well as the tiny steps that will move you in that direction today will make a huge difference in your ability to gain momentum and make progress towards your goals.

You have this one life, this one shot to live it to the fullest, how will you create your best life today?