Why Your Goals Should Include Flourishing: A Path to a Fulfilling Life

Posted on December 20, 2023 by Derek Bell, MS, CWP

Updated January 10, 2024

Flourishing refers to living a life where everything is going well. But what does that really mean? It means understanding the connection between various aspects of our lives that align with our values and fulfill our needs. This includes:

  • Close relationships
  • Financial stability
  • Connection to our values
  • Mental and physical health
  • Happiness
  • Satisfaction
  • Finding meaning and purpose in our personal and professional lives

Ultimately, flourishing is not just about the external circumstances of our lives, but also about our internal mindset and perception. It is about how you navigate through the ups and downs, the challenges and successes, and the joys and sorrows of your well-being journey. When you truly flourish, you have a deep sense of optimism and hope for the future. It means you believe there are always opportunities for growth and development, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in.

Exploring the Concept of Flourishing

The internal gauges of flourishing are our own perceptions, beliefs and mindset are our flourishing gauges. These determine how we interpret events and experiences, and ultimately shape our emotional well-being and overall satisfaction with life. By cultivating a positive and optimistic outlook, we can enhance our state of flourishing and create a life that aligns with our values and aspirations.

In times of adversity and challenge, resiliency becomes a crucial factor in our ability to flourish. It is the Our inner strength, determination and focus on optimism that allows gives us a chance to us to bounce back from setbacks, overcome obstacles and keep moving forward. Affirming our resilience enables us to maintain a sense of hope and optimism, even through difficult times.

Let us also remember that flourishing is not just about external achievements or material possessions, as they often feel like rewards or cause for celebrations. They can also lead to false senses of flourishing and ultimately feel like empty achievements. Flourishing is about how we perceive and navigate our experiences, how we embrace growth and development and how we rely on our resilience to overcome challenges. By nurturing our internal gauges of flourishing, we can truly live a life that is rich in meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

Goals and Flourishing

Goal setting plays a crucial role in the concept of flourishing. When you set goals that align with your values and needs, you create a roadmap for personal growth and development. By defining clear objectives, you will give yourself something to strive for and a sense of direction.

Flourishing is not just about achieving success in one area of our lives, but rather, it encompasses all aspects of your existence. Setting goals allows you to focus on each of these areas, ensuring that you are actively working towards our desired state of flourishing. For example, if one of your values is maintaining close relationships, you can set goals to regularly connect with loved ones, strengthen your communication skills and create meaningful experiences together.

One more piece to remember is that well-being and flourishing looks different to everyone, every day. It is important to recognize and honor these differences, as they shape your personal journey towards flourishing.

Flourishing and Traditional Success

Of the many problems that complicate life, trying to define success and how that impacts your life is one of the most stressful things to achieve. To carry around expectations, shoulder needs, and strive for growth comes with uncertainty about what is important in life.

The social definition of success is often based on measurable factors like wealth, status, degrees and material possessions. These are frequently upheld by societal norms and career benchmarks, leading us to prioritize outperforming others. However, this can result in an unhealthy focus on outcomes, material rewards, and recognition, leading to an unfair sense of growth. When you focus on your goals, needs and values, you flourish.

Tips for Flourishing Through your Goals

Identify core values. Start by reflecting on what truly matters to you, what makes you feel fulfilled and what principles guide your decision-making.

Get your headspace in check. Mindfulness, realistic goal adjustment and celebrating small growth can all help cultivate a personal and meaningful approach to goal pursuit and progress monitoring.

Make your goal purpose-driven. 

Purpose-driven goals contribute to flourishing by instilling meaning, promoting connection to our vocation, enhancing positive emotions and aligning your life with your values. This pursuit provides a framework for a fulfilling and purposeful life.

Common Roadblocks to Achieving Flourishing Goals

  • Lack of clarity or intention about a goal
  • Fear of failure
  • Feeling overwhelmed, leading to paralyzing procrastination
  • Negative self-talk that eats away at confidence and self-esteem
  • Lack of social support leading to isolation
  • External circumstances and environmental factors beyond our control
  • Our own limitations in adaptability and resilience

Everyone's journey is unique, and it's important to remember that you don't have to compare yourself to others. It's not about how fast you go, but rather, reaching your destination. Place your emphasis on small steps and forward motion, celebrating any growth when it happens. And perhaps most importantly, don't hesitate to seek support from your peers and social connections along the way.

Flourishing is not a destination that we reach and then stop, but an ongoing process of self- discovery and personal growth. It is about continuously learning, adapting, and evolving as we move forward in life. We understand that setbacks and failures are not signs of defeat, but rather stepping stones towards greater success and fulfillment.

We Can Help

VITAL WorkLife is your partner for exploring flourishing in your daily life–and how to set goals that lead you there.

For members of our Well-Being Resources, Peer Coaching can be a solution for strong goal setting that leads to flourishing. Call 877.731.3949 to speak with one of our Well-Being Coordinators, anytime–day or night.

Are you a decision-maker at your healthcare organization, and ready for a more robust well-being culture? Let’s chat and discuss our expertise, strategies and solutions available for your organization.

Interested in learning more?

Contact Us


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