top of page
  • Writer's pictureCatherine Injugu

What Really Matters?

We’re at the end of January (we made it!). We pile a lot onto the first month of the year; new professional goals, personal endeavors and even a crystal ball look into how the rest of our year will go. When it comes to goals, many of us set what we would like to achieve and intend to begin the new year on a different/ better footing. This is most likely fueled by the hopeful potential of the many months that lie ahead.

So, how come we don't maintain the same outlook as the year progresses?

Maybe we can start with the type of goals we set for ourselves in the first place.

Most people set goals that run in the familiar lines of exercise and fitness, diet and weight, career advancement or change, learning a new skill and spending more time with family and friends. These all target some part of life and are typically a small part in a grander scheme of things. 

This brings me to a recent lesson on goals that I picked up from an interview on the Diary of A CEO podcast. The guest, Arthur Brooks, is a social scientist who studies Happiness in people. In his research he has found that the most successful resolutions revolve around four areas; faith, family, friendship and our work. 

Why are these areas so important? 

Fundamentally, habits in these areas contribute to our overall happiness. 

* Faith (religious or spiritual) provides us a transcendental understanding of life that surpasses physical constraints. 

*The family we are born into provides a primary source of community and has a significant and shared impact on our relational patterns with the rest of the world.

*Friends constitute our chosen family and provide us a lens into other parts of ourselves we are blind to. Get you some “useless but good for you friends” haha.

*Finally, the work we do provides us a sense of accomplishment and the reward of recognition. It is even better if the efforts we make are of value to others. 

So what do we do with the diet, gym membership and the skills course you just signed up for? These are called intermediary goals and they remain ever important.

Your intermediary goals can get you closer to your bigger vision especially when they are set intentionally. 

For example, one of the most important things for me is building friendships that last. I have been working on staying in touch more with my friends by texting or calling often and meeting up when we can. 

It sounds small, but when I think about all the changes we are experiencing in our individual lives I become more intentional about knowing what’s going on in their lives and sometimes I don’t know what to say or do but I believe being there is the best in these times.

Turning the lens on you

  • What are your goals this year?

  • Why are they so important to you?

  • Who else benefits from these resolutions?

  • When you think of yourself at the end of this year having achieved the resolutions you set, who do you become?

I am reading:

The School of Life by Allain de Botton which I would describe as a crash course into emotional maturity. You can check it out here

I recently listened to:

The Diary of A CEO where Steven Bartlett interviewed Arthur C. Brooks. My key take away from this is Happiness is a Pursuit not a final destination. Maybe this will give you the drive to love what you have more.

By Catherine Karega-Injugu, MA Clinical Psychology

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page