While it’s typically easy to set goals, it can be a challenge knowing what goals we actually, in our heart of hearts, want to pursue. People often set goals for themselves that have been governed by what others around them find valuable, or the pressure and/or praise they received from adults and peers in their lives growing up. We tend to assume we really want the things we have been told are worth wanting, then falling victim to blind ambition devoid of genuine passion. The solution? Be more mindful when setting your goals.

“Successful goal setting is all about passion,” says psychologist Leslie Riopel. “ If you have passion for your goal, you are much more likely to achieve it. On the other hand, if you’re setting goals that other people want you to set, you may find they are more difficult to achieve. Always focus on goals that bring you a sense of passion and excitement.”

But given that we’re all products of social conditioning, it’s easier said than done to disentangle what goals we truly want for ourselves from the opinions, beliefs, and judgements of those around us. The answer is learning to tune inward, which is where mindfulness comes in as a key factor in setting meaningful goals.