A goal is a desired result that a person or a system visualizes or imagines as a future possibility, plans and then commits to achieving that desired result as set previously. The setting of goals or targets is extremely necessary to move on properly and efficiently in life. Both the setting of the goal and working dedicatedly to implement those are equally important. Following the correct path for the achievement of the goal or target is of utmost importance rather than setting the goal and not following the right path to achieve it. The reasons why setting a goal is important are as mentioned below.
Goals help to provide focus – A life without a goal is simply like an arrow without a target. One can shoot the arrow anywhere one likes. Without a goal, it becomes tough to achieve anything until and unless there is something to focus on. One might have a huge potential and great talent, but without focus, the talent and abilities are simply useless. Hence, the focus is an important thing that setting of goals provides us with and with its help we are able to achieve something in life. The sense of direction is actually what enables the mind to focus on a goal and go on a path to achieve the goal instead of aimlessly going around for nothing. With a goal in mind, we know exactly what all things to do for attaining the goal.
Goals help to measure the progress – By the setting of the goals for oneself, one can keep track of one’s progress. With the help of these aims, one can set a benchmark for the performance of self and then one can compare how high or how low the performance is as compared to the level that is set. It can also be very well understood that how good or how bad one has performed in comparison to the previous performance. Thus, the goals are a very good way to measure one’s performance and then do the needful accordingly.
Also read: Importance of good health in our life
Goals help to create accountability – Having a goal in mind makes one accountable, and most importantly this accountability is only for the purpose of self. No one has any idea about the goals that have been set, and no one stands to gain if the goals are achieved. These goals solely help to create accountability of self, and by the setting of some specific goals, one can easily understand that if one is on the right track or not and if not then what needs to be done to be right back on track.
Goals keep us locked in and uninstructed – The setting of goals gives us the feeling of mental boundaries or limits that we are supposed to stay within. When one has an endpoint in mind, one automatically stays away from various distractions and stay focused towards the goal. Hence, the goals play a decisive role in preventing any hindrances or obstacles in the path of achieving the goal.
Goals help to take control of life – Goals are critical to take control of one’s life rather than allowing life to take control of oneself. There are several people who work extremely hard but are unable to achieve anything ultimately because they are just working because they need to work and are going in the direction where life is taking them. The goals will show them the direction and the target to achieve by working hard. Thus, the goals will eventually help them to take control of their life where they exactly know what they are working for.
Goals help to give motivation – Goals are the roots of motivation and inspiration. Without motivation, it becomes tough to achieve or get something in life. The setting of the goals provides one with the foundation for one’s drive. The goals provide a concrete endpoint to aim at and achieve the target with full of excitement. The goal helps one to put a hundred percent effort to achieve the target, and this focus is what results in the development of motivation.
Goals help one to be the best what one can be – The goals help to get the best out of ourselves. It helps us to achieve to the highest of our potential. The goals help us to stretch beyond our normal self and attain new heights. The goals are the best way to get the best out of life and show us what we are capable of achieving.
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“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland
“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar
Do you set goals for yourself? What are your goals for the next 1 year? How about 3 years from now? 5 years? 10 years? What are your aspirations in life?
Goal setting is the first step of successful goal achievement. It marks your first point toward success. It’s when you switch from a passive state to being involved in life.
Here are 7 reasons why it’s important to set goals.
1. Take Control of Your Life
Many people today are sleepwalking through life. Even though they work hard, they don’t feel like they are getting what they want. That’s because they don’t have a direction of where they want to go, what they want to achieve. Students graduate and they’re not sure what to do with their life; adults work for years and are shocked when they reach their 30s/40s and they don’t know what to do next.
As Bill Copeland says, when you don’t set goals, you can spend your whole life running up and down and not achieve anything. In reality you’re just fulfilling others’ goals, not yours. It can be the fast food industry telling you to eat fast food because you’re “lovin’ it.” It can be the consumer goods industry telling you that you need this shampoo with 79% frizz-reduction formula because it’ll make your life better. It can be fashion labels getting you to buy their clothes because you supposedly look cooler in them.
When you stop to set goals and think about what you want, you break out of auto-pilot and start living a life of your conscious creation. Instead of letting others tell you what to do, you proactively take charge and think about what you want for yourself.
2. Get Maximum Results
Top performers, world-class athletes, and successful people all set goals. Michael Phelps (competitive swimmer and most decorated Olympian of all time), Kobe Bryant (NBA star), Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook), Richard Branson (business magnate), and Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and Telsa Motors) all set goals. That’s because when you set goals, you have a vision to work toward. You ensure that you are pushing yourself to get the best results, rather than resting on your laurels and waiting for things to happen.
Know that what gets measured, gets improved. If you don’t set specific targets and milestones, how are things going to improve? There is literally nothing to work toward, and even though you may be working hard, your hard work may not translate into anything. As the popular saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” When you set goals, you are aiming for the moon. Your goals propel you to take more action that you would have otherwise.
What do you want to see 1 year from now? How about 3 years from now? 5 years? When you set goals, you think ahead, after which you can create your action plan. Even if things don’t go according to plan, that’s okay as you can review, adjust your plans, and then steer your life toward your vision.
Know that all things are created twice: first in the mind, then in the physical world. The mental creation happens when you set your goals. The physical creation happens when you work on your goal and bring it to life. Without the mental creation, the physical creation can’t happen. When you set goals, you kick off the very first step to make your dreams happen, after which the next steps will follow suit.
3. Creates Laser Focus
Goals give you focus. While a life purpose gives you a general direction, your goals give you laser focus as to what exactly to spend your time and energy on.
Let’s say you set a goal to create a pastry business. Even though you have no idea how to make it happen, the very act of setting a goal gives you a focal point. As you brainstorm for ideas, you realize that you can start by studying the local pastry market and pastry brands. Understanding the pastries that people like. Then, take baking classes to master your skills. At the same time, test recipes and let your friends taste your creations before selling them.
Think of your energy as the input and the results as the output. When you have a goal, you create a focal point where your energy can be channeled to create maximum reward. For example, a goal to achieve 5,000 visitors/day on your blog helps you prioritize and identify the most important tasks to achieve this traffic target, while eliminating low-value tasks that do not contribute to this vision. Same for a goal like to achieve straight A’s — here you prioritize and identify the key action steps to get top grades, such as picking the best class combination for optimal grades, studying past year exam papers, consulting your professors, and having a study timetable, while eliminating time wasting tasks like excessive use of social media and binge-watching TV shows. This then creates maximum results.
4. Creates Accountability
Having goals makes you accountable. Rather than just talk, you are now obligated to act.
This accountability is accountability to yourself, not anyone else. No one knows the goals you set. People also don’t stand to gain even if you achieve your goals. By setting specific targets, you can easily see if you are on track, and if not, what to do about them.
When I started my blog Personal Excellence years ago, I set goals such as to complete a certain number of articles a week, to hit a certain traffic target a week, and to get a certain number of clients a month. This made me accountable to these targets. Each week, I would monitor my performance while working on my plan. If I found myself falling short, I would take the necessary steps to address it. I would cut out my Quadrant 4 tasks (time wasters) and identify the 80/20 actions to achieve my goals. Doing so helped me grow my blog very quickly, and within a year I was able to turn my passion into my full-time career.
5. Motivates You
When you set goals, you connect yourself with your innermost desires. They help motivate you and give you something to strive for. This is especially powerful if you’re not in a good place in life at the moment — your goals help remind you of the things you love, to redirect your focus away from the negative obstacles, and to reconnect you with your innermost desires.
To quote Henry Ford, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” When you are feeling negative and down, it’s often because you feel you’ve nothing worth looking forward to. Your goals are the rainbow to strive for, to push you out of the storm.
If I ever lose motivation, I would meditate and focus on some of the most important goals in my life, such as all the people I wish to reach out to and help in the world. I would visualize the scenario with full clarity, as if it is happening now. This connects me with my inner self right away as I remember my WHY (my deepest motivation), after which I’ll feel energized and get to work right away. 🙂
6. Be The Best You Can Be
Goals help you achieve your highest potential. Without goals, you default to a routine of activities that keeps you feel safe and comfy each day. But this familiarity is the nemesis of growth. It prevents you from growing. It denies you from tapping into your infinite potential.
By setting goals, you set targets to strive toward. These targets make you venture into new places and new situations that put you into growth mode. They make you stretch beyond your normal self and reach new heights. For example, setting a time limit for your run lets you know if you should be running faster. Setting a weight loss target helps you know if your actions have been effective in losing weight. Setting a career goal ensures that you are not settling for anything less than what you desire.
7. Live Your Best Life
Last but not least, goals ensure that you get the best out of life.
Whether you want this or not, time will pass in your life. In 1 year’s time, you’ll be 1 year older. In 5 years’, you’ll be 5 years older. Goals with specific measures and deadlines ensure that you are maximizing your experience on earth. If you have already discovered your life purpose, your goals will help you get the best out of your purpose.
Imagine this: The world is your oyster. There are millions, billions of things you can do, experiences you can have, and people you can encounter. There are endless possibilities of what you can accomplish. What if you can do whatever you want? What do you want to achieve? What do you want to see, do, and experience in your life? Set your goals, make them happen, and watch as you create your best life ever.
Start Setting Goals
Ask yourself this: What are my goals for the upcoming 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years?
If you just take some time out to set your goals now, I can guarantee you that you will definitely experience more growth as a person. By just spending a few minutes to articulate some aspirations that have been in your mind, you will experience more progress in your life a year from now than if you don’t. 🙂
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