Understand the Importance of Goal Setting
“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
Goals are the fundamental building blocks for your future. Understanding the importance of goal setting and knowing how to set goals for yourself is crucial to accomplishing great things in your life.
Many people dismiss goal-setting as unimportant. You might have even tried setting goals yourself in the past and failed, but don’t give up on goal-setting!
Here are six important reasons why you need to set goals for yourself.
1. Goals propel you forward
A goal gives you direction. A written goal is an external representation of your inner desires; it’s a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish.
There’s a common pattern you might recognise that comes with working towards something: You set your mind to it, get excited, work like mad towards it, and then your motivation starts to wane. Having strong goals helps you connect with your purpose and values, and gives you the energy to work through these difficult periods when your motivation starts to wane.
2. Goals transform mountains into hills
Many of us have big dreams that seem impossible to accomplish. It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re standing at the base of a mountain and staring up at its peak. Proper goal setting breaks large, intimidating aspirations into smaller, more achievable stepping stones. It’s easier to create a definite plan of action for these smaller goals, and achieving these milestones provides real motivation and greater contentment.
With goal setting, you take the mountains you need to climb and break them down into smaller hills that you can walk. You’ll be happier and more motivated to start working towards that next milestone on your way to greatness.
3. Goals help you believe in yourself
Setting goals for yourself is a way to fuel your ambition. Do you want to accomplish something many people dream about, but few accomplish? Unless you make it a goal for yourself and work every day towards achieving it, why would you ever believe that you could accomplish it either? Unless you see yourself slowly making progress, your dreams and aspirations are nothing more than vague notions floating around in your imagination. Goal setting gives you the inspiration to aim for things you never thought possible.
4. Goals hold you accountable
Goals force you to make a commitment – even if just to yourself. If you don’t write down specific goals and give yourself a timeline for achieving them, how can you look back later and re-evaluate your path?
There’s something extremely humbling about looking back at a goal you set for yourself six months, a year, or even 5 years ago, and realising you were supposed to accomplish a lot more than you actually did. You don’t have to feel angry or depressed about it, but rather see it as evidence that whatever you’re doing isn’t working, and you need to do things differently now.
5. Goals tell you what you truly want
You might set goals that don’t really reflect what you want – for example:
- We think we need more money, when really we need a change of environment or someone to love.
- We think we want more free time, but what we really need is work that we can be truly passionate about.
- We think we want to be alone, but really we need to be around more positive people.
If you never set goals, how do you discover what you truly want? If you wander through life with vague notions of “success” and “accomplishment”, you might never discover that buying a new BMW won’t bring you true happiness, or that getting that promotion at work will make you miserable because the extra money and fancy title won’t make up for the lost time with your family.
By asking ourselves what we really want and constantly re-assessing our goals, we gain the benefit of introspection and self-reflection. We can figure out what we really want in life – and then we can go out and get it.
6. Goals help you live life to the fullest
There’s so much to do and experience in life, but many of the things we want to achieve and experience won’t be handed to us – we need to work for them.
When you take the time to set goals, you ensure that your life is geared towards getting the most out of every moment. When you go on holiday, you have limited time to take in all the sights, sounds, and experiences of a foreign land. Wouldn’t you want to figure out exactly what you want to do and what you want to see? And if you do have a list of sights and landmarks you want to visit, wouldn’t you do some research to find out how to get there? And then wouldn’t you plan your holiday so you could get the most out of it?
In many ways, life is like a holiday (though it doesn’t always feel like it!). We only have a finite amount of time to pursue the experiences we want – and then, before you know it, it’s time to go. If you want to get the most out of your precious moments of life, you have to know what you want – and then set goals to achieve them.
Posted by Tracey Sofra at November 25, 2016