Goal Setting: Why You Should Do It
Understanding the importance of goal setting and knowing how to set goals for yourself is crucial to accomplishing great things in your life. What are your goals for the next year? How about 3 years from now? 5 years? 10 years? What are your aspirations in life? Goal setting marks your first point toward success. Here are the reasons why it’s important to set goals.
Goals Move You Forward
Having a goal written down with a set date for accomplishment gives you something to plan and work for. 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 very common pattern that comes with working towards goals that we’re all familiar with: you set your mind to something, you get excited and work like mad, and then motivation starts to wane. Having goals that you can focus on and visualize helps you better connect yourself with your inner desires, and gives you the motivational energy you need to work through periods where your focus inevitably starts to wane.
Goals Help Us Believe in Ourselves
Goal setting isn’t just about creating a plan for your life and holding yourself accountable, it’s also about giving us the inspiration necessary to aim for things we never thought possible.
Do you want to accomplish something that many people dream about, but few people ever actually 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? Unless you see yourself slowly making progress, your dreams and aspirations are nothing more than vague notions floating around in your imagination.
Goals Tell You What You Truly Want
Sometimes we think we need more money when really, we need a change of environment or someone to love. Sometimes we think we want more free time, but what we really want is work that we can be truly passionate about. Sometimes we think we want to be alone, but really, we need to be around more positive people.
If you never set goals in the first place, how do you find out 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 isn’t what will bring you true happiness, or that landing that coveted promotion at work will make you miserable because the extra money and fancy title won’t make up for the reduced 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 it is we really want in life – and then we can go out and do it.
Goal Setting is a Key to Success
Top performers, world-class athletes, and successful people all set goals. Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk all set goals. When you set goals, you have the 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. 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.
Goals Motivate 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 remind you of the things you love, to redirect your focus away from the negative obstacles, and to reconnect you with your innermost desires.
Goals Help Us Fully Realize Our Potential
Without goals, our life often goes its customary course — every day we face the same tasks, do the same things, following the path of least resistance. And though it may give us a feeling of comfort and stability, the absence of goals doesn’t induce self-development, self-cognition, and self-realization — and these are important aspects of human happiness.