Ask anyone who has achieved anything noteworthy and they will most probably agree that setting goals is important. Some may go so far as to say that it is essential. They may not have written down what they wanted to achieve but they most certainly would have had a goal in mind, a goal that has driven them forward. Virtually no-one achieves success without intention and commitment. This is obvious. Just ask people who haven’t achieved much in life, and you will most probably find that many “tried” to set a goal or two, virtually all of them didn’t commit to them and put in the work to achieve them.
However, goals do more than just help us achieve success. Let’s look at a few of the more important reasons that setting goals is important.
1. Setting Goals is Important Because it Helps You Achieve More
The way you view your life is determined, in large part, by your achievements. Successful people always seem to rack up achievements – and not only business-related ones – while unsuccessful people seem to struggle to come up with even a single one. The reason is simple. Successful people live with purpose. They know what they want out of life and they make each one of those aspirations a goal. Then they throw themselves headlong at achieving those goals.
By setting goals you can make the most of your time and effort. In other words, you can become more efficient at getting what you want out of life.
2. Setting Goals Helps You Make the Most of Your Time
Related to the previous point, setting goals increases our efficiency: by embracing goal planning, we will take less time to achieve more. And since we have limited time on this green and blue ball floating through space, we owe it to ourselves to get the most out of every second that we have.
3. Setting Goals Increases Your Self-Confidence
When we achieve your goals, our self-confidence will increase. This inspires us to take on more, increasingly challenging goals. Although not the primary reason for setting goals, the self-confidence we develop through goal achievement is a valuable byproduct of our effort and something that would justify that effort on its own. After all, the importance of self-confidence cannot be understated. It is a fundamental building block of success and plays a huge role in motivating us and giving us a positive view of ourselves.
4. Setting Goals Helps You Stay Focused
It can be very difficult to stay focused on a task that spans over months or even years, and that is where goal setting comes in. However, by selecting a worthwhile goal that resonates with you, you increase your engagement with that goal and consequently your ability to focus. This translates into an increase in your chance of actually achieving your goal. And without that personal investment, the chances of you reaching your goal are slim.
5. Setting Goals Allows You to Map Out Your Route to Success
Just as if you were going to drive to a part of your country you have never been, you would (I hope) plan your route by looking on a map to determine the best way to get there. The same applies to setting goals. Your goal is a place you have never been before, so it makes sense to plot a route from where you are to where you want to be. That way you can be sure that you will be able to pace yourself and plan for obstacles that may impede your progress.
6. Goals Allow You to Track Your Progress Towards Them
If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know if you have reached your destination or not? By setting a goal we specify a destination that we are trying to reach; we determine its “location” in time. As a result, we can tell exactly how far we are from that goal and we can track our progress towards it. The ability to see our progress towards our goal is an essential element of our motivation to complete it.
7. Goals Help You Establish Priorities
Most of us suffer from distraction as we are bombarded with an endless stream of tasks and challenges that confront us daily, with each one vying for our attention. It’s easy to get bogged down with the minutiae of life and lose sight of the”big picture” and the truly important things. And that’s where goal setting comes in. It allows you to fixate on those important things that will add value to your life and maintain your momentum towards them. Goal setting also allows you to prioritize your goals, so the more important ones are achieved first.
8. Setting Goals Helps You Overcome Procrastination
Procrastination really is the thief of time. It is a poison that can kill achievement. It obstructs us from getting things done and leads to self-doubt and even self-loathing. By setting goals, you set out a path with actions that must be achieved in a particular order and within a particular time, reducing the chance that procrastination will take root. Furthermore, by building a routine, and eventually a new set of habits, through the pursuit of your goal, you lessen the chance of procrastination becoming a problem.
9. Goal Setting Motivates You
By setting goals – especially ambitious ones – we get motivated to act. This motivation can go a long way to propelling us towards success and achievement. What is more, when we are motivated in one area of our lives, the positive outlook that results can have beneficial effects in other areas. The motivation that stems from the setting of a goal to lose weight may encourage a person to dress better, to work harder and to work at improving their relationships.
Goal setting is important for many reasons, but most importantly because it will improve your life. Goal setting allows you to see where you are in life and where you need to go. It then allows you to make a plan to get to that place. Don’t be fooled, it’s not easy. But it is worthwhile. So, have you thought about what you want to try to achieve?