Everyone has heard of setting goals, but many people struggle to understand why goal setting is important.
A goal is something you set out to achieve or overcome. It can be a small task on a daily to-do list or a lifelong pursuit. You can set goals for any aspect of your life. Such as personal development, within your professional career, for your health, fitness, spirituality, finances, or relationships.
When you set a goal, it motivates you to take action to achieve it. With a series of goals, you can create a plan, and when you have a plan, you have a purpose.
In this article, we review seven reasons why goal setting is important. They include:
- providing you with some direction in your life
- a way to turn your dreams into realities
- holding you accountable
- providing motivation
- a method of tracking your progress
- helping to minimize procrastination
- allowing you to build confidence
1. Goals Provide A Direction And Focus For Your Life
Continual goal-setting helps you create a plan and a direction for your life. When you set goals, you have a focus. You understand why it is that you do what you do. You know that there is a reward at the end of your hard work.
Alternatively, without setting goals, you can find yourself just aimlessly working. Others might call this going through the motions. You don’t have a clear direction on what you are trying to achieve.
You might wake up every day, work hard in your job, receive minimum recognition, collect a paycheque and then get ready to do it all again tomorrow. Before you know it, a year has gone by and you are still in the same place.
Why? Because you haven’t set any goals to take you anywhere. You can’t expect to arrive at the destination you wanted without following the directions to get there. In life, setting goals provides you the path and direction to achieve new heights. By setting small, achievable goals, you begin to start heading in the right direction towards your destination.
It isn’t a coincidence that successful people are successful. Firstly they work very hard, secondly, they set goals and create a plan on how to achieve them. The goals were what gave them the drive to keep working so hard in the direction that they did. When you set goals, you always know why you are headed in the direction that you are.
2. Goals Provide A Path To Turn Your Dreams Into Realities
Dreams don’t have to just be for children. In fact, a life without dreams is a sad and boring one. There has to be more to life than waking up every day to just conform to society and do as your told. You have to live for something or find passion in what you do.
What have you always wanted to do? What inspires you? What are you passionate about? What have you wanted to try but never took the chance? What does your dream life or career look like?
Setting goals is a way of turning your dreams into realities. By breaking your dream down into small, achievable goals that you can work hard to complete on a daily basis, you will slowly start to head in the right direction. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you stay focused on achieving your goals.
3. Goals Hold You Accountable
Goals are a stepping stone to something bigger. As you set and achieve one goal, you move onto the next, and the next, and the next. With each successful goal completed, you are getting closer to achieving a larger ambition that you set out to conquer.
Without goals, you may work aimlessly in multiple different directions. You are unclear on the direction you are headed or what it is that you have set out to achieve. As setbacks arise, you find yourself quitting or changing direction more easily. Spinning your wheels, but going nowhere.
The process of setting goals will hold you accountable to complete what you set out to do. When you are in charge of your own destiny, it is only yourself that you can blame when achievements fall short.
4. Goals Motivate And Inspire You
Setting goals can be quite motivating.
If you don’t have a reason for why you work as hard as you do, it is a lot easier to give up or quit. Especially during setbacks, or when you have consistently put in the work but are yet to see the results.
However, when you are working towards a goal, each day you put in effort, you get a little bit closer to achieving it. The goals you have previously set act as motivation that the hard work you are putting in will amount to something.
Furthermore, it is quite inspiring to set a goal and be determined that at some point in the future you will achieve it.
5. Goals Help Track Your Progress And Identify Areas Of Weakness
Setting goals is a way of measuring your progress. You are able to see firsthand which goals you were successful in achieving, and which goals you struggled with. It can help determine an insight into your strengths and weaknesses that you might not have been aware of.
If a goal took longer to achieve than you expected, give some thought to why that was. Maybe you were impatient or underestimated the amount of work required to achieve this goal.
Or alternatively, maybe it is an area of weakness that you need to improve in. Use all the resources available to you (mentors, coaches, books, online, etc.) to help develop these skills.
Similarly, when you are able to accomplish a goal you set out to achieve, take note of the progress you are making. It is important to recognize that the effort you are putting in is amounting to something worthwhile.
6. Goals Help You Minimize Procrastination
Procrastination can be described as avoiding a task that needs accomplishing. Many people who struggle with procrastination don’t set goals. They delay, and delay, and delay until a deadline is so close that they have no choice but to put in the work.
Alternatively, those who set goals have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. Their vision is broken down into small, achievable goals.
Instead of avoiding tasks that need accomplishing, they tackle them head-on. They are aware of how each piece of the puzzle plays an important role in the big picture.
7. Goals Help You Build Momentum And Confidence
Goal setting (and achieving) can be quite addictive. As you begin to achieve small goals you set for yourself, you start building some momentum. The momentum helps to give you confidence. Confidence allows you to dream bigger and set larger goals.
As you build confidence in yourself, you begin to have more of an optimistic output than pessimistic. The self-doubt you had in yourself before you started setting goals becomes a less frequent thought. As your perspective changes, you begin to think ‘when will I achieve this goal?’, instead of ‘can I achieve this goal?’
When you are able to build confidence in yourself, you begin to believe that within reason, anything is obtainable. Furthermore, you are able to prove to those around you that anything is obtainable by putting in the work and delivering the results.
The momentum and self-confidence you have built from setting and achieving goals will push you through setbacks. Previously these setbacks would have made you quit. However, as you endure the hard times, you become more hungry as you begin to focus on bigger goals.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count