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Do you feel you are languishing? You are good at what you do, but it no longer challenges you. You feel bored most of the time, and you wonder why. Human beings are driven by growth and purpose. This boredom indicates that you need a new set of goals to pull yourself out of this ennui. Goals provide direction and guidance to life. They facilitate planning, motivate, inspire, and finally evaluate and control results. All progress in the world is a function of human desire for growth and purpose. It is said that everything is created twice: once in your mind and then in the physical world. Goal setting is the act of mental creation. It is the foundation on which the physical construct is done. Tony Robbins said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” According to Edward Locke and Gary Latham, goals affect our behavior as well as our performance. They mobilize energy for the persistent effort required for development and success. Goal setting builds self-confidence and helps increase productivity. The act of achieving goals builds character. Given below are six reasons why goal setting works –
- Goals help you determine what you want in life
Bill Copeland said that if you do not set goals, you can spend your whole life running up and down and not achieve anything. When you do not take the time to know what you want for yourself, you let others tell you what to do. The act of setting goals makes you reflect on what you truly want in your life and take charge of it. You start living a life of your conscious creation.
People who do not reflect on what kind of life they want to create find themselves constantly pursuing the next big thing. They switch their direction based on what they feel enamored by in a given moment, only to give it up when the next shiny object or hot destination emerges on the horizon. Even if they succeed, they are not fulfilled because their achievement does not support their heart’s desire.
2. Goals make you focused
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. -Zig Ziglar
Goals are the targets toward which you point your life. Goals give you a starting point and a destination to reach. Having a clear, compelling goal mobilizes your focus toward actionable behavior. Success depends on how you use your talent and where you focus it. By setting a goal, you direct your attention, actions, and behavior towards the steps to achieve it.
Sidney Howard said – One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. Goals act as deterrents to things that are not important to you. When you have an endpoint in mind, you stay away from distractions.
3. Goals trigger plans of action
Goals help us break big, intimidating dreams into smaller milestones and create plans to achieve them. They help us get structured and think about manageable steps that can take our life from where it is to where we want it to be. They make us effective and efficient.
4. Goals create accountability
Having goals makes you accountable to yourself for achieving them. By setting specific targets, you can easily see if you are on track, and if not, what to do about them. You think about what you need to do to reach your goal and by when. You set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) to track your progress and course-correct when required. For example, to develop the habit of reading, you may set the mini goal to read for 30 minutes every night at 9 pm and finish a book every month. You will think about other non-negotiable things you need to do every day and how to do justice to them as you start working on this new goal. Incremental steps make goals achievable and help build momentum. They encourage us to keep moving forward and take pride in the journey accomplished so far. By living up to your own expectations, you keep your head held high and energy flowing.
5. Goals keep you motivated to act
Setting goals connects you with your deepest desires. It makes you move beyond wishful thinking and act to accomplish your goals. Goals motivate you
– by reminding you of the things you love and aspire for.
– to not be daunted by challenges
– to take action to achieve your goals.
– to transition into the person, you want to become
6. Goals help you live your best life
When you set a goal and reach it, you experience victory. The feeling pushes you towards setting higher targets for yourself and achieve even more. You do not wait for things to happen; you work to make them happen. It helps you pursue the challenges and rewards that you truly want to achieve. Without goals, your life may drift away in routine busyness, and you may never know what you value and want and never realize your potential. The goals that you define for yourself shape you into the person you want to become. They are the compass that leads you to live a life aligned with your beliefs and values.