“They tell me goals are important.”
Life has the tendency to chuck a few spanners in the works every now and then (cough global pandemic!), and sometimes our best-laid plans don’t quite come off, probably why organisations are going less hierarchical and more agile. However, those goals we have are still important in every aspect of life! Here are five reasons why setting goals is important, no matter what you’re talking about, whether it’s work, play, or even relationships.
1. Goals keep you focused and create a sense of direction.
Imagine a ship setting sail without a destination in mind—as it travelled wherever the winds take it. Either you would inadvertently land somewhere, or supplies would eventually run out, and the crew would probably have to resort to cannibalism in order to survive. Either way, it is nice to know where you are going and not have to resort to cannibalism!
Okay, so maybe a lack of goal setting won’t directly result in cannibalistic tendencies, but you certainly won’t get anywhere specific if you don’t have a plan. Whether you’re talking about work, hobbies, or relationships, setting a goal will keep you moving towards success and fulfilment and where you want to be, without veering off course or chasing butterflies.
The journey may not be a straight line, but it is always good to have something to aim for!
2. Goals help you make a plan of action.
It helps you to create those little steps and actions along the way to achieving those things you want to achieve.
King Julian from the movie Madagascar (even though he was exceptionally busy running a kingdom) had the goal of becoming a professional whistler (even though he was already pretty good at it). He accessed the power of supportive social relationships, articulated his goal and accessed help from his adoring public to help advance his aspirations.
3. Goals get you motivated.
Without a goal in mind, you can always say it will happen tomorrow—whatever it is. Of course, once tomorrow arrives, there will be a tomorrow after that, and so on, sometimes there can be that lack of sizzle, low levels of razzle-dazzle. Which of course leads to the inevitable lack of action.
Setting a goal with a timetable will force you into some accountability for your actions and force you to get up off the proverbial couch. That eustress or good stress that you get from those goals and wanting to achieve help to get you moving and undertaking those little actions and small behaviours that can lead to great things and accomplishing once seemingly overwhelming goals. After all, apparently, you climb Everest by taking one step at a time.
4. Goals help you actualize your potential.
Each and every one of us has incredible talents and abilities latently existing within, but very few people actually leverage those talents into something useful. We would tend to argue that from an evolutionary perspective that this is pretty wise! Stepping out of your comfort zone can feel risky and certainly sometimes be risky, but within that discomfort and risk comes personal growth and development!
Setting goals and working towards them is a great way to put your skills to work while developing and sharpening your natural talents.
5. Goals keep you committed.
One of the biggest deterrents to success is that people just give up along the road. Setting a goal and achieving small wins along the way helps to activate the pleasure centre of the brain, which will increase engagement and commitment as we go!
You know there’s an awesome view at the top of the mountain, and you’re committed to seeing it, no matter how arduous the climb. You are a unique and wonderful person who can achieve many great things in life! Sometimes you just need someone to help you out along the way to help you with those goals and support you in your aspirations.
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