What are goals?

What an obvious question. And one we probably all know the answer to. But just in case, goals are a set of results that a person, organisation or a system might desire or envision and they or it commits to achieving within the realms of a plan of action. The use of deadlines is important in ensuring the goal and its constituents are met.

Without goals, how can you know where you’re headed?

Here are seven great reasons why setting yourself goals is so important.

1. Focus

You might have one of the most amazing minds on the planet. You might have the physical prowess of a pride of lions. You might even have more talent than Susan Boyle, Cheryl Cole and William Shatner all rolled into one. Without goals, how do you channel your resources? What do you do with them? By setting goals for yourself you give yourself a direction. You have a destination. You can work out what it is you’re aiming for and how you’re going to get there. This allows you to give your mind and body focus. You don’t end up wasting energy floundering around in a state of confusion.

2. Combat Procrastination

Oh, let’s come back to this one later.

3. Self Motivation and inner drive

Your goals should be a manifestation of your inner wants, needs and desires. Otherwise, what’s the point? These desires form your life’s motivation. When your motivation is at its apex, you set goals. You’re motivated to do something. You want change. You need achievement. Having goals at hand serves as a constant reminder of your inner motivations. These motivations drive you forward as a person and help you grow and improve. They provide that push you might need when you’re not feeling your best or things appear to be conspiring against you.

If you’re feeling low on motivation, take a moment to revisit your goals. Are you meeting your short-term goals? If not, why not?

4. Accountability

Rather than just wittering on on the never never about a collection of ethereal ideas that you might or might not want to do, a goal makes that desire real. The goal will give you that essential clarity you might be needing and it’ll enable you to make a real commitment to achieving it. Even if you’re just committing to yourself, you’re making a commitment all the same. If you remain accountable to yourself, you’re reflecting your true motivational needs, wants and desires. You’re remaining true you what you really want in life.

If you fail in whatever it was that you wanted, without a goal to be accountable for, how do you know you’ve failed? If you do know you’ve failed, how can you reflect and re-evaluate what you need to do when you re-attempt it?

5. Make the impossible seem possible

You might have big dreams. You don’t have to be ultra-ambitious to spend many a rainy October afternoon thinking about the huge ‘what ifs’ in life. Because they’re so huge, they’re also incredibly easy to hide from, bury or pop in a drawer until another day. Even starting on your dream can seem so daunting that it seems like a waste of time and energy to even try.

With a goal, you can start to break your dream down into manageable smaller goals. Instead of one massive, intimidating dream looming way off in the distance, you can have ten smaller goals. Each one of them is achievable. You can attach a timeframe and a deadline to each one. As each smaller goal is achieved, you’re motivated to get on with the next because, hey, you’ve made progress. That big dream isn’t that scary after all!

6. Prioritisation

By establishing a set of goals, you can easily consider each one in turn. Is it important to you? What benefits will you get from it? How long will it take? When you’ve analysed each one, you can form a nice prioritised list of tasks. You’ll be completing the most important tasks first and following up with the nice-to-haves later. What’s more, you’ll always know how much progress you’ve made as you tick off your tasks as you complete them.

7. Achieve your highest potential

It might sound like a bit of an over-statement, but the motivation a collection of well-thought-out goals can give you really can help you achieve your highest possible potential. Without goals, you’ll keep doing what you always have done while remaining firmly rooted in your comfort zone.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

You’re never going to be the best you can be if you keep repeating the same actions and methods. Familiarity is the antithesis of growth and development. Does it make sense to keep doing the same things while you’re stuffed full of potential?

Goals, by their very nature, should stretch you. They should take you to new places, see new things, encounter new people and force your mind and body into growth mode. You don’t have to settle for anything less than you can achieve.

2. Combat Procrastination

A goal makes a desire more tangible. It’s there in the back of your mind nagging you to get on with it. You’ve taken a loose set of ‘I’d likes’ and made them into an ‘I will do’. If you fall back in your progress, that goal that’s now firmly seated in your head will kick in and remind you that you were meant to do ‘X’, so get on with it. These reminders help you to overcome procrastination and laziness.

When setting your goals, make sure you break them down into manageable chunks. If you set yourself one massive goal and set the deadline for six months’ time, you’re likely to encourage procrastination rather than combat it. Have many smaller intermediate goals to keep you on your toes.



If you want a FREE e-book exercise to help you establish your goals, sign up to the Newsletter before the end of the this rainy October and I’ll drop you a copy.