On this blog I talk a lot about goal setting. I talk about how to set motivating goals, how to persevere when things get in your way, and how to plan out the process to achieve your goals.
I even have a brand new course, Dream Life Jumpstart, which takes you from goal setting to goal achieving over the course of 6 weeks.
But why set goals in the first place? Is there really a value to setting goals?
In fact, the act of setting goals provides a real benefit to our lives. This is true whether or not we actually achieve the goal we set. The act of setting and going after our goals can be really powerful.
Benefits of Goal Setting
Having a goal gives you a direction and a destination. Sure you can get through life without goals. But, who knows where you will end up?
When you set a goal, you know where you want to end up so you can purposely head in that direction. You know what to aim for and if you get side tracked, you are able to recalculate to get back on track.
“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”
– Stephen Kellogg
Clearer Focus On What Is Important
When you set a goal, you are telling yourself and the world what is important to you. You are deciding what you are going to put your energy towards and what area of your life you want to improve.
It is therefore important to really consider what goals will make the greatest positive impact on your life and make sure they align with your priorities and values. There should be some real thought involving in selecting a goal to go after.
Without that, you can end up going after a goal that isn’t even important to you in the first place. This can waste your time and take you further away from where you want to be.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”
– Earl Nightingale
Clarity in Decision Making
When you have a goal, decision making becomes a million times easier. When faced with a choice, you choose the thing that brings you closer to your goal.
For example, if your goal is to get healthy, and you commit yourself to achieving that goals, then it’s easier to choose the healthier options when faced with a decision. If your goal is to spend more time with your family, then it’s easier to not choose the job that requires regular travel.
Knowing where you want to go, helps you make decisions that will ultimately help you get there.
“There are only two rules for being successful. One, figure out exactly what you want to do, and two, do it.”
– Mario Cuomo
Gives you control of your future
When you set a goal you are better able to take control of your future. You know what you want to achieve and you work to get there.
Without out a goal, you tent to wander aimlessly around doing whatever seems right at the moment. You tend to stay basically where you already are, but have the possibility of going in directions you wouldn’t necessarily choose.
Goals give you perspective and allow you to prioritize what you want to accomplish. You are responsible for where you go as you carry out the steps needed to achieve your goal.
Even if your goal changes based on new information or new life events, each new goal sets you on a course to where you want to be in the future and you are in control of getting there.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs
When you have a goal you know where you want to end up. When you have a good goal, you have a powerful why behind that goal. A deep and moving reason why you want to achieve it.
Having such a goal with an empowering why, gives you the motivation you need to keep going when things get tough or setbacks come. When you are ready to give up, your reason for your goal will remind you why you need to keep going.
Your goal might be to live a healthy lifestyle so that you won’t become a burden on your kids when you get older. When the going gets tough, having such a powerful why can help you stay motivated to take the action that aligns with your goal.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
– Elon Musk
Gives you a sense of personal satisfaction
Sure setting goals means you will have to do some hard things to achieve that goal, but it also gives you a sense of satisfaction. Each time you make progress towards your goal, you have accomplished something.
Setting and achieving goals allows you to see the amazing things you are capable of. It gives you proof that you can do great things because you have already done some. Achieving goals gives you a sense of confidence and a feeling of pride.
And you can’t achieve goals without setting them in the first place.
“Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
– Joshua Marine
Gives you a sense of purpose in life
Your goals give you a reason to get up in the morning. They give you something to do. They give you a reason to act and live the life that you desire.
The goal setting process helps you identify your purpose in life, whatever that might be at the moment. When you focus your goals around that purpose, you are able to live a meaningful life.
At one point in life your purpose may be to raise your kids into self-sufficient adults. So, you goals may revolve around teaching them the skills they need in life. Later your new purpose might be to help empty nesters re-discover who they are. Then your new goals will help you achieve that.
Your goals take you from going through the motions and just existing to living a meaningful, purposeful life.
“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.”
– Lou Holtz
Goal setting is essential to living a life of purpose and achieving the dream life we wish to have. When you set meaningful goals and work towards achieving them you live with confidence, motivation, happiness and gratitude.