Why it’s important to set goals

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently while I’ve been developing my new goal setting programme “Forget resolutions – create your vision for 2019”. 

There has been a lot written about why you should set goals and create a vision for your life. I have to admit it’s not something I would routinely do in the past, yet now I make time to consider what I want to do with my life. It’s made a huge difference to what I’ve been able to accomplish over the last few years.

The more I started to think about this topic, the more I noticed that everyone else seemed to be doing it, the tennis players I was watching, blogs I was following, successful people in the autobiographies I was reading and pretty much everyone that had a business.

From what I’ve learned, I’m going to share my top reasons why it’s important to set goals. Also by goals, I don’t mean those work based goals that we’re encouraged to set by our managers, or how to develop a personal development plan. There’s space for that in the office! I’m talking about the bucket list kind of vision of what you yearn for in your life. Goal setting and vision building should be fun and full of possibility, excitement and anticipation.

1. Help you get clear on what you want

There’s a great lyric in the song “Happy Talk” that goes:

“Happy talk, keep talking’ happy talk,

Talk about things you’d like to do,

You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream,

How you gonna have a dream come true?”

Simple yet true and that’s why we set goals and intentions. You need to know what you’re working towards. Start small and plan for the next 3 months if it feels too daunting to think beyond the next year. Then when you feel more confident think longer term. In time, your short term goals will be milestones as you work towards your longer term vision.

As Roger Federer puts it, “You have to believe in the long-term plan you have, but you need the short-term goals to motivate and inspire you.”

2. Provide accountability

Having goals makes you accountable and once you’ve said you’re going to do something, then usually you feel you need to act. However when the going gets tough, and intentions slip, it’s all to easy to justify why you don’t need to carry on.

That’s where accountability is so important, and works well when you tell someone else your goals. It’s even better if you agree a date with them when you’re going to have certain steps completed – then it becomes even more meaningful.

Even if you don’t have a coach to hold you accountable, you can ask a friend or colleague to check in on your progress. And the more people you tell the more likely you are to do something.

 3. Put you in the driver’s seat

There are many times in our lives where we feel we are working hard but don’t know what we have to show for it. When you have an understanding of where you want to go, then you’re less likely to be shocked when you get to your 30s or your 40s and you don’t know what to do next. Even better, when you have a clear plan of what you’re working towards, you’re less likely to be side-tracked by someone else’s vision. You’ll be in the driving seat of your own life

 4. Give you a reason to celebrate

Celebrating is a great way to appreciate and recognise what you’ve achieved. When you’re working towards something, it can help to build in small rewards along the way to help keep you motivated, and they’re fun to enjoy along the way.

 5. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be

Goals can be the catalyst for change in your life and will help you make the most of your life. Working towards them might be a challenge but not only will you achieve what you want, you’ll learn new things about yourself and what you’re capable of.

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