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Goal setting requires a thoughtful plan and a set of steps to be successful. It requires hard work and dedication. Goal setting is essentially deciding to take control of your life by identifying where you want to go and working toward that goal.
Why Having Life Goals Is Important
Having life goals to some may sound like a waste of time, but overall, it is a critical practice to adopt. Any expert will suggest it to help you assure your success. Whether you like where you are now or you are having trouble in your life, set out some life goals that are important to you so that you can work toward them.
This method works because, beyond the goal itself, the experience of working toward the goal provides so much more joy and excitement and fabric to your life. Without goals, you essentially have nothing to look forward to and it’s easy to fall into despair. But when you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there, life becomes fun, exciting, and worth living. In a sense, setting life goals is setting your plan or road map to life and how you plan to ride it.
A Sense of Purpose
Goal setting provides a sense of purpose. It redirects your focus to completing something – whether it be daily, monthly, or yearly. It motivates you to continue your daily life. Each goal you set is another day to look forward to. For example, if you know that walking 30 minutes a day leads to better health, and you check off each day over a year, it helps you understand why you’re doing it.
Essential to True Happiness
When you set life goals, you are essentially making a life plan: a life plan to true happiness. For each goal you set, no matter what steps it has, the end goal is happiness because you know once you accomplish that goal, you will be happier in the end. Each goal you set allows you to get more of what you want out of life.
Focus and Motivation
Setting goals provides a sense of focus and motivation to an everyday life that generally may be convoluted. With each goal that is set, there is also a clear end in sight, which motivates you to continue and accomplish each goal.
The desire to achieve the goal and seeing the finish line provides the determination and drive to get it done. Without goals, your time could likely be wasted on pointless tasks that lead nowhere. You may be busy, but you won’t be productive without goal setting.
Sense of Pride
Nothing feels better than working hard and accomplishing a set of goals. Achieving your goals will fill you with a sense of pride in yourself and what you can do. Setting goals is also another way to track your accomplishments because they are all written down, and you can check off each milestone as they are completed. As these goals are accomplished and then visually represented by the marks on your calendar or the weight you’ve lost or the degree you’ve earned, your confidence will rise as well.
Why Some People Achieve Goals, and Some Don't
The practice of setting life goals has a process that is important to follow, which includes goal setting, action scheduling, and implementing. Of course, there is also testing and tracking periodically to ensure your ideas are working, but in general, goal setting includes more than just writing down some dreams.
Writing down a goal does not mean you will accomplish that goal. It only means that it is what you want out of life. But to achieve the goal, you must do the work required to achieve it.
For example, if you wrote down a goal to write a 100K-word novel within the next year, you’ll have to realistically plot how much time you need to accomplish your goal in the time you have set – ending up with a daily task list that will ensure the job gets done if you do the tasks.
There are plenty of reasons why some people achieve goals and some don’t. Understanding these reasons is essential so that you can be sure to be one of the people who do achieve theirs through SMART goal setting (more on SMART later).
Fear of Failure and Rejection
For most people, the fear of failure and rejection alone will prevent them from trying. Don’t let this happen to you. Research shows that failure and rejection is the best way to learn something new. As Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Not Knowledgeable about How to Set and Achieve Goals
Probably the second most common reason why people fail to achieve their goals is that they don’t know how to set them up correctly in the first place. Goals need to be clear and as specific as possible to work. Most experts suggest that you use SMART goal setting to help yourself succeed. That means a goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely or time bound. Basically, that just means that you need to know precisely what you want to accomplish, how you’re going to get there, how you’ll know you got there, and that it’s possible to do it.
For example, a goal that is as vague as, “Make $10,000 a month” doesn’t tell you anything, nor does it provide a sense of direction.
How do you want to make $10,000 a month?
You may want to make $10K a month, but can you really do that in your current career path or educational path?
When you set out goals, make them very clear and visualize yourself completing them as you go along. If something along the way doesn’t feel right or you feel lost, you need to keep redefining these goals to make them even more clear. You should be able to look at your calendar today and see what you’ve scheduled to do, and know that if you achieve those small tasks, which goal it’s advancing you toward.
Sense of Unimportance
The difference between someone completing a goal and not achieving a goal is often not what you know, but the confidence you have in your ability to achieve your goal. The person who completed the goal knew they had a path to get it done, and because of that, they did the work to ensure success.
Don’t let doubt and a sense of unimportance prevent you from accomplishing a goal. It only leads to a lack of confidence and self-sabotage that you don’t need to feel.