By: Mo Elhammady @the_business_lounge_ @moelhammady
Photo Credit: https://7geese.com/
I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is to set goals in life to give you a sense of direction, right? Well, it’s true. It’s also true that you’ll reap many benefits in life when you successfully set and achieve your personal goals.
I want you to consider the following survey and study done on Yale University students in hopes to better understand if goal setting is as important as we say.
So, a group of students from Yale University was surveyed and asked many questions, including:
Have you set goals?
Have you written them down?
Do you have a plan to accomplish them?
84% of the students had no defined goal, 13% had set goals but had not written them down, and 3% had written their goals down and also had a plan of action.
In 1973, 20 years later, researchers tracked the progress those students had made in their lives, and the differences were striking! The 13% who had set goals but had not written them down was earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. What was even more amazing was that the 3% who had written their goals down was earning, on average, ten times as much as the remaining 97% (1). Since then, there’s been research and many studies done to suggest there’s a direct relationship between goal setting and task performance.
Having said that, here are 6 important reasons why we should all be setting goals.
#1 GOALS HELP YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
You should think of goal setting as fuel for your ambitions. I’m not just talking about creating a plan for your life and holding yourself accountable. Goal setting should give you the inspiration you need to aim for those things in life you never thought were possible. If you want to accomplish something, it’s absolutely vital that you make a goal for yourself, and work every day towards achieving that goal. You have to believe 100% without a doubt that you can accomplish it if you set out a plan to reach it. Remember, if you want to be successful at anything in life, you need to focus more on yourself and develop the strongest self-belief that you can achieve anything you want. Doing this will empower you with the highest level of performance and productivity to help you reach your life’s goals.
#2 GOALS ALLOW YOU TO MEASURE PROGRESS
When you set a goal, you obviously want to know how close your efforts are getting you to reaching it. When you measure your progress you can see how you’re coming along, and this alone can be an amazing motivator to help keep you working on it. When you see that you’re making good progress, your confidence will grow along with your motivation. When you’re measuring your progress, you get a more realistic picture of where you are and where you’re headed. If you’re not making the progress you want to achieve, you can adjust things before you fall too far behind. You’re able to identify the changes that are needed, and then implement them.
#3 GOALS GIVE YOU FOCUS & MOTIVATION
When you have those goals clearly set out for you, you have a clear focus on what you personally believe is important in life. That’s why when you’re first setting your goals, you have to think about what’s truly important to you, and what you want to achieve in life. When you take the time to honestly reflect on your hopes and dreams, your goals will center on those things that are important to you, and in turn you’ll systematically and consciously focus your attention on them. On the other hand, when you don’t set well thought out goals, you’re more likely to spend your time doing things that aren’t really important to you.
#4 GOALS TELL YOU WHAT YOU TRULY WANT
Have you ever heard of shiny object syndrome? Basically, it’s what happens when you’re always in pursuit of the next best thing and constantly switching your goals depending on what you feel is most fun and interesting at that given moment, but never actually giving yourself the time to accomplish any of those goals.
Setting goals will help you dodge those other shiny objects simply because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you of what it is you truly want in life. These goals you set will act as subconscious deterrents to anything that isn’t your main priority. Setting goals isn’t only going to tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid in order to achieve them.
#5 GOALS HELP YOU LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
When you take the time to set your goals, you’re basically ensuring that you’re living your life to the fullest. Yes, there are lots of beautiful things in life we can enjoy and experience. However, if you don’t have solid goals set out for yourself, the things you truly want to accomplish and experience will be nothing more than dreams. Think about it, if you really want to get the most out of your life, doesn’t it make sense then to know what it is that you truly want? That can only happen if you have clearly set goals with a plan to achieve them.
#6 GOALS HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL
Let me put it for you this way, when you don’t have goals, you basically default to a daily routine that keeps you feeling safe and comfy. The truth is though, that feeling of familiarity and being safe is the biggest enemy of your growth. It prevents you from growing, and tapping into your true potential. This is something too many people these days fall victim too. Like I said before, by setting goals, you’re setting targets you can strive toward. These targets will force you to venture out into new places and situations that will put you into growth mode by default. They allow you to stretch beyond your normal self and eventually reach new heights.
You should ask yourself this:
What are my goals for the next year, 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years?