Goal setting, as we have heard many times, is the very first step in our efforts to achieve our dreams. Our dreams can never turn into reality if we just dream about it without any goals in mind. We can try to imagine ourselves being in the same position in our lives after wasting 30 years, using various ways to achieve our dreams, just to realize that we never really reached any goals to bring us closer to our dreams.It would have been a desperate failure from the start.
To understand where our next few steps or goals towards reaching success, we should recognize these 6 essential reasons for us to set our goals in the right way.
1. Goals as the Force of Motivation
Goals drive us towards our achievements as it acts as the force of our motivation. To connect to our inner force or desire, goal setting is the first step we take towards our achievements. In both short term and long term, it gives us a target to aim at, a destination we wish to travel to or even a particular number we try to arrive at.
This is the point which gets us excited and passionate as we work very diligently towards our goals. While it is common that our efforts to achieve these goals are full of enthusiasm and energy in the beginning, it is important for us to know how much these goals personally mean to ourselves.
In such way, setting goals which we know we would truly be passionate about in the long term will help us accomplish our missions in a more sustainable manner. After all, if we are not consistently motivated, we would suffer from the burn outs of trying to achieve meaningless goals.
2. Goals as Visual Representations of Our Dreams
Imaginations, visualizations, fantasies or even dreams are not just unrealistic concepts based on our utilizable knowledge if we have set our goals towards them. Because of this, goal setting plays a vital role in ensuring our belief in our methods, our analysis of our results and our efforts in chasing after every resource needed.
Instead of setting one goal as the only way to reach our dreams, we can conceptualize our dreams as a set of puzzles and the goals we set are pieces of puzzles we need to design, fix or even match to complete this set of puzzle. We can also regard each goal as a stepping stone towards our desired destination.As a result of achieving each goal, like finding each puzzle, we are closer to assembling the whole picture of our dreams (the complete set of puzzle).
So yes, don’t be afraid to dream!
3. Goals to Track Progress
Since some goals are the foundations for us to build on to reach another goal, arranging them to be accomplished first will be vital for us to track the progress of our work. As mentioned above that goals are like stepping stones to our main goal, goals also serve to help us track our progress in our work. This can be interpreted as accomplishing each goal will bring us closer to achieving our targets.
Whereas achieving our goals means increasing our chances of succeeding, we also have to track our work in progress by assessing how a work can be done and the amount of time needed. These goals can also be inter-related to one another as we cannot progress with specific work if one objective or goal is not reached.One particular situation to exemplify such concept is the work of organising a birthday party for our family.
The first step is always to send out the invitations and then confirming the number of guests attending. Without these first two steps, it would be challenging to arrange for the venue, the amount of food and drinks, the decoration and other aspects which will complete the party. The invitations and the number of guests attending are the two vital factors to the success of the party.
In conclusion, some work cannot simply progress without completing certain goals first.
4. Goals as Promises to the Self
The goals we have set to achieve are also promises we made to ourselves. In recording our goal setting process, it is also important that we ensure these concrete goals and give ourselves a particular timeline to achieve each goal.
Other than that, these ‘promises’ also keep us responsible for every of our actions which lead us to the failure or success of our plans.
With this sense of responsibility instilled in ourselves, this allows us to re-evaluate our actions and scrutinise the consequences whether in a short period or in the long term. One can definitely take pride in his/her success when recalling of the decisions s/he took 2 years or even 20 years ago.
On the other hand, if one fails or accomplishes less than the set goal, then it is a definite sign to change ways to improve and achieve whatever the set goal is.
5. Goals as the Direction of our Focus
Setting goals also means setting our mind, our heart and our soul to the target. In another metaphorical sense, we simply cannot shoot an arrow without a target. Upon setting our goals, we will know how, where and when to use our talent and abilities.Like a magnifying glass concentrates the sunlight towards the leaf, the leaf is then burnt.
The sunlight is our abilities whereas the magnifying glass is likened to our focus on the target and the leaf, obviously, is the target. Without the magnifying glass (our focus), the target would never be reached despite the amount of heat the sunlight supplies (our potentials).
We can only obtain this sense of direction in our journey to our dreams when we specify the goals right at the beginning. Sometimes we cannot avoid the fact that our focus might change and we have to maintain or to a desperate extent, defend our focus to achieve our goals.
One of the many ways of maintaining focus is changing our lifestyles to reduce distractions such as declining invitations to meaningless parties or occasionally saying no to outing with friends. This reduces the resources spent on distractions and in turn, increases productivity for us to work on our objectives.
6. Goals to Develop Our Potentials
Our potential is nurtured through our progress in achieving the goals we set from the beginning. This means setting the goals which are direct opportunities for us to expand our knowledge, sharpen our skills and enrich our experience will benefit us in the future.
Without such goals, we might not be able to develop ourselves out of our comfort zone as we are subjected to the comfortable and safe routines of our daily lives. Because of not setting goals or not having the suitable goals, some of our potentials never grow or are just locked within ourselves.
On the contrary, the goals which we have set will enable us to challenge ourselves to adapt to new environments and new situations. Besides, setting certain expectations on ourselves would only convince us to do our best and expand our limits. Weight loss or gain targets, running time limit, business profits or even following a planned diet are all personal goals for us to challenge ourselves.
Obviously, we reap what we sow and sometimes what we sow might be more than just the reward itself.Once we can appreciate the improvements we gained through accomplishments, we will also achieve the sense of self-fulfillment. With this feeling of satisfying ourselves, we can work on other goals with better motivation and energy. We might not even feel that the obstacles in the later stages are as challenging as before too.