The Importance of Goal Setting

GoalSet01Do you know where you are going?

One of the most effective ways of ensuring that your thinking stays positive is to have goals.

So in the next few articles I will talk about goal setting.

 

I consider it important to have clear, WRITTEN goals. This in my mind is one of the first steps to greatness. No matter what you want your destination to be, you need a map! No matter how old or young you are, if you are already successful or only now starting out in the great adventure of life, you need to have goals to give you a clear view and direction of where you are headed. Maybe you have already achieved a lot and simply need new goals, or maybe you feel like you have not achieved much if anything at all in your life.  In any of these situations, I will ask of you the same thing “What are your goals and are they written down?”

Today I will share my own story with you to help you see what this has done for me and how it has affected my own journey. I first realised the importance of this quite late in my life, but if not for doing that, I might not even be here writing this to you now.

Shortly after Timothy became my son-in-law he asked me if I had goals and I responded “of course I do!” and he then asked if they were written down. I replied “no, but they are pretty clear in my head.” He felt that I needed to write them down, and fortunately he was pretty persistent about it. I’d say it took me about 6 weeks to eventually concede and actually sit down to start to write them.

When I did the strangest thing happened. I was sitting down writing my first goal and when I had written it to my surprise it was; “I want to live to be 104!” Now that was a big surprise to me! This goal featured nowhere on the mental list that I had mentioned to them a good few weeks back. In fact, if truth be told I did not know it was a goal of mine until I had actually sat down to write them out, in fact until I had finished writing it! This was a goal that the second I sat down to write my goals out on paper was pushed to the front by my sub-conscious. Isn’t that interesting and strange? I had my mental list and that particular goal was not on it, but the second I sat down to write my goals there it was. I wonder what sub-conscious goals you have?

I sat and pondered this turn of events for a little while. Was it really what I wanted? Did I really want to live to be 104 years old? The truth is yes! I really did and really do! This first goal led to some more, because when I shared them with my family, my wife agreed to support me as long as I was going to be healthy and not a grumpy old man. So I added physically and mentally sharp to my goal list. I added another when I shared my goals with my mother, and she concluded that I would need to “make more money” if I was going to want to live comfortably till that age.  After that I continued my written list with all sorts of goals ranging from relationship goals, travel goals and business goals. I also have a number related to personal growth.

Glen McQuirk in his MAP4Life series has a diagram depicting a wheel of life. He has identified 8 aspects of life in which it is necessary to have goals in order to have a balanced life; Family and Relationships, Intellectually, Physical health, Financial Wealth, Career/Business, Social Responsibility, Rest and Restoration and Spiritual. I agree.

Before going further into the “How to’s” and making the tools for doing so available to you in the next article, let me first highlight the benefits with a hope to inspire you to getting started on yours.

Some of the benefits of goal setting are:

  • They give you clear focus and vision
  • Goals help you control your future
  • They assure you a sense of purpose
  • Goals permit you to focus your energy
  • They enable you to be positive in your outlook
  • Goals afford you to be more excited, more motivated and more enthusiastic
  • They are great for your self-image and your energy levels
  • Goals increase desire, passion and motivation
  • They enable you to overcome any difficulty or obstacle
  • They reduce laziness and procrastination
  • Goals make life much more fun and give you direction and certainty

When you see all those benefits it really makes one wonder why we resist and struggle to get them written down. Well I have some ideas about that, and some of them can be found in my book “Freeing Your Mind” and the rest I will be discussing  in the next article, so watch this space.

For now I will leave you with simply the idea in your mind. Let’s call it the spark that is needed to get you going. Think about it, and more importantly ACT on it.

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them. – Denis Watley

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