Goals are important. They’re the reason why we tend to get us up in the morning. They propel us forward and give a certain frame and function to the day. Think about this …
We use micro-goals every single day. We get hungry, so we create a goal to have lunch. We run out of clean clothes and make another goal to do laundry. At the same time, we use bigger goals to give direction to our lives. A goal for higher education leads us to college. A goal to get married points us toward a new relationship.
Goals do even more than this. Think about these things …
The Benefits of Goal-Setting
Goals Provide Direction
Whenever you want to go somewhere new, it’s a good idea to get a map or at least a set of directions to help show you the way. For this reason, we have apps on our phones and in our cars to give us step-by-step instructions, including where to turn and how far to travel on specific roads.
Goals work much like those maps. They show you exactly where you’re going, which in turn defines the steps you need to get there—no more wandering about aimlessly. For example, say you know you want to be an accountant. This goal then defines the kind of school you need to attend and the course of study you pursue.
Goals Motivate You
Whenever you think about your goal, you probably feel a certain excitement about what you’re doing. This excitement will drive you to jump through whatever hoops you need to achieve your dreams.
Goals Boost Productivity
When you don’t have goals, you tend to drag in what you’re doing. Just ask anyone who has ever stocked shelves at the supermarket. The task can be pretty mindless and even feel pointless if all you’re doing is taking canned goods from boxes and shoving them on the shelf.
Oddly enough, the moment you turn this task into a goal, say emptying a pallet of boxes, you’ll find you work a little faster, even make little competitions with yourself to see how long it takes. Goals always give us impetus, which leads to better productivity, with the bonus of more satisfaction in your work.
Goals Improve Self-Worth and Confidence
Whenever you achieve a goal, you can’t help but feel better about yourself. After all, you just did a thing! The very fact you did this thing also breeds confidence. You now know you’re capable of doing this particular thing. Go you! This is why runners measure the distances they run. While running can feel good, it’s even more amazing when you know you’ve hit a particular milestone, such as completing your first 5k.
Goals Allow You to Prioritize What’s Important
Sometimes we get so bogged down by life we just don’t know which way to jump next. There’s nothing more confusing than a To-Do list where everything seems equally urgent. Knowing which tasks will push your goal forward helps you to determine which should probably be done first.
Goals Help You Make Decisions
Does everything you do push your goals forward? Probably not. We wind up with a lot of clutter in our days, most of it put there by someone else. The nice thing is, you can quickly decide whether you should say yes or no to a new project by asking yourself one simple question: Does this request do anything which will enhance my goal? If not, it’s a lot easier to decide to say no.
Goals Give you Control of Your Life
Without goals in life, you’ll find yourself easily caught up in the whims of other people. This can be fun if you like to go with the flow but annoying if you have your own dreams. By turning your dreams into goals, you now have the power to take control of your situation. You’ll know what’s important and even how to prioritize what you wish to get done. In short, you’ll have full control of your life, with nothing happening which is not intended.
Goals Give You a Sense of Purpose
Without goals, your days can take on a certain sameness. Work is part of the same old routine. At home, you find your hours filled up in aimless pursuits. Goals change all this by giving you a framework for your life. You gain a sense of purpose as you work to make your dreams a reality. Life suddenly looks more interesting.
As you can see, goals are incredibly important to have. But are they how you want to measure your success? Do you want your life to be nothing more than the relentless pursuit of one goal after another?
What if goals, as important as they are, turned out to be irrelevant after all?
Maybe there’s another option, which might be a little more interesting and a lot less exhausting.