This is about the time of the year when new year resolutions have come to a halt or a distant memory. You may have started January with great gusto but now in February, those resolutions are either forgotten or just too hard and therefore ends in the “tried but failed” graveyard.
Let me highlight and remind you why goals are important:
- Goals help you to focus your energy and time. We do not have an endless supply of time or energy. Goals will help you to focus or prioritise how and what you will use your energy and time for. Goals will help you to make the right decision and trade-offs when confronted with multiple requests or tasks.
- Goals help you to persevere with hope. Sounds strange but if we set realistic expectations and goals, it is able to motivate us. Motivation and hope serves as fuel for perseverance. It is the reaching of a realistic but challenging goal that will drive you forward. The hope that reaching that goal will give you a reward will help you to persevere. The reward is up to you to define.
- Goals are character building. More than the achievement of the goal is the process by which it was achieved. More often than not, the process of struggling, striving, persevering and challenging yourself in achieving the goal builds character. We learn more about ourselves through the process as well as building muscles in areas like focus, commitment, dedication, perseverance and discipline.
- Goals ensure that you line up your potential. Potential cannot be realised if we don’t work at it. Potential can only be released when it is applied. Potential must be worked on. Goals will help you work on your potential as it requires application of your potential. When you are working at it, your skills and abilities are being developed. Potential with work will bring you accomplishments.
- Goals will drive you forward. Goals will drive you forward whilst being goal-less will cause you to drift. Drifting through life is one of the most wasteful use of your potential. Driving forward will ensure that you are taking accountability for your life. Goals that drive you forward will always give you significance.
The challenge with goals is that is can be scary and terrifying. It is terrifying because of the fear of failure. No one wants to fail at achieving a goal. Therefore in order to avoid failure, it is easier to not have goals. However, to fail at a goal does not equate to you being a failure. In fact, it simply means that you did not achieve the goal for whatever the reason. In the working out of the goal, the real outcome is lesson. What did you learn? What could you do differently? What needs to change? How could I overcome this barrier?
Goals will give you a purpose. A “why” am I doing this. Every person who you would consider as successful, would certainly have goals in their life. So don’t give up on having goals for yours. Make goals or continue in persevering and working on the goals that you have set.
How do you set goals? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What does a successful year look like to you?
- What areas of my life am I “fed-up” with that I want to change?
- What stops me from having goals?
- If I could do anything, what would that be?
- If there were no limits, what could I accomplish?
- What am I passionate about?
- What do I want to learn this year?
- If I don’t have any ideas, where can I go to get some ideas? Who can I talk to?
- What is a realistic and yet challenging goal?
- What do I need to have in place in order to achieve my goals?
Take the time and set at least a couple of goals for yourself this year. You will look back and know that 2017 is a year that you have accomplished much.