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5 Reasons Why You Should Set Goals
To-do lists are great, many of us use them every day. They give us a roadmap of the things we’re expecting to accomplish in the near future. If you’re not in the habit of making lists at the start of each day, you may not understand why it is important to have goals.
Setting goals allows you to apply focus and direction to the course of your day. And you may find you’re more productive, too. Why are goals important? Simply put, they allow you to focus your attention on an objective and measure your progress along the way.
In many ways, we already know the importance of goal setting — most everyone’s got a “bucket list” of some sort — so, why not put pen to paper and identify exactly what you want to accomplish with your life? Today, let’s explore ways to unlock your true potential by identifying your strengths and setting goals that leverage those skills. You can achieve your dreams, but first, you’ve got to write them down. Here are five reasons why you should set goals, and commit today to building a better future for yourself:
1. Goals Give You Direction
As simple as it sounds, having clear goals helps you create a destination for your dreams — something to aspire to. The real value of setting goals is the focus it affords you in a world otherwise chock-full of distractions. With a clear idea of your objectives, you’ll have more capacity to home in on your target. If you veer off-course, you’ll have your goals written down to help bring you back to center.
Why do we set goals — are they really necessary? You may not think they are at first, that you’ve been able to get the job done without them in the past. But the truth is, with a well-built map detailing what you need to do, you’ll travel towards that destination more efficiently, and likely, much more quickly than you would otherwise.
2. Goal Setting Helps You Identify What’s Important to You
With everyday life pulling us in so many directions, it’s easy to get caught up in the race — and forget altogether where we were headed. The real importance of setting career goals is that it allows you to define what you want to achieve. Consider those things you excel at, for starters. Whether it’s a career goal, one that involves taking your relationship to the next level or finally writing that novel you’ve been thinking about for years, setting a single goal will likely lead to other smaller objectives.
And by aiming towards your passions and things you really want out of life, you're more likely to work hard and make progress.
3. Setting Goals Helps Us Measure Progress Towards Success
If you’re looking to advance into that next stage of your life and own a home in a few years, setting an end-goal of homeownership can help you carve a path to that end. Why does goal setting lead to success? With a firmly defined objective in place, you’ll be able to see clearly what steps will be necessary to safely get across the finish line.
For instance, you’ll soon realize that if you want to own a home, you’ll may need a mortgage loan. And therefore, you’ll have to start saving now to build up cash you can apply towards a down payment in the future.
And just like that, you’ve got a major goal, and minor goals made up of several smaller objectives, that are now on your radar:
As you’ll see in the pages linked above, each one of those minor goals contains steps and actions that can be further broken down into daily, weekly and monthly objectives. Why is goal setting important? Goal setting offers you an opportunity to define those smaller steps and use them like the rungs on a ladder as you climb towards a brighter future.
4. Goals Help You Stay Motivated
Realizing your dreams can be a thrilling ride. And what’s most surprising to those that take on the task of setting goals is that things start to happen — the results of that hard work begin to emerge as you move closer towards that vision of a better you. One of the key reasons why goals are important is that you’ll find continued momentum in working towards something you want on a personal level.
Why is it important to set goals for yourself? The payoff comes in many forms, but perhaps the biggest benefit is the psychological shift towards increased positivity that rides in tandem with your dream pursuit. Athletes training for a marathon frequently identify with this outcome, and many are surprised by the way it energizes them. And the can-do attitude that’s built out of accomplishing goals can help re-pattern daily activities that last a lifetime.
5. Setting Goals Keeps You Accountable
After you’ve made your way across the finish line and your goal has been met, you’ll likely find a sense of pride in what you’ve done. The hours of focus and determination can pay off in unexpected ways, too. Of course, one of the key reasons to set goals is to get your life on track. But the real advantage may be hiding in plain sight: the self-satisfaction and the improved positive mental attitude that begins to emerge over time, as you learn to hold yourself accountable and push those limits.
You’ve worked hard in the past studying for a test — with the goal of mastering a new skill or getting that diploma. And the feeling you get after acing that exam or graduating comes with a real sense of personal success.
Whether you want to change your life or just change your day-to-day, setting life goals can help.
Here are our favorite life goal tips and examples from your friends at American Family Insurance.
Life goals are all the things you want to accomplish in life.
Whether they’re big and challenging or smaller and personal, setting life goals can give you a sense of purpose as you move through life.
And as you work toward your goals you may notice other benefits, too, such as new skills, better focus, less procrastination and a more positive mindset.
So what do life goals look like?
Only you can decide which life goals are right for you. But here’s some common themes to help get your ideas flowing.
Some life goals are health goals, like running a marathon, climbing a mountain or practicing yoga. Or they can be career goals, such as starting your own business, getting a big promotion or planning a well-earned retirement.
They could also be educational, like graduating from college, getting an advanced degree or learning a new skill like how to code.
Sometimes, they’re financial goals, including doubling your income, learning to invest in the stock market or paying off your student loans.
Many life goals focus on big milestones, such as finding a lifelong partner, buying a new car or building your dream home. Or maybe they’re more adventurous like seeing the Northern Lights, skydiving or traveling to a new country.
So now that we’ve covered what life goals are, it’s time to think about how to pursue them.
Here’s an easy five-step process to get started.
First, decide which goal you want to achieve. Don’t be afraid to set multiple goals at once.
Next, write your goals down. Seeing them in writing can make them feel more real.
Then, tell someone about your goals. Share your excitement with the world, and you might find a friend who can help you achieve your goals.
Next, outline the steps you’re going to take to achieve your goals. Be sure to describe what success looks like for each step.
Finally, if you have a goal that seems extra big and ambitious, consider breaking it down into smaller objectives. You’ll be amazed at how far you’ll get when looking at your large goal as many tasks.
Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to get started. With enough motivation, focus and hard work, you can make your life goals a reality.
Interested in more tips on setting and achieving your dreams?
Visit AmFam.com for resources to help guide and support you along your dream pursuit.
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Set Goals and Start Achieving Them Today
Why is it important to have goals and objectives? Much of the reason is about staying accountable to yourself as you begin to realize you’re heading in the right direction. But it’s really about the lasting sense of accomplishment that instills a new work ethic, where you’ll find yourself leaning into new challenges with increased confidence in the days and years to come.
Want more tips on how to set goals and achieve them? Join the dream movement today— we’ve got just the resources to help support and guide you along any dream pursuit.
Related Topics: Personal Development , Passions , Health , Community