Why goal setting could be the key for you
Have you ever done any goal setting?
I don’t mean just thinking about what you’d like to do or where you’d like to be in your future, but actually putting your thoughts down on paper and formulating some goals to work towards.
Well, if you haven’t, you’re not alone.
When I hold goal setting workshops the most common response from participants is ‘I’ve never done that before’ and ‘I’m really surprised at how much I got from that’. These people come from all walks of life and are all ages but what they all have in common is that goal setting hasn’t been on their radar before. They haven’t been taught how to do it effectively AND they haven’t learnt what a huge benefit it can have on their life – both physically and emotionally.
This always surprises me as I have been doing an annual goal setting exercise for almost 10 years now and love the certainty it gives me and the sense of purpose it brings to my life.
Not convinced? That’s absolutely understandable. Read on…
I like to give the example of going away on holiday. Before you go, you plan where you’re going to go, you do the research on how you’ll get there, where you’ll stay and what you’ll do once you’re there. Then you put steps in place on how you’re going to achieve all that. And once you’ve got agreement from everyone that’s involved, you go ahead and make it happen. You book the tickets and prep for the holiday – getting excited as every day you do something that brings you closer to the departure date!
Imagine then if you hadn’t done any of those things. Imagine if you’d had a chat with your family and decided that you all wanted to go on a holiday. You talked about where you’d like to go but you didn’t agree on a destination. But you did agree to a date. So, on that day, you all jump in the car and start driving. But you don’t know where you’re going and haven’t done any planning so what happens?
Nothing. You just drive around. And around. And around.
You don’t go anywhere. You don’t feel any excitement in the lead up time before you reach your destination because you haven’t decided on one. And you don’t have any satisfaction when you reach your destination because you don’t ever get there.
Can you see how setting a goal is such a liberating activity? It can really provide you with a target for which to aim. It can release you from the guilt you feel that you’re not doing enough with your life because it gives you a focus which you can work towards. Even if it’s just baby steps, you are at the very least, moving towards where you want to be, rather than just existing.
But, I hear you ask, what if I don’t reach my goal? What if I write it down and don’t ever reach it?
Well my friends, just the act of going through the motion of deciding on a goal and then writing it down and then planning on how to get there is of benefit to you.
I’ve made tons of goals that I haven’t reached. But, I’ve also made tons of goals that I have reached and that is what gets me up in the morning. That is what keeps me going – the knowledge and surety that I can achieve what I choose to. I just have to decide on what my next goal is… and like Jean Luc Picard so eloquently says, make it so.