The vast majority of successful people set goals – whether it be short term goals or long term goals, goals can help you reach for success and keep you motivated.
Whether in your professional life or personal life, you’re sure to benefit from setting a few goals. The goal-setting process involves taking an analytical look at your life and can help to identify any challenges you may be facing, any strengths you can work with and can enable you to learn more about yourself.
How else can setting goals help us, and why is it so important? Keep reading to learn more about the benefits and importance of setting goals in both your personal and professional life.
Goals Can Increase Motivation
It can be tough to remain motivated, especially when life feels tedious or too stressful. If you have no goal to stick to, it can be far too easy to procrastinate and put work, events, or hobbies off until another time.
One of the best ways you can overcome this issue and boost your motivation is by setting goals – and trying your best to stick to them.
When you have no goals to motivate you to be the best version of yourself, you may notice that you don’t put your all into tasks, or you don’t find activities fun.
Goals can give tasks and activities that would usually feel mundane a purpose, and motivate you to perform to the best of your abilities.
Having a destination or an end result in mind will help you stay focused and motivated, whatever the task. For example, athletes will set goals and feel more motivated when they stick to them.
It doesn’t matter if they’re tired, they have other commitments, or they just can’t be bothered – they will stick to their goals and stay on track in order to achieve success.
Goals Help You Track Progress
Setting a goal gives you something to work towards, and to celebrate when you reach your goal. Having a fixed endpoint in mind allows you to track your progress and, in some instances, allows you to compete with yourself.
For example, if your end goal is to run a marathon, you can compare times with yourself and others, track how well you’re doing, and celebrate each milestone.
Every mile ran and every second you improve is something to celebrate and to motivate you to push forwards and succeed. Fixed goals will enable you to see how far you’ve come, and how close you are to completing your end goal.
It can be difficult to stay motivated and happy about a task if you don’t have a goal in place. If your task is taking a while, you may feel like giving up or procrastinating – but checking your progress can remind you that you can do it, and give you the boost you need.
Goals Can Keep You Focused
When you don’t have a goal in place, it can be easy to lose focus on your task or activity. Your efforts may feel like a waste of time – but having a goal gives your task a purpose, and can help you willingly focus on your efforts.
Having a goal in mind when completing any activity can allow you to hone in on what you’re doing with precision, instead of wasting time sat staring into space imagining getting the task done.
A good example to give in this instance is archery – would an archer shoot an arrow effectively without a target – and more importantly, what would be the point?
A target gives an archer something to focus on and aim towards – and the same goes for any activity. You’re far more likely to achieve success when you have a target or a goal to focus your efforts towards.
Your goals give you purpose, motivation, focus, and ambition – having a sense of direction is ultimately key to succeeding with any activity.
Goals Can Stop You From Procrastinating
I’m sure we’ve all struggled with procrastination at some point in our lives – well, one of the most effective ways of overcoming this is by setting a goal.
Setting a goal will give you a constant reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing – why it’s important and how good you’ll feel when you complete your task.
When you have an end goal in place, you’ll realise that procrastinating will only damage you, and it’s best to push through and stick to your plan.
Having a goal in place to work towards makes you accountable for any wasted efforts or time, and any wasted time just means you’re further away from reaching your goal.
Deadlines can be difficult, especially when they’re in the far future (e.g 2 or 3 months away). Having the end goal can be great, but in order to stay more focused and to stop yourself from leaving it until the last minute, it’s better to set smaller goals.
This enables you to keep working and keep to a schedule, and you’re sure to feel a sense of accomplishment each step you reach.
Goals Can Help You Learn About Your Own Ambitions
Considering what your goals are and how you’re going to reach them gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself. In order to set a goal, you have to look inwards and consider your own willpower and ambition.
This can help you decide how much success you want to achieve, and what exactly you want out of life. Goals can be anything – from finishing a deadline to becoming prime minister.
Taking time to set a series of goals, in both the short term and the long term, requires learning about yourself and taking time to discover what you want.
Once your end goal is in place, your journey of self-discovery will continue. You’ll figure out how strong your willpower is, how motivated you are, and how much you want to reach the goal.
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.