Top 5 Reasons You Need to Consider Setting Goals
Are you a goal setter? Do you seek to achieve bigger and better things for yourself and your family? Or, are you a person who lives a simple day to day routine with no particular dream or goal? Whether you work a full time job for someone else, work for yourself or even if you are a stay at home parent or caregiver, goal setting is an exercise in discipline and planning that will enable you to accomplish more and feel better about yourself.
I have drifted in and out of the goal setting mode over my lifetime and I can look back to take note of some pretty interesting things I have discovered about myself. Let me explain my top 5 reasons for setting goals and see if any of them strike a chord with you.
Goal Setting Provides Something at which to Look Forward
Have you ever found yourself in a rut? You know what I mean – you get up every morning, make the coffee, eat breakfast, brush your teeth and get ready for work. It’s the same routine each and every weekday morning and the only difference on the weekend is you don’t go to work. It’s another day at the old grind of your stuck in the rut job that pays the bills but doesn’t really make you feel good. Well, I have experienced this over the years and what I have discovered is that you can create goals in any work or home situation that will help get you through the week and actually enjoy it! The same rut can be experienced in your relationships, marriage and family life if you allow it.
So what is one of my top 5 ways to climb out of the rut? Set a goal to go somewhere or do something you enjoy, maybe plan an outing, for example, with the family, with your spouse or friends. Choose a destination or activity, select a date to do it and then begin the step-by-step process to accomplish all of the details down the path that leads you to your desired goal. That outing, work deadline or social event becomes a light at the end of the dull and dreary tunnel of your life and you are drawn to it each day, one step at a time.
Goal Setting Requires Prioritizing
If you are someone who just sort of bumps along on your life’s path and somehow you manage to get from point A to point D but don’t really know if or how you got to points B and C, then goal setting can help you establish a planned path from point A to D and maybe even on to point Z. Let’s use our family outing example again; once you set a date for the outing, there will be things that will need to done, perhaps purchases to be made and people to be seen before it comes to fruition. Goal setting helps you establish the order in which these steps must be taken to logically, efficiently and realistically reach the goal. If you don’t set priorities, then you will find yourself spinning your wheels, wasting valuable time and money and most likely will never achieve your goal in a way that will encourage you to want to do it again. This prioritizing skill is a good one to develop as it will help you in all other areas of your life as well. It could well be one of the most important of the top 5 reasons we’ll talk about today.
Goal Setting Teaches Efficiency
Most of us, regardless of how efficient we think we are, could benefit from rethinking this particular skill. We are living in an age that sees almost daily increases in the cost of food, gasoline, medications, and health care in general and most durable goods and decreases in the free time we have. I could write a whole article on just efficiency in running your home and managing your budget, but that’s not the point of this top 5 article. We need to think in terms of how to get the job done, or the steps we have prioritized toward our goal, and get them done with less effort, time and money. We need to work and think smarter not necessarily harder to achieve our predetermined goals. For example, let’s say that you have a number of errands to run today and you have to take the kids to softball practice later. With gas prices fluctuating as they have been of late, you really may wish to consider the order in which you will make those individual stops. By mapping out a route that doesn’t keep you retracing your path, you will be able to more efficiently accomplish your list of things to do in less time and using less gas. Who knows, you might actually get a chance to sit down, put your feet up and sip a nice tall iced tea before you take the kids to softball practice! The point is by thinking through the priority list and the way you take each step, focusing on the smartest and most efficient way to complete each task, you will not waste your precious time, money and energy doing things that aren’t achieving your goals.
Goal Setting Helps Increase Your Energy
Let’s talk a little bit about another top 5 reason – increasing energy levels. I know from personal experience that when you’re in that rut we mentioned earlier you just don’t care about what happens tomorrow or even tonight. There is no bright light at the end of your weekly or daily tunnel of life so you have no reason to push yourself beyond getting through the day and evening at home with the family. Having a goal and watching yourself accomplish the prioritized steps to get you to that goal, can infuse you with energy you didn’t know you had! If you made a physical list of the steps to your goal and check off each step as you complete it, you will be amazed at how quickly you will find the energy to get up and get the next thing done on that list!
Goal Setting Can Open Other Doors of Opportunity
How many times have you watched fellow co-workers, a family member or friend cash in on opportunities for which you were equally qualified? In my life, this has happened TOO many times! Sometimes the reason can be simply that the person was in the right place at the right time when the door of opportunity opened. But, just as likely perhaps someone noticed increased energy, enthusiasm and vitality in them that simply wasn’t present or noticeable in you. That light at the end of your tunnel that we have mentioned throughout this article can shine through you and can be evident in everything you do. It is noticed by those you love as well as those with whom you work.
Goal setting and achieving even small, short term goals can ultimately change so many things in your life. Can you think of other reasons to set goals? What are your top 5 reasons to consider setting goals?