Whether you’re reading a self help book or speaking with a coach or mentor, dealing with business or your personal life, one of the first things they will suggest you try is goal setting. They all state the need to make goals, as they have the ability to help you turn your dreams into action plans and those vague ideas into reality… but why is it so important to set yourself goals?
One of the most important things a goal gives you is something to actually focus on. Goals enable you to narrow down what you want to achieve into individual, manageable action steps – thus enabling a really targeted, narrowed down focus.
Accountability – to yourself and others
The second thing a goal will give you is accountability. The action of writing down your goals somehow makes you more determined to achieve them – it cements in your commitment – and this boosts up your desire and accountability to move that goal forward. When we share our intent with others, it boosts our desire to achieve, as well as giving us another opportunity to increase the level of accountability around that goal.
Any well set goal will include a timescale. This takes it from being just a dream and into the realms of possibility. It shows you how long you will be working on this goal and that it is achievable in the first place. Setting a timescale is just as important as narrowing down your focus and breaking down your goals into manageable steps – it prevents overwhelm, procrastination and uncertainty – and gives you the clarity and motivation to keep going.
Something to measure
Once you have an idea of what you want and a timescale for achieving it, you have something to measure your progress against. You now have a means of gauging how far you have come in attaining those things you want, the ability to see what your next steps are and a clear indication of the things you can celebrate achieving and overcoming.
A clear plan of Action
Finally, a goal will give you the means to take action. It presents you with a clear set of steps to take and the order in which they need to be taken. Setting out a goal will stop you making wrong moves and going in the wrong direction… it allows you to see exactly where you’re at and where you’re headed.
What goals have you set yourself for 2015? Are there goals you didn’t achieve this year – if so, how can you rewrite them to make them achievable in the year ahead? What one action step will you be taking towards your top goal? Why not share your top goal and the first step you will be taking to achieve it in the comment box below?
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