I recently had a conversation with one of my former friends. He has been in a professional career a few years now but isn’t satisfied with the direction his career has taken. In fact, he’s not too happy with his personal life either. His voice developed more than a touch of a complaint as he said: “I don’t know what to do.” So I asked him about his goals. His response was a rather slack-jawed look of surprise. “Goals?” Well, at least he wasn’t whining anymore.
I asked him where he would like to see his career in a few years. I asked him where he’d like to see his life in a few years. He knew the answers to those questions and quickly became animated as he discussed his desire to start his own business. We talked about what he would need to accomplish his goal and what he would have to change.
When we parted ways, he felt excited about his job because he knew that he wasn’t trapped in it. He was taking a necessary step to prepare himself for a long-term goal. He had his eye on the prize and that focus energized him.
That is the power of goals. What are your goals? Here are the seven most important reasons why they are so powerful and why you need to have goals for your life.
- Goals give direction to life
- They make sure we are the one choosing the direction of our life — not others, not fate, not the media, etc.
- It motivates us
- Goals make sure we get what we want from life
- They save time
- To reduce stress
- Achieving a goal gives us a sense of accomplishment
While it can be fun to live without direction in the short-term, in the long-term human beings are wired to need a purpose and direction. Goals give a sense of direction and purpose to life.
Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.Earl Nightingale
Goals give you direction, motivation and destination
It is often easy to let others set our direction for us. We take a job because family or friends point us in that direction and then we follow the dictates of our bosses. We move in other directions because popular culture or the media tells us to do so. The simple truth is that if we do not set our own goals then we will find it too easy to follow a path set by others. This can lead to stress and unhappiness. We have a greater chance of happiness and fulfillment following our own path and pursuing our own goals.
Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.Melody Beattie
While goals certainly give our lives direction, they also provide the motivation to get us through difficult times and choices. Perhaps going to college at night while working full-time may be stressful and difficult in the short-term, but in the long run being able to pursue the professional goals we desire will make it worthwhile.
Goals also serve as the destination for what we really want out of life. For some people, goals are measured in money or material goods, while for others goals are measured in time or freedom. If we do not have goals outlined that suit our unique perspective on life it is easy to become sidetracked by life and others.
Goals make you focus
Goals can also help save time. When your “To Do” list becomes too long and your calendar too full, then you can simply compare your goals to the list. What items help you achieve your goal? What items are necessary to your goal? Scratch off the rest as unimportant.
By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.Mark Victor Hansen
Just as goals save time they also reduce stress because using your goals to focus your life and choices makes it easier to make those choices. Should you take that new position at work? How does it match your goals?
Finally, goals give you a measurable sense of accomplishment. Every goal you achieve, in fact, every step you take toward that goal, can give you a boost of energy and momentum to keep going. Each success powers you toward the next level of success.
Now go out and set your goals!