Without goals, we get caught up in the inessentials and allocate time to activities that, in reality, don’t further our long-term growth.
We all have wishes – to learn something new, get a job, get in shape, etc. – but for most of us, that’s all they are: wishes. Rarely do wishes become actual goals, and that’s because all we’re doing is articulating our desires. That’s not enough.
In order to achieve a goal, you first need to set one. You need to sit down, identify what you want to do or where you want to be, and outline the steps you need to take in order to get there. It’s a big difference, even if it might not seem like one.
With that in mind, here are three reasons why it’s important to set goals for yourself:
1. Goals help you prioritize.
By giving yourself something to work towards, goals help you sort out your priorities. They give you a long-term perspective that, in the short-term, allows you to distinguish the unimportant from the important.
Once you’ve set a goal, you’ll be quick to differentiate between productive activities – those which are actually helping you work towards your goal – and unproductive activities – those which are leading you astray. By eliminating distractions, you’ll suddenly find yourself having more free-time, as well as something to show for your efforts.
2. Goals help you track your progress.
If you wanted to get better at managing your money, your first step toward achieving that goal might be taking a course on personal finance planning. Or, if you’re looking to get in better shape, you might want to learn a little bit about nutrition.
If you follow through on your plan to complete the course, you’ll see short-term progress towards your long-term objective. But, even if you didn’t stay true to your goal, you’d still be able to look back, identify hindrances to your learning, and then make the necessary adjustments.
Remember: progress, whether it’s direct or indirect, is still progress.
3. Goals help you stay motivated.
When you set a goal, you’re making a commitment. You’re holding yourself personally accountable for seeing it through, and that obligation makes it a lot easier to stay motivated.
Motivation also stems from the short-term progress we make towards a long-term goal. The sense of accomplishment we get from actually making headway is unbelievably satisfying. It helps push us through busy schedules, long work days – whatever it may be – and encourages us to keep pursuing our goals.
If you struggle with motivation, try setting yourself a long-term goal and a series of detailed, short-term goals to help you get there. You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish.
Do you have goals of your own that you’d like to achieve? Want to get better at managing people? Improve your financial literacy? Learn to code? Live a happier life? Here are a few courses to help you start pursuing your long-term goals: