How can anyone head off to a destination, without knowing where they’re going? If you don’t know where you’re going, you have no chance of getting there. Goals are the destinations, the road maps and the plans to get us what we want and need out of life. Goal setting theory is really just deciding what you want and planning how to get there. OK, so why do we need goals?
1. People with goals are 7 times more likely to succeed.
Research has repeatedly shown that where people set goals properly in writing, that their potential for success is seven times higher than those without goals. This is measured holistically, on a wide range of goals. Money, family, health, values etc.
Once the goals are in place, it’s like the motor has been started, and the journey has begun. Success is the byproduct of knowing what you want, and setting out to get it. We are most likely to get what we set.
2. People with goals have direction.
Simple and logical! Goals ARE direction. Goals are the signposts pointing to the objectives and outcomes that we want. With goals we are able to better visualize our future and plan intelligently how to get there. Goals provide the focus.
3. People with goals are more decisive.
Once we have goals we have purpose and this helps us to be much more decisive. I know what I want and I know where I’m going, which helps to guide me in the decision making process. With an outcome already in mind, making the right decisions to reach that outcome is easy.
Goal setting theory tells me that making decisions based on imperfect knowledge, or in other words not knowing what goal I’m trying to achieve, is doomed to fail.
4. People with goals are more positive.
If you wake up in the morning, not knowing what you really want to do or what you want to achieve, it automatically puts you into a negative frame of mind. On the other hand, when you have your goals in mind, they serve as a positive push to get you going and to keep you going.
We are either being pushed forward with positivity, or are being held back by negative “No – Don’t – Can’t” attitudes that are stopping us from getting what we want. Goals produce positive energy.
5. People with goals have self-discipline.
As long as we know what we want, it’s easy to have the self-discipline to help us get there. I have a goal, a dream a desire and know that with everything in life, you have to make concessions. Give up something now to get something else later. Self-discipline is the ability to be able to decide what’s more important to you in the long term, and then making the necessary sacrifices today to make sure that we achieve our goals.
6. People with goals have higher self-esteem.
With goals, we are more likely to get the things in life that we want. This improves self-esteem. We like ourselves more when we are achieving our goals, as opposed to drifting aimlessly and without purpose. Goal setting theory closely correlates goals with high self-esteem.
7. People with goals have more balance in life.
When setting goals, we set goals under different areas: Wealth, health, career, family and others. These goals work together to create a balance, where one is able to become more holistically successful in life. By making sure that we have balance in all the many areas of our lives, we get more of what we want from life in general.
I hope that you’re convinced that going through life without goals is like playing soccer without goalposts. Goal setting theory is easy, now you need to find a good goal setting training programme and get started. A good first goal is to do something… today!