What is your reason for setting a goal?
This is the first, and important, question you need to ask yourself. Why? If your reason for setting your goal is not sincere, your motivation and enthusiasm can wane drastically as you progress on your goal path. Setting personal goals is just that - personal, and if you do not have deep-rooted reason for your goal, your chances of succeeding are reduced dramatically.
We generally set goals because we are unhappy with where we are, either in life, our job, or a relationship. As Og Mandino says, "People don't change when they feel good. They change when they're fed up. When things are going all right, we all tend to do pretty much what we've been doing. Pain pushes us to those crucial turning points. We hurt, then we finally choose. It's that adverb finally. Enough is enough!"
We want something better. An example is a better paying position at work, or a management position. Maybe it can be that we want to lose weight, or become healthier. Whatever it is, we generally set goals as result of wanting something better.
Animals function on instinct. They sleep, eat and procreate. That's it.
We humans have a thinking ability. And it is with this thinking ability that we have the urge to achieve something better. But we are also an inherently lazy creature, and we tend to have a resistance to effort.
When we have something to aim at, something we achieve, we usually become excited. Think of going to your favorite restaurant. While you're getting ready, you can almost smell and taste your meal, and you are excited. It is no different when you have a goal to aim at, and this is especially relevant if you have a life goal. Each milestone that you reach, increases your excitement, aka your motivation. Especially, think of when you go on holiday. What is your level of excitement just prior to leaving on holiday, and to what level does this excitement rise shortly before leaving? And then as you progress on your journey? Using the holiday example, this excitement keeps rising the nearer you get to your destination.
Goals undoubtedly give us direction. An example here is when we want to progress in our career.
Let's say we want to secure a management position. We increase our knowledge and experience, and as result we become more equipped for the position. It is the objective of the management position that motivates us to undergo training, for example. Our goals enable us to move forward, and moving forward can only be beneficial. Go for the gold.
Whatever your definition of success is, you will find it difficult to reach that level of success without goals.
If you don't have a target, the arrow will hit nothing.
It is very important to remember that goals are not static. As our circumstances change, it is inevitable that our goals change. The goals you had when you left school are very different to your goals ten years after school. Similarly, after marriage and children come along, your goals once again change. It is important to remember that when your circumstances change, review and, where necessary adapt your goals. The golden rule of setting your goals is to remain on your goal path.
Without a doubt, having personal goals keeps your enthusiasm up.
It is usual for us to consult a map when we go on holiday, and yet, sadly, for the holiday of life, we don't consider consulting a map for this important journey. And when we don't reach our destination, we become frustrated and annoyed. Yet, when we go on holiday, without a map, and we get lost we similarly get annoyed. And yet, this something we don't repeatedly do. Your goals, and especially your goal path, is your map for your life.
Having goals, or at the very least, a goal, will enable you to know where you're going in life. Goals do give us direction.
Thomas Edison is well-known for saying he didn't fail, but found 10 000 ways it didn't work. He had thousands of attempts over many years to invent the electric light bulb, but he knew exactly what he wanted, and his goal kept him going until he achieved it.
Oprah Winfrey was an abused child who was determined to make a better life for herself. Michelle Kwan had a goal to be the best skater in the world.
If you want proof that goal setting works, and is valuable in your life, think of musicians. They are one of the best examples of having determination in not only setting, but also achieving their goals. Athletes don't become record holders by chance - it is only through effective goal setting. Top sales people work consciously at their goals, and as result become star performers. No-one becomes an astronaut by accident.
Every person who becomes successful in whatever field or area they choose, followed a goal path - a map to achieve their success.
If you have a dream, and want to achieve something better in life, having a goal can bring you success.
An effective goal setting system must get you on your road to success. It should also give you the tools to enable you to gain confidence in reaching your goal. There are many books and programs available that can help you set your goal. It is my belief that anyone can set a goal, but the important thing is to reach your goal.
An effective goal setting system should be a blueprint, and enable you to determine where you want to go with your life, and be an aid to keeping you on your goal path.
Having a goal, success is possible. Without goals, success is rarely possible - whatever area in your life.
Copyright © 2005 by Colin Dunbar. All rights reserved, worldwide. Used with permission.
Colin Dunbar is the creator of eaziGOAL, the system that offers you 12 practical and proven goal setting tools to enable you to get what you want. Manual, workbook with goal setting worksheets, PLUS companion software. FREE newsletter.
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