Written Goal with Plan
Why is goal setting important? Considering that many people go through life without ever analyzing the goal setting process or setting any formal goals, that’s an excellent question.
Focused Action and Energy
The simplest answer comes in two parts. The first part is that things don’t happen the way we want them to without taking some sort of action, even if that action is only to state our desire.
Imagine you’re in a restaurant. Your goal is to get a drink. You can either get up and get it yourself (not recommended), or you can ask the server to get you what you want (better plan).
Without goal setting there is no plan, and without the plan there is no action. You can see by my example above that we’re actually goal setting all the time, just not formally. We do it without realizing what we’re doing.
If your desires are a bit harder to obtain than getting a drink from a waiter, however, you’ll need to use a more formal goal setting process. By formal I mean writing down your goals, and making a plan.
Clinical and sports psychologist Dr. John F. Murray says that goal setting is a blueprint for success and is a way to give direction to your energy.
This quote below pretty much sums it up…
“Control your own destiny, or someone else will.”
-Sean Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Long before that 7 Habits book was written, someone told me that I’d better figure out what I wanted, or someone else would figure it out for me. The times in my life when I’ve remembered that have had much better outcomes than the times when I’ve forgotten it.
Focus your energy through goal setting, and watch your results improve dramatically. You’ll be happier and more motivated too.
The second part of why goal setting is important is that it works! People who set goals simply do better than those who don’t.
Your brain likes to solve puzzles, and it does so even if you’re not conscious of that fact. Anthony Robbins says that if you ask your brain the right questions, it will come up with an answer.
Performing goal setting exercises sends a signal to your brain to go to work to solve the puzzle that asks “what do I need to do in order to achieve success in this?”
In a metaphysical sense, goal setting also sends a signal out to the universe that says “hey, I’m seeking this…” and the universe goes to work to provide it. If you’re spiritual or religiously inclined, I’m sure you can think of some lines of scripture that support this in most major religions.
Goal setting also sends a message to other people who can help you. I don’t mean that anyone actually gets a phone call that says “go help so and so reach their goal” but there have been countless stories where people have set goals and achieved them because someone stepped up to help them.
Coincidence? Maybe, but many people who have researched and written about this stuff don’t think so.
Read Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser, Ph.D. and you’ll soon get the idea that if you go in motion, something else will go in motion, and goal setting is the start of the success process. Simply put… it works!
What about you? Why is goal setting important to you? Have you had any experiences where goal setting came through for you or someone you know?
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