We’ve all heard that having goals is important, but why? Why do life coaches, business coaches and personal development gurus all begin working with clients in the realm of goals?
The short answer is because goals are critical for strategic growth.
Early on in my business life, and my life in general really, I didn’t focus on goals. Over the course of 10 years I was able to build what I considered to be a successful business. The problem, though, was that I didn’t have the right goals and the result was that I couldn’t so much as take a vacation without everything quickly grinding to a halt. I was the center of all activity in my business and if I was gone it all stopped.
This was a problem for me, and it was definitely a problem for my lovely wife of 10 years. So eventually I started to really focus on creating the right goals and I started doing a lot of studying about the topic. I’ve read countless books, been to many seminars and even worked with a business coach. After well more than a year of serious determination, I’ve come up with 5 main reasons why I need to have clear goals in my life and the ways they help me. I believe you need them too and here are the reasons why:
1. CLARITY OF MESSAGE
By actually writing down your goals (with a real pen and paper) and reviewing them regularly and often, if forces you to get clear on exactly what you want. Remember that “GOOD” goals are specific, emotional and have deadlines attached to them.
A good goal has not only the specifics of WHAT you want, but also WHY you want it. This WHY is going to be the fuel that propels you towards your goal. The better the WHY, the faster you will reach your goal.
Every business owner knows, every day is filled with people who want your attention and think their issue is your top priority. They’ll pull you in a thousand different directions at once if you let them. Having a written set of goals, and reading them often, makes it very easy for you to stay laser-focused on your desired outcome. You will be able to determine if a direction in which someone is trying to pull you is the right one for you at that moment. When you have that clarity, when you are in “growth” mode, you’ll recognize that if the task doesn’t get you closer to your desired outcome, then you are likely going further away.
The first thing I do when I create a goal is to share it with someone. Saying it out loud gives it a boost of power. Tell your co-worker, tell your mom, tell your dog…just say it out loud to someone. Anybody can help you with this, but if you have that one person in your life that will actually push you a little and call you on your BS…then definitely tell that person. He will then become your accountability partner or (for you South Park fans) your accountibilibuddy.
5. ELEVATE YOUR STANDARDS
The single, most obvious fact that I discovered once I started creating and reviewing my goals for my life is that the greater the goals I set, the greater the goals I achieved. It may sound so obvious that it’s silly, but it’s surprisingly easy to forget and it’s something you have to keep in the front of your mind while making your goals.
When a lot of people look back at their achievements in life they mention 3 or 4 large achievements; graduating college, getting married, starting a business, etc. For me though, I am constantly focused on trying to elevate the level of all my goals. I ask myself “how can I do this better?”, “how can I get this faster?”, “how can I produce more of that?” and so on.
GOALS ARE THE KEYS TO YOUR SUCCESS
Since becoming aware of the strength of goal setting, I’ve found that I get much farther in both my personal and professional life when I keep these 5 reasons in my mind for why I need goals. I write them down, tell someone about them, frequently review them and work like mad to achieve them. I recently took my first 2-week vacation in years and you know what? My business was still here when I got back and it’s better than ever before.
To close I’d like to share a favorite quote of mine from Jim Rohn “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Write those goals. Succeed.