Why is goal setting important? If I got a dollar for every time I've been asked that question, I'd be a wealthy woman today!
The answer's very simple. When you plan a road trip, you decide where you're going and the route you're going to take. With starting your own business, the same applies. Just like a road trip, without a clear vision you won't reach your destination.
The principle of goal setting has been around for a long time. Even Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, encouraged people to "have a definite,clear goal and objective".
Even though a recommendation by Aristotle should have been enough for me, I only accepted the value of setting goals once I had actually started getting results. The "proof was definitely in the pudding!"
So now I set goals for everything! I've stopped asking the question: "Why is goal setting important?". I just do it but more importantly, I know why I do it.
The minute you set a goal ... whether, it's at work or at home, it galvanizes you into action. This action gives you a purpose and people with a purpose always have a positive attitude. And when you have a positive attitude you feel better about yourself.
Visualisation is a very powerful force and, when strong enough, may affect your subconscious. It is used by people to change their mindset, habits and actions. When I started my degree I imagined myself attending graduation, in my academic gown, on the stage, shaking hands with the Vice-Chancellor! For me that was very powerful. And guess what? Three years later, that's exactly where I was!
The only way to set goals is to take time out and to actually think ... really think... about what it is you want and what you want to achieve. If you weren't into setting goals this wouldn't happen.
It's natural when setting goals to start with a long wish list. You then go through your wish list, cut things out in order of importance. You then prioritize the remaining items. These then become your main goals.
By the way, you may find, depending on events in your life, priorities change or as you achieve some of your shorter-term goals, you add some others to the list.
Once you've prioritized your goals, it's time to decide how you're going to achieve your goals. Using the analogy of the road trip, you need to ensure that you have a reliable vehicle with lots of gas, a map and accommodation along the way to ensure you reach your destination. That's your action plan.
Once you've prioritized your tasks, it's easy making a decision because it is very clear what you want to achieve and when.
While going through the goal setting process, you may identify a potential gap in skills or knowledge which could potentially hold you back. You then have the time to close that gap so that when the time comes, you'll be up to speed.
My "gap" was writing for the web. I had lots of experience writing business reports, but didn't have a clue about writing for the web.Identifying this gap, while setting my goals, gave me the opportunity to incorporate working on my writing skills into my overall action plan.
But if you ask me...the best thing about setting and achieving goals is the fantastic sense of satisfaction you get when you can mark your goal off as "completed"! What a buzz! It's indescribable!
So... now you that you understand the "why" i.e "Why is Goal Setting Important". Let's move on to the "how"? It's easy using the goal setting guidelines in the next article.