Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why Are Goals Important?

By Ralph Sarway

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We are told by business philosophers and business coaches that one of the key components of success is to set goals. "Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement" (Brian Tracy). Somehow many of us find it hard to put pen to paper and write out what it is exactly that we would like to accomplish. This is not usually because of laziness or lack of time rather, it is more likely that we do not truly believe that having a written plan will change anything.

Think of something you have accomplished recently no matter how trivial. Then try to recall the thought process that went through your mind that enabled you to go ahead and do it. There most definitely was some sort of determination to perform a specific task and to get it done right. It's this thinking that propels our minds and bodies to carry through and succeed. This is what goal setting does for us.

Setting goals gives you power and authority over your plans and propels you to take appropriate action.

As David Schwartrz PhD. wrote in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big, "a goal is more than a dream it's a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy 'oh, I wish I could.' A goal is a clear 'this is what I'm working toward.' "

Setting goals gives us long-term vision and helps us to stay focused for the short-term. Success is a build up many small victories but along the way there are many distractions that lead us astray. A goal helps us stay organized and to maximize our time. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Keep your expectations of yourself realistic but don't be afraid to take risks either.

So first, you're going to stop and think; where am I headed? Where would I like to see myself in ten years from now? What would I like to accomplish with my life? Once you have gotten a clearer image of the big 'picture' you can start to map out a plan of action. Break down your goal into progressively smaller, more manageable goals. Ok, so now you know what you'd like your life to look like in ten years from now. Now set a five- year goal. Then set a yearly goal, a six-month plan and a monthly plan.

In the beginning the tasks will be much smaller. For example you will want to read books and gather as much information on subjects that will ultimately lead you to your long-term goals. Every so often go over your goals and modify them accordingly. If at times you fail, don't be discouraged use the experience to learn from and to do better next time. And when you've achieved a goal take the time to relish the feeling of success.