What would you say about a situation in which football players after much training and getting charged for a game, go into the field to find out that there are no goal posts? The players will be frustrated. If they play without goal posts then there would be no goals scored; the players would have no goal (no pun intended). There would be nothing to measure or indicate their success. How about a person who gets into a car and starts driving? He does not have a destination in mind but he says to himself, “I will get there.” This is as absurd as saying, “I will make it,” without any goal, hence, no plan.
The way most people live is as if they are playing football without goal posts or driving without a destination in mind. They live without setting goals. No goals set, no goals achieved. How can you hit a target when you do not even have one?
By setting a goal you are set to maximize the resources you have. Without goals you waste resources. Goals also help you to realize your maximum potential which lies inside you. Decisions are made automatically when you set a goal. Because you have a goal in mind, you have “tuned in your frequency” so as to “catch the waves” of opportunities. Without a goal in mind, opportunities will keep passing you because you would have no use for them hence you are not able to identify them.
When I set a goal of creating this blog, Growing Through Life, I identified what I needed to do. I went into learning WordPress. The goal of creating a blog automatically created the need for me to learn WordPress. I learnt it and built my blog myself. I also put the resources I have to optimum use – laptop, internet connection, and knowledge. The task of creating inspirational content for my readers got me reading more and more every day. I also became more observant and reflective. Somehow I became more aware. By blogging I exercised my writing skill which has been improving. All these would not have happened if I had not set a goal of creating a blog and accomplishing it. But it gets better. Having accomplished the goal I set, I have set a bigger goal and that has kept me working. The result is that when I compare who I am today to who I was before I created my blog, I see growth. It has been a journey of self-improvement.
Your goal does not have to be the goal I set for myself but when you set yours and work at accomplishing it, you are on the path of self-development. You will enjoy the benefit of accomplishing your goal but you will enjoy more the person you will come to be as a result of the process you will undergo. The medical doctor did not arrive at his profession in a day. It took him years in a process that seemed long. But the process built him and today he is enjoying the reward.
You may want to do the following in order to reach your goal.
- Write down your goals: You may as well forget about that goal of yours if it is not written down. Writing it down impresses it on your mind and aids your commitment to it. You are likely to get distracted and veer off the path to the goal. Looking at your goal written down can help bring you back on track.
- Know why you want to reach that goal: A worthwhile goal will stretch you by getting you out of your comfort zone. It can even get you thinking in the middle of the night. The point is that you will not find it easy but knowing your ‘why’ will help you with the motivation you need to get to that goal along the way. What is the purpose of your goal?
- Identify the obstacles: The ride will not be smooth. The earlier you identify obstacles the better. Identifying obstacles should not make you obsessed about them. You identify them so as to work out a strategy of overcoming them. Identify the obstacles but focus on overcoming them.
- Identify the groups or people you need to work with: At some points on your way to your goal, you would need help from individuals and/or groups.
- Set a realistic date to reach your goal: Whether it be a year, two, or five years, set a date.
Zig Ziglar identified seven kinds of goals: physical, mental, spiritual, personal, family, career, and financial. Those are the areas in which we must develop ourselves if we are to make progress in life. At various stages in our life, we are to set specific goals in one or two of those areas and work towards them.
People often complain about lack of time. But life is fair to everyone with respect to time. Each person has exactly twenty-four hours every day. So lack of time is not the issue; the issue is lack of direction like the man moving without a destination in mind. Someone will call the man without direction a murderer because he kills time. But killing time is not a case of murder; it is suicide.
If you want to stay active or busy without accomplishing anything, then forget about goal setting.