6.2 min readPublished On: March 7, 2023Categories: Goals

I’ll be honest, I was never much of a goal getter.  I can still hear an old manager of mine ripping the process of goal setting apart and saying, ‘goals just set you up to fail, or, if you know you’re going to fail, you move the goalposts, so what’s the point?’

And, because I looked up to her so much, I believed her.  I’ve even recounted those words to others, on more than one occasion.

All I can do is hope that my words didn’t have as much gravitas as hers did on me.  

At this point in my life I didn’t know where I was headed or what my vision was and because goals were useless (or so I thought at the time), it didn’t matter.  It was a period of my life when I  was literally waiting for life to happen to me.  Luckily, as a hard worker I still achieved, but I often wonder what else I could have achieved back then if I had understood the importance of having goals.

Roll forward a few years and now I LOVE a goal!  Now, when I talk about goals, let’s not automatically think of SMART goals, I think that’s where I was misled before.  Don’t get me wrong there is an absolute place for SMART goals and we use them in coaching all of the time.  But, for some, including myself, SMART goals can also come with additional pressure, especially when you start trying to work out how you’re going to measure them.

Why Is It Important To Be Goal Orientated?

So, let’s keep it simple – a goal is a desired outcome or an aim and goals can literally be used for anything.  I had a gym-related goal last year to do a chin up by Christmas unaided, it’s still a goal and might even be a forever goal but I will continue to strive for it!  Some of my short-term goals for today are to write this blog, do some preparation for an NLP course starting in a few weeks and create an invitation for an event.  A longer-term goal is to run regular workshops by the summer.  In fact, I have so many goals and some of them are huge, like doing a TED talk (!)  but I love goals because they give me inspiration, keep me on track and motivate me to achieve.  

Goal setting comes with an array of benefits; let’s take a closer look at what I consider to be the top five…

#1 Life Evaluation

Firstly, in order to create some goals, you will most likely need to evaluate your life.  This can understandably be overwhelming for some but it needn’t be.  In coaching we use a popular coaching tool called the ‘Wheel of Life’.  It’s super handy because it breaks life down into categories such as finances, relationships, emotional health etc. and you score your current level of satisfaction from 0-10 for each section.  It then gives you a visual representation on which areas of your life are doing less well and after you dig a little deeper into why and how they could be better, you can then create some goals to improve.  This forces you into thinking about your life, what is working, what isn’t and if it’s not, how can you change it?

#2 Direction

Once you have a goal and you can see the bigger picture, you have direction and you know exactly where you are headed.  No more coasting along waiting for life to just happen or you could well end up in the same place in 5 years time.  I always used to get bogged down with the how.  Dreams and visions seemed too far away and because I didn’t know exactly how I was going to get there, I stopped moving before I’d even started. Trust me, the how works itself out. Just keep making small steps every day in the direction of your goal and you will get there.  It might look slightly different to what you first intended but I promise you you’ll be far further ahead in life.

#3 Motivation And Inspiration

Being a goal getter you’ll have the motivation and inspiration to achieve both short or long-term goals.  Having goals will give you a sense of purpose and when you achieve them, you’ll have a sense of achievement and feel as if you are winning at life.  You’ll also feel more productive and confident in your abilities.  This in turn helps you to feel good about yourself, raises your self-esteem and has a profound effect on your psychology and relationship with yourself.  What’s not to love?!

#4 Focus 

Goals give you focus.  They give the ‘why’ to why you’re doing it and with that you’ll work more diligently and efficiently.  The simple trick to minimise any sense of overwhelm when you have a large goal, is to break it down into bite size chunks. This way you can stay focused on the smaller parts making it more achievable and fun, all the while moving in the right direction.

#5 Measure Progress

We all love a pat on the back.  For me there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking something off a list, knowing that I’ve achieved.  And if I’ve achieved a goal (an actual SMART goal), well, that takes it to a whole new level.  It means I’ve made progress, one that I can actually measure and it means I’ve improved.  Without these goals, how would I know that?

When you are goal-oriented, you can analyse your progress.  When you reach the deadline you can see if you are where you should be and if not, why not?  What could you have done differently?  Even if you didn’t reach the exact end goal, you’ll still be able to measure how far you have come and see the progress made.  Ultimately this creates self-awareness which is crucial for growth and self-development.

Becoming A Goal-Orientated Goal Getter

The benefits of using goals to move forward in life and keep you motivated are easy to see but the process of goal setting can still be difficult, even overwhelming.

Earlier this year I was gifted a notebook called ‘Daily Goal Setter’ (by mal paper) and it has completely turned goal setting around for me.  I now have long, medium and short-term goals and these are then sub-divided into monthly, weekly and daily goals. I know exactly what I need to do and when.  I can honestly say that I have never felt so focused or motivated to achieve my goals.  I’m constantly creating and achieving, my confidence has grown and I’m winning.  There’s no greater feeling!

So, if you haven’t any goals due to overwhelm or lack of direction, you more than likely have an underlying feeling of demotivation which is casting a negative spell on your whole outlook. In the first instance, I urge you to spend some time evaluating your life and all aspects within and go from there.  Which area needs the most attention? What realistic goals could you set to make things better and how would you feel once you’ve achieved them.

As always, if you’d like some help or guidance feel free to book a complimentary discovery call to see if I can help.