Setting Goals. The Why, The How And The Need To Do It Now!

How many of you are guilty of talking about what you want, dreaming about what you want but not actually doing enough to go after what you want?

We’ve all been guilty of it at some time or another, so what is it about setting goals that makes us want to bury it in the very back of our mind?

Back in the good old days when life seemed less of a challenge and perhaps you weren’t so jaded, setting goals was much more natural and felt easier to achieve.

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You did all the time without thinking about it like making sure your homework assignments were submitted on time.

Signing up for the gym or keeping fit in other ways. Setting goals towards your profession or career.

And even relationship goals that landed you that special person to share your life with.

So what is it today that stops you from setting goals? Perhaps it’s something to do with your age?

Not if you’re Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey who continue to climb higher and higher in the different aspects of their lives, pushing the frontiers and achieving phenomenal success.

Maybe you’ve been jaded by the hard knocks and the long deep valleys? Not if you’re Harland David Sanders who tried 1009 times to sell his chicken before landing a place not only on your lunch table but as the famous finger lickin’ chicken we know today as KFC!

Here’s some fun insights on famous people who took a while to make it!

Even though these individuals went on to become a household name, there are thousands of ordinary people who have achieved great success and are living the life they once, could only imagine.

So why does it matter that Michael Jordan was kicked off his basket team or that J.K Rowling was once a depressed divorcee raising her child all by herself?

Because there is a common link that binds successful people together. They have a way of doing things and a way of thinking that sets them apart from the norm.

They are not particularly clever, gifted or even privileged but they do all set goals. Setting goals is the one vehicle that takes you from where you are to where you want to go and is the reason why it is so fundamental to your success.

And when I talk about success, I don’t just mean in terms of your career, business or profession. Setting goals is the vehicle to success in your relationships, your health and even bringing meaning and purpose to your life.

So let’s look at the How part of Setting Goals

You know what it’s like, you’re lying on the bed fantazising about being filthy rich and travelling to new and exotic places. Your imagination takes you to the French Riviera where you shop till you drop and sip tequila for afternoon tea! 🙂

Great fantasies but looking at the HOW part of setting goals will separate them from the fleeting fancies of your mind. This is important because in learning to set goals, a psychological shift takes place that quite literally raises the stakes and puts your goals on the map!

How to Set Goals

  1. Make a Decision

“All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things” ~ Stephen Covey

Yes it is that easy! You start with making a mental decision about what you want to achieve. You make an emotional commitment to yourself and your mind becomes the fertile soil to which you plant the seeds of success.

  1. Write Them Down

Writing down your goals is invaluable in two ways:

  • It holds you accountable.
  • It objectifies your intent.

Committing your goals to paper is personified by the nagging voice in your head that holds you accountable to your now tangible goal. Yes once it’s ‘out there’, it becomes ‘real’, and you are much more likely to make a lasting commitment to your goal.

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  1. Enlist The Help Of A Friend

Enlisting the help of a friend can be useful to raise the stakes of your goal. If you’ve ever shared a dream or a goal with someone, you may notice its obligating quality? You’re more motivated to achieve it if for no other reason, than to save face! This can be a powerful incentive when it comes to setting goals.

  1. Invest in a Life Coach

Investing in a Life Coach is probably the best way to help you set and achieve your goals. A Life Coach plays the role of helping you clarify goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. They will hold you accountable and support you to step into action as you move your goal forward.

This what the Public Personnel Management, study 1997 had to say about coaching:

‘When training is combined with coaching, individuals increased their productivity by an average 88% as compared to 22% with training alone.’

Read more about what you can expect from a Life Coach 

Now that you’re familiar with the why’s of setting goals and you’re clearer about how to set goals, the question remains,

Why do you need to Set Goals NOW?!

  • Setting Goals Sets The Scene

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

If you’ve spent years and years mulling over an idea or a dream that looks great in your mind, then goal setting is the next action step to set the scene in real life. Setting goals NOW creates the mental footbridge that gives clarity to your vision and leads to a clearly defined destination.

If you don’t set goals NOW your ideas and dreams will gather cobwebs in the dark closet of your mind. How sad will that be, not just for you but for others who could benefit from the gifts and talents your bring to the world!

  • Setting Goals Moves You Forward

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” ~ Napolean Hill

Setting goals is all about taking action. Each action step moves you closer to your goal. If you don’t set goals NOW, you will remain stuck and dissatisfied. Moving forward is the natural propensity of the human species and imbues you with a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Without goals there is nothing to measure yourself against. One year pretty much resembles the next and without a bench mark, your whole life could just pale into insignificance.

Setting goals will A, B C your way to your deadline, one step at a time!

  • Setting Goals Puts You In The Driving Seat

“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.” – Jim Rohn

When you are in the driving seat of your own life, road trips are a lot more colourful! 🙂

Unless you set goals NOW your view of life will always be from thick-rimmed black and white spectacles. You will feel powerless and jaded. All your tomorrows will feel pretty much feel like yesterday, with little or no meaning.

Setting goals allows you to design the colour, contour, tone and dimension of your life with your personal power stamped all over it!. You need to set them NOW before your eyes become dull and grey and you can no longer distinguish from your multi-coloured palette.

  • Setting Goals Stretches You To The Highest Peaks

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Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there. ~ Bo Jackson

Continuously setting goals gets you out of your comfort zone and propels you to the highest peaks where you enjoy a birds eye view of life!

When you push the frontiers of your life not only do your reach your full potential, you do so with a bit more razzle and dazzle! You look forward to the next chapters with thrill and excitement. You grow in all areas of your life and make better decisions because you are in a much better place.

You need to set goals NOW before the mundane, mundane drives you insane! Before you settle for mediocre and your plagued with the wudda, cudda shudda, and the what if’s in every mind gnawing thought!

Setting goals replaces self-imposed complacency with your fully-realized capacity!

  • Set Goals With Laser Precision

When you have a single focal point to work towards you are more likely to reach that point.

You orient your entire being in that direction and you make a psychological and emotional investment to ensure you reach your destination.

Without a central focus you find your self somewhat floating around. You kill time with ad-hoc activities or even worse, no activity at all! You are easily distracted and waste an inordinate amount of time achieving very little. Your energy is dispersed in a multitude of directions except up!

You need to set goals to stop from spinning top in mud! Going round in round in circles has no beginning or end.   You will start to resemble Jack of all trades and Master of none, if do not start to set goals NOW.

Setting goals will give you a greater sense of direction and with laser precision, your goals will be accomplished. You will triumph when you cross the finishing line that originated from a well-defined set of goals!

Most people are either not very good or simply do not set goals. You may have some vague idea about what you’d like to accomplish but have no road map to get there.

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What would it mean for you to accomplish an important goal? Perhaps you want to lose weight, or live in another country, or find that special person to share your life with?

What would your life look like once your goal is accomplished? Can you image yourself with a smoking hot sexy body? Or sipping fresh lemonade on the verandah of your new home in the Caribbean. What about sharing a beautiful evening in front of a log fire wrapped in your partner’s arms?

All of this and more is possible but like any journey you take in life you need an action plan that includes setting goals.

“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar

As a Life Coach I have helped clients step into action and create the change necessary for a better life. Coaching is a partnership that honours your values and creates a safe space for your full expression. It is a collaborative process that helps you align your goals with who you are so that you become empowered and expand your quality of life.

I would love to work with you and help you generate strategies and solutions to achieve your goals.

If this sounds like a good fit, please use the contact us form to drop me a line and let me know what you would like to be coached on. Read more about the role of a Life Coach and see what package meets your requirements.

Don’t let your life aimlessly pass you by. Life is so short and before you know it you’re counting down to the golden years! As you get older you don’t regret the things you did, you regret the things you didn’t do!

By that time it’s too late and all you can do is wish you took that step or set those goals to achieved the things that really mattered to you.

Enjoy your life one goal at a time and if you’ve liked what you’ve read, please sign up for my newsletter to receive regular updates, inspiration and other really cool stuff.

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PS If you are ready to get started and make changes in your life, I’d be happy to give you a free 30 minute Life Coach consultation. Simply compete the form and take your first step to fulfilling your dreams!

Michee

Certified Life Coach and Professional Health Coach. Passionate Health and Wellness practitioner for over 20 years. Business entrepreneur and Managing Director. Fitness enthusiast with a love for cycling! Writer (blogger), Poet and Mum.

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14 Responses

  1. So inspiring and comprehensive. I have some resistance to creating long term goals that require quantifiable results. And I know it is necessary cause how else will I know if I achieve my goals. I think it seemed easier in the past to say, I intend to lose 10 lbs and these are the actions I will take. Every area requires the same steps. Identify, quantify, have a by when, what action is needed and then take the action. I like telling someone and requesting they help you stay accountable. Buddy systems work well. Setting goals is an area I can use more structure. I’ll start with planning out my week and what I want to accomplish each day.

  2. Very inspiring and well-presented piece, Michelle! Although I know how key it is to set long term goals, I also have some reluctance, after all my goal/dream of winning a grammy is till hanging somewhere in my future. Hopefully it is getting closer though. 🙂 It is interesting that as a writer, I rarely write down goals in the way you describe it. I usually sit with and mull over things, before I take action to move them into reality. This seems to have worked for me throughout my life and I also am keenly aware of when to change course and when to let go and let come. I love the quote by Napoleon Hill! It really struck me how to have a dream become a reality it is important to put a timeline to it. Love the list of people who made it late in life also. I truly believe you never know when things will manifest. It is about being in action and taking steps forward. Great post! Thank you.

  3. Renee says:

    Michelle, setting goals, and writing them down, with a specific timeline, helps for accountability. Taking consistent action is so important, moving forward towards our goals. Thank you for these wonderful tips. You are definitely the life coach needed to help give me the extra push I need. Best 🙂

  4. Yes to all of this! As a business, career, and financial coach myself, I know how important goal-setting is to achieve your deepest desires in life. Goal-setting is a daily activity, not only for my clients, but for myself as well. You are so right about the activity. You must do something to get anywhere. Plant the seeds to see something grow.

  5. Michee says:

    You’ve pretty much described SMART goals Roslyn when you talk about identify, quantify, have a by when date etc. I agree, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely will lead to achieving your goal. Accountability is an essential part of goal setting and like you, I think a buddy system is a pretty good option. I’m ok with setting long term goals but can understand why there may be some resistance to quantifiable results. When I set long term goals, I generally factor in flexibility as I think they should be subject to change to reflect the flow of life.
    We can all use a little help with setting goals, the key is baby step and being kind to yourself! 🙂

  6. Deb says:

    Love your take on goal setting, Michee. For me, writing goals down makes them real. And an accountability partner keeps me on track and on task. If I get stuck, I can just look at those goals and take a step or two to move me closer to the goal. Always moving forward=> Great post!!

  7. Michee says:

    Thank you for your comments Beverley and bringing a different dimension to the conversation. Given your free-spirited nature I am not at all surprised by the way you move your life forward. It sounds like it’s working for you and that’s what counts! Being a free-spirited person also, writing down goals, from daily, to weekly, to monthly and long term, has enabled me to take quantum leaps forward in a confident way and still flow to the rhythmic beat of life. Putting a timeline to a goal is essential otherwise it just gets lost in the confines of shudda, wudda, cudda! As much as goal setting is important, I think what’s more important is being able to position yourself in such a way in the event your goals don’t manifest. Having a contingency or back up plan, not just practically but Spiritually to deal with the aftermath of disappointment and having the capacity to pick up and move on. Appreciate your contribution. 🙂

  8. Michee says:

    You’re a woman after my own heart Niquenya! Without a road map, you’re pretty much on the road to nowhere! I love setting goals and checking them off as I go along. And if they don’t get that little check, something is nagging until they do! How’s that for accountability! Action is synonymous with goal setting as so we’re definitely on the same page with this one! Thanks for your comments. 🙂

  9. Hi Michee 🙂

    Loved your post! Without goals there is no direction to anything especially in our businesses. You need to have some kind of direction and setting goals allows us to do that 🙂 Thank you for sharing your awesome valuable tips on setting goals and how important it really is 🙂

  10. Hi Michelle,
    Very inspiring article! I have learned the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is successful people are willing to do those things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do. During my freshman year of college I was on academic probation and was in jeopardy of flunking out. I W’s overwhelmed and unprepared for college mainly because I really didn’t have goals. This was a huge turning point in my life and I am thankful this lesson came at 18 years ago. It taught me that failure is a part of the process. I write down daily goals and I have an accountability partner.

  11. Michee says:

    I so agree with that Deb, writing things down solidifies your intention which is planted firmly in your mind. It kind of gnaws at you until you do something about it, at least it does with me! An accountability partner is definitely a good way to support your endeavours on different levels. One step at a time keeps you moving forward. Appreciate your comments! 🙂

  12. Michee says:

    Thank you Joan, glad you enjoyed the post! You’re right no goals = no direction and we must have a direction to get to where we’re going, especially, as you say, in business. 🙂

  13. Michee says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely story of being a freshman Sharise! It is so easy to quit but champions run the course and setting goals is how they get there. I too write down daily goals not to mention weekly, monthly and longer terms goals as well. I agree with what you say about successful people being willing to do things unsuccessful are not. I think it is a mental state which takes time and discipline to develop but is the impetus that gets you to the finishing line. I appreciate your comments.

  14. Michee says:

    Consistency is key Renee, I definitely agree with that one! I think we all need a life coach at different times in our lives. I always say an investment in self, is the best investment of all! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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