How important is having goals to personal success?
"The most important benefit of setting goals isn’t achieving your goal; it’s what you do and the person you become in order to achieve your goal that’s the real benefit"
- Jim Rohn
Why are goals important? Should we even have goals? Do they actually help with personal success?
My answer to the questions above is YES.
Goals in my view are vital to success. Why? Because they take an idea that maybe swirling around in your mind to actionable steps towards achieving them.
In fact goals are that, a first step towards something greater than what you have now. Often they are used to drive you towards an end result like losing x amount of weight, or they direct you towards a personal achievement like raising happy kids.
Whatever the goal is it's important to write them down, or type them out. I believe by doing this you begin the first step of accountability towards that goal. But here's where I have failed many a time, I have written down a goal and then forgetten about it. Or worse I have written it down without any real substance, and therefore it was never really going to turn out to be anything.
The latter part of writing a goal, with no substance or meaning, is common. In fact I've written down hundreds of goals that had no real meaning, and this led me down a new path, finding meaning behind a goal.
In fact this is probably where you start your goal writing. That is, understanding what that goal means to you. How many times have you heard someone say "this year I'm going to lose 10kgs, that's my goal!" They write it down and then assume that's it and over the course of the year they will somehow lose those 10kgs.
Through my experience that initial goal you write down is actually what I call the surface goal, a goal that only shows up in the surface of the mind. It's really a clue for you to dig deeper.
"that initial goal you write down is actually what I call the surface goal"
Here's how I would dig deeper on a goal like losing weight.
"This year I'm going to lose weight, im doing this because I'm tired of how I look and feel, and what it's doing to my family"
Now the goal all of sudden has real meaning behind it, it's no longer just about the weight it's about something bigger than that. It's about making an improvement on your lifestyle, and the so-called losing weight was just a clue to the real reason. It's more of a by product of the real goal which is to feel and look good.
In addition to that, goals are generally hard to maintain even after you've arrived at the real reason behind your surface goal.
So to help maintain the goal, you have to see it every single day, even multiple times a day for some. You need to repeat and repeat until it gets ingrained in you. Because it's like anything that needs forms of attention, it needs to be looked after. You don't just get a job, and say "sweet, now show me the money boss" you have to go into work everyday day to earn the money. Or "sweet I've purchased my first home. I can relax now" you have to service the mortgage. Or "sweet I've planted that lemon tree seed, job done" no you have to water it everyday, tear out the weeds growing and look after it if you want that lemon tree to successfully bear the fruits of your labour. And just like all those examples, goals are no different. They need to be looked after and have your attention in order to come into fruition.
So, in summary, goals are important, but the right type of goal is more important. Ones that have meaning and real substance behind them. Remembering, often the first goal you right down is a surface goal. So dig a little deeper and find out what the real goal is behind that surface goal. And lastly look after your goals as you would a lemon tree or a mortgage.
If you are interested in learning more, or how to uncover your true goals drop us a line.
Learn more about goal setting with Jim Rohn here.