Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.- Denis Waitley
It is a tradition every year that started with a dear friend several years ago. It is a process. First, I must think about what I want in the next year – what my personal and professional goals will be moving forward. Things wanting to be done or accomplished. Then I get several magazines, a board, stickers and pretty things. Everything I want in the upcoming year, is put on the “Goal Board.”
For several days my house is nothing but piles of magazine cuttings – pictures, quotes and other miscellaneous things. Stacks of magazine, articles scissors, stickers, glue and letters litter the floor. I move the pieces around, trying to find the best place for them on the board. And I always get glue in my hair…for several days. And as soon as I get everything arranged just the way I want them – the cats jump on everything before I have a chance to glue it all down.
So why bother with is at all? Studies have shown that there are many benefits to setting goals. Here are just a few of them:
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Henry David Thoreau
Clear focus and vision: When you really think about what you want for the next year (or week, or month or whatever), you get very clear on what you want – and what you don’t. Too often you can have many things on your mind and goals can help you take all of those ideas, apply perspective and priority, then galvanize you into commitment and action.
More motivation and greater enthusiasm: Passion replaces complacency, because we have something to work toward. We are not just drifting; we are on a path and know where we are headed. Goals help us focus on who we are becoming, not just settle for who and what we are today. When we set goals for ourselves, challenge ourselves to do more and be better each time, we grow as people. Setting goals can help to release our creative energies so we can focus on how to achieve them. You start to look for ways to make it happen. We take chances, maybe even a risk or two, because we are motivated.
What keeps me going is goals. – Muhammad Ali
Sense of control: There are so many things that cannot be controlled in life, that it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. Having goals allows us have control over our lives, whether professional, personally or both. You are programming your brain, and putting your goals in an order to make sure your they become reality. And, how can you not feel in control of your life when you do this? when you feel in control of your life, your self-esteem is also likely to increase.
If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals. – Lou Holtz
Lowers stress: At first this may seem counter intuitive, but it’s not. Setting goals lowers stress by motivating us to live with more passion and enthusiasm. We are fully engaged in our lives; we stop procrastinating and start looking forward to crossing items off that list. And it feels good when we overcome an obstacle that might stand in our way. It also gives us hope.. of a better life, better job, being a better person… Setting and accomplishing goals makes us happier and more fulfilled; thus, lowering stress.
Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. – Les Brown
We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals. – Stephen Covey
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