You hear about setting goals all of the time. Yet according to one study, only about 6% of Americans actually have a written goals program that they use.
“I know I’m supposed to write out my goals, but who has time? Besides, it doesn’t really help me anyway!” Sound familiar? Well here are five very important and logical reasons why you should set goals and use them in your everyday life and business.
Most people say they have goals, but the reality all they have are ideas and wishes. The “Someday I’ll” claim is just a dream like that island vacation that you’ve talked about for years, but never make a goal.
Often we talk about doing something but it is in such vague terms that your brain doesn’t really know how to process it. To say you want to lose weight or be a better husband is so general that it cannot translate into actions that can become habits. To say I’m cutting out soda or I’m going to bring my wife some flowers is at least clearer than “less sugar” or be “better.”
Too often our emotions get in the way of what we really want to accomplish. Anything from fear, anxiety or even love and passion can steer us away from achieving our goals at a moment’s notice. Using a goals program or even just a goals list for the day will help keep you on track.
Think about grocery shopping. A young couple on a very tight budget will do well to write down only what they need until they get paid again. But when chocolate is tempting they can blow the budget (financial goal). A shopping list and budget will help them to reach their goals.
We allow so many distractions to come into our lives that we can lose focus on the important things. The terms “squirrel” or “rabbit trail” picture the idea of something that takes away from our current thinking.
Unfortunately, distractions can happen and we don’t even realize it. We often set ourselves up for distractions. We have cluttered desks, email notifications… “oh look it’s a puppy on Facebook, how cute, I have to send this to…” I’m sorry I got distracted.
When we develop a habit of looking at our goals we are reminded of what we are supposed to be doing and how important it is in the scheme of our lives. Some people use different systems to help keep the squirrels away and stay more focused. But it starts with having a clear goal.
- Manipulation by others
This is a hard one for many people. When you have set clear goals you are better at making decisions that relate to or affect other people. When you have a very important and tight deadline, like a report due to your boss in 15 minutes and you really need 30, you won’t allow the guy from down the hall to stop in and ask you if you saw the game last night.
When your goals are communicated to everyone on your team that needs to know, it helps to reduce the manipulation of others who waste your time. Again, systems can help to handle specific manipulations by others.
- “Oh yeah, I almost forgot!” – Memory
Without a grocery list, you have a really good chance of bringing home things you really probably shouldn’t (remember the “no soda” goal?). And then there is the irritation when you realize you FORGOT something you needed for dinner tonight, oops!
Our brains are great for processing data and thinking but it isn’t as good at storing data and information. So give your brain a hand and write out your goals so that it doesn’t have to remember the groceries or that you have a meeting, when, where, what it is about, and who should attend.
There is ONE more reason:
You set a good example for your team. Think about it, if everyone you knew really took goal setting seriously, and used it appropriately, meetings would start on time; everyone would be there on time and ready to go.
By setting goals your performance will improve and you will help others to improve their performance or at least you won’t be hindering it. So set a goal to set and use goals. Find someone who can help to keep you accountable for setting and using your goals.
If you would like more information on personal and professional management and performance contact Stan at Crossroads Consultants. Goals are just the beginning.
Stan Broesder with Crossroads Consultants is a Business Consultant-coach specializing in improving professional and business performance. Contact Stan @ 980-241-0189. Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com OR http://www.Facebook.com/CrossroadsConsultants