I recently read an article that said you shouldn’t set goals. The main point of the story was that it’s hard to set realistic goals when you can’t control the outside factors that may derail you from reaching your goals.
While this may be true, it also means you need to be flexible and adapt as you work toward your goals. Let’s say you have a dentist appointment today. You could get stuck in traffic or have a flat tire and be late for your appointment. You could arrive on time, but your dentist had to leave to treat an emergency. Does that mean you shouldn’t have planned to go to the dentist – just because it might not work out as you planned?
As human beings, we live in utter chaos most of the time. We have to be flexible and readjust our thinking all the time. While the beginning of a new year is often a time when people decide to set goals, you should set and evaluate your goals all year long.
Why set goals?
Goals are meant to help you challenge yourself. Your goals can be small or monumental. Most of your goals should reflect habits you want to improve or help you in the process of creating a more balanced life.
Here are 7 reasons you should set realistic and attainable goals:
To set your priorities
Goals can help you prioritize what is important and what is not, or how to handle making a decision. For instance, you’ve set a goal to spend more quality time with your spouse. If an opportunity comes up to go out with friends on your preplanned date night, then you will want to keep your date night and catch up with friends another time.
To recognize opportunities
When you have goals in mind, you are more likely to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself. For example, you might have a goal to further your education or career training. If your company were to offer seminars or discounted tuition to continue your education, it would be any easy decision to take advantage of these programs.
To challenge yourself
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of doing the same thing. You are more capable than you may realize. Only you truly know your own strengths and weaknesses. By challenging yourself, you can uncover your true potential. You may want to learn to play a musical instrument but feel it’s too late to learn. The only way you will find out your talents and passions is to challenge yourself to expand your horizons.
A quote from A Completely Balanced Life:
“Rather than finding reasons to pass up opportunities, remind yourself of all the things you can accomplish by taking advantage of them. Rather than letting the possibility of failure stand in your way, be fearless in pursuit of your dreams.”
To build your confidence
When you set and achieve your goals, you can fuel your own ambition. Little successes will give you more confidence and encourage you to aim higher than you might have thought possible. For instance, you might want to run a marathon, but you have no training or experience at running long distances. If you set a goal to run a mile without stopping and you achieve that goal, then you will have more confidence to run three miles and so on.
To motivate you
Your goals should represent your inner desires. These desires then motivate you in life. Having goals in mind will serve as a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish. If you find your motivation lagging, it may be time to reevaluate your goals so that you can become inspired again.
To give you focus
Goals help you know where to place your attention. Your priorities and overall purpose give you a broad direction as you navigate through life. Your purpose may be to live a more spiritual existence. Your goals will help you focus on the tasks that will allow you to put God first.
To live a more balanced life
You cannot always control the obstacles that may crop up in your life. You can control how you respond to them. By having defined goals in place, you will have a clear path in mind so that you know how to react positively to challenges. You can achieve a more balanced life when you are focused on what you want to accomplish!