I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of goal setting. I don’t like to do it and I don’t like to monitor them. At the same time I know that if I don’t set goals I’ll just chase my tail and get nothing useful done.
Does this sound familiar to you? You know you should set goals, you’ve been taught that without goals you don’t know where you’re going, and yet, you just never seem to get around to setting them.
Goals give you direction.
You and I both know that having goals gives you a direction to move towards. I personally like large goals that give more direction than directions. I like to have sub-goals that have one simple question: Does this particular sub-goal help me move towards the big goal that I have.
For example, a big goal could be living a good life. Yes, I know the goal guru’s would tell me that’s not a goal, it’s a wish. Well, for me having a wish is a pretty good place to start. I can then ask myself if the sub-goals that I’m setting move me towards a good life or not. If not, then I have to use that magic word no. If they are, then I just keep on moving.
Goals give you something to compare how far you’ve come.
If you look at the number of sub-goals you’ve accomplished at the end of one, three, and five years you’re likely to see that you’ve moved really far towards your goal. In my case since I ended my trip to cancer world there is no doubt that my life has gotten better. It’s gotten better not because I don’t have cancer although that is one thing that counts. It’s gotten better because I’ve taken specific actions to make my life better.
I’ve worked on having better and richer relationships. I’ve worked on being a better listener. I’ve worked on being less judgmental. What about you, what have you worked on that have moved you towards your goals? If you don’t know, spend a few minutes and think about it.
Goals help you focus on what’s important in your life.
If you bother to ask why about your goals you’re going to start moving towards what’s important for you. You know the routine. You can’t just ask why once. You have to ask why at least five times. You have to drill down to find out what’s really important in your life and why that’s true.
If you don’t have a good why it’s really easy to wander off in a direction that’s not going to help you move forward. You could even choose to do things that don’t fit in with your life’s purpose.
The problem with all of this is it takes time.
This is the real issue. Setting, monitoring, and asking good questions of you takes time. It takes being honest with yourself. You have to look in the mirror when you’re not getting what you want. You have to spend time doing this. Probably the minimum amount of time you’re going to spend is at least twenty hours a year.
Yes, I know that’s a lot of time. For me, it’s time well spent. I get to think about what’s important and I often find it’s not the stuff I originally thought it was. What about you, do you think spending a little time on yourself is worthwhile?