It’s hard to find someone these days who will argue against the value of having goals. For the most part everyone will agree goals are essential to achieving success; we have witnessed its value time and again throughout history. There was a point in my life where I did not think my thoughts were worth the ink and paper to write them down, but God gave us the ability to have vision for our lives and even said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
Your vision and dreams are to be translated into specific goals. A major mistake most make is they don’t have their goals written down as a list, thinking they can just keep them in their mind. The fact is if you do not clearly write down what you want, you don’t have goals – you have complex thoughts. And without written goals, you must come to grips with the fact your life will be the same, worse or mediocre at best, 5 to 10 years from now. Jim Rohn said “if you don’t make plans of your own, you will fall into someone else’s and guess what they have planned for you – not very much.” Your goals keep you on course for what you have deemed success, for “the prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves” (Proverbs 14:8). In addition, here are 6 more reasons I have found goals are essential to success:
1) Having too many priorities can result in having no priorities at all. You’ve probably seen the business model that tries to be all things to all people, seemingly a jack of all trades, master of none. The same is true for individuals. Without written goals we become spread a mile wide, but only an inch deep. Oh, we’re busy, but being busy is not the same as being productive.
2) It’s often said the greatest asset of a goal is knowing where you’re going. However, I believe the greatest asset of a goal is knowing what to overlook. What you don’t do determines what you get to do. Defined goals activate the “less is more” principal as you begin to mold your day around what you’ve deemed important, living an intentional life.
3) Having no goals is a breeding ground for indecision, and indecision can get you run over, just ask any squirrel. Having no goals causes you to be reactive, not proactive, always having to choose the lesser of two evils versus being fulfilled by moving forward.
4) Defined goals free your subconscious to work specifically on achieving your goals. Without goals, your subconscious is constantly trying to determine what you should be working on. You will begin to be led by your dreams instead of pushed by your problems.
5) Goals are the best tool to drive out drama. Drama in our lives is the greatest indicator that we’re not focused on meaningful goals – on the path to success, you don’t have time for drama. Criticizing and complaining about other people’s lives is often birthed because we’re not actively pursuing goals.
6) Working towards your passions is one of the best ways to develop discipline. That’s why your goals need to be your heart’s desires and not someone else’s. Your goals must drive you to get up an hour earlier; you’re not going to get up for someone else’s dreams and goals, but you should for God’s vision of your future.
The best way to predict the future is to create it, and goals are a means to that end. Your goals should be enjoyable to achieve because “a dream fulfilled is the tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). If I were to ask you to show me your goals right now, could you show me a list? If not, don’t worry, it’s not too late, but keep in mind the highest achievers can show you a list. In the next post, we will look into the nine areas top achievers set goals in. What are your thoughts about goals, why or why not do you have them?