It’s hard to avoid thinking about goals, especially during the first quarter of the year. So much so that it can begin feel a bit overwhelming, and maybe even annoying.
If you’re a “professional planner” like me, there’s an extra degree of pressure. If I don’t have all of my goals and an execution plan figured out by the first week of the new year, then I feel like I’m already behind and will never achieve the (sometimes overly ambitious) goals laid out for the year (and, possibly, for the next few years).
Paradoxically, there is a competing, and equally important, pressure that’s been floating around in the ether recently – the mantra to “be present”, and just accept and enjoy the now.
At this point the question may arise, “How can a person possibly think about the future but still remain focused on appreciating and enjoying the present?”
In actuality, these two mindsets can, and should, coexist. And that’s mainly because there is one more variable to consider: change.
Allow me to explain! If you believe, like I do, that the only constant is change, then you know the present is constantly changing. As soon as we recognize the present, it’s already begun to change. Therefore, if you want to enjoy your future ‘present’ as much or more than you present ‘present’, then this is where planning and goals come in.
Another way of saying this is that, if you want to design your life and circumstances to better fit your values and desires, then setting goals is the most logical way to get there.
Besides, planning and being thoughtful about the future doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the ‘now’; these are NOT mutually exclusive practices! There is a time and a place to reflect on the future (helpful hint: the time is NOT when your significant other is talking to you).
Below are some excellent reasons to apply real effort towards goal setting and achievement (because simply setting goals won’t make them happen):
You’ll Have More Choices
From a work perspective, learning and achievement lead to greater marketability. The more marketable you are, the more options you’ll have in your present and future jobs (because the job market is constantly changing as well).
Try to always include learning and development in your long-term planning. Even if you switch it up with less work-related stuff like dance or music, you’ll still keep your brain actively developing.
You’ll Have a Method to Track Progress
Goals give you a process for thinking about your future and designing a plan towards it. Creating goals is not a one-time event, it’s a systematic process.
You first create a goal (which is often a guess of how you will get to your desired future). Then you take action (often another trial and error step), measure results (is the action achieving the results that you hoped for?), and conduct analysis (is this the right goal/action?). Rinse, repeat.
This structured process often leads to a redesign of your goals and/or actions. As long as you are clear on your desired future, you can methodically use the goal process to get you there.
You’ll Have a Method to Focus on What’s Important
There are SO many shiny objects to distract us; it’s amazing that we can get anything done! These distractions are often specifically designed to not only attract our attention, but to keep us distracted and killing time (TV, social media, etc.). By using a goal process, you are forced to make choices based on your values and what’s really important to you.
Setting goals and coming up with a clear plan of action is a great way to get more focused on how you actually want to spend your time, presenting the shortest route to a more meaningful and fulfilled life.
Are you ready to get started creating goals and working towards achieving them? Get started with my complimentary Goal Crushing System!
It’s never to late to get started, or start over. My goal system will walk you through a step-by-step process to create goals that are meaningful to you and put you on the road to goal crushing success!
If at any point you need a partner along the way, please reach out; I’m here for you.