Why are Goals Important?
Imagine Brady Ellison, one of the best archers in the world, who is so talented, he hits the bullseye on the target almost every time. Now, imagine we blindfold Brady, spin him around a few times and ask him to hit the bullseye. What do you think will happen?
Realistically, Brady will be lucky to hit the target, let alone the bulls-eye. Why? Because he has no idea where the target is!
This analogy can be applied to our lives, our work, our hopes, and our dreams. If we don’t know where we’re going, i.e. we don’t know where the target is, how can we expect to hit it?
The reason Brady hits the target so consistently is that he knows exactly where it is. He can see it. Likewise, we need to know exactly what we are wanting to achieve in order to achieve it. The goal becomes the metaphoric bulls-eye of the target.
Why is Clarity Important?
Clarity is knowing what your exact goals are and what specific steps you plan to take in order to reach those goals.
Brian Tracy, CEO of Brian Tracy International, says that those with clear written goals accomplish more in a shorter period of time than people without goals. Being specific allows you to paint a picture of where you want to go in the future. That picture allows you take the appropriate steps to get there. Deciding where you want to go can provide you with direction for how to move forward.
Example: You want to complete a large project this year that is critical to your company and could lead to a promotion for you. Your specific steps include: developing a project plan, determining the resources and budget needed, assembling a team to work with you on the project, and developing a timeline with milestones to ensure successful completion. By specifying the steps needed to complete the project, you will be more likely to succeed in completing the goal.
Steps to Create Your Clear Vision
- Clarify What You Want: Sometimes the hardest question we can answer for ourselves is, “What do I want?” For many of us, a large portion of our lives is dictated by the desires of others, whether that’s parents, bosses, social expectations, etc. Take some time to decide what you really want. Have fun with it by eliminating factors such as money and location to uncover the unrefined truth of what you really want to see in your life.
- Write It Down: Now that you have an idea of your hopes and dreams, write it all down. This step is often overlooked despite how important is it. By writing something down, we’re taking it out of our minds and putting it in a place where we can actually look at it. Looking at it in a different light can help you see your vision more clearly as well as refine it as needed.
- Be As Specific As Possible: There is magic in being specific. Your results will probably be much different if you say, “I want to complete this project” versus “I want to complete the Diamond Mentoring project by this time next year with 5 product deliverables and a happy customer review.” With the first, less specific version, you’re giving yourself room to move slowly and create excuses, thus putting off your dreams for 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and on and on.
- Be Realistic: Nothing is more motivating than small (or large) wins along the journey. It’s challenging to keep going if you’re seeing little success. This is the reason why it’s so important to be realistic with goals. Of course, you want your goals to be genuine mile markers, but not so large and out-of-this-world that they cannot be done!
- Schedule It: Scheduling the steps it takes to reach your goals will seal the deal. If you don’t create deadlines, there is room for procrastination and you risk the possibility of failing at your goals. Create a calendar specifying what you want to achieve by when.