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 “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” — Bill Copeland

Well, this is clearly not the first time you are hearing the importance of setting goals in accomplishing what you desire. But do you know that people who commit themselves to goals and keep a goal journal have an 80% higher success rate of achieving them. Yes, goals are powerful. Be it your personal or professional life, if you don’t have clear goals in your head, or better still in a journal, the chances of failure are high and frankly, there’s no one who loves failure.  Here are 5 reasons why you should be setting goals and following them.

#1 Goals propel you ahead: When you set goals, your mind works in a certain pattern – it gets the adrenaline flowing, you get excited, and work at your peak. Every once in a while, your motivation wanes, and you have to work to rejuvenate your energies and return to focus. While you can certainly get excited and work even without having clear goals in place, it is harder to get back your enthusiasm after a lull when you have nothing to visualize.  Think of a bridge with your energy, time, and efforts at one end and desired results at the other end. Your goal is the driving force you need to cross the bridge – to derive the output from the input.

#2 Goals help break mountains into smaller hills: While it’s good to dream big, larger than life goals often sap your energy at the start itself. The key is to break down a big goal into smaller, achievable milestones, making it easier to formulate and stick to a plan of action. Tony Hseih, the CEO of Zappos, applied this approach in his organization and saw the benefits. He has even documented the same in his book ‘Delivering Happiness’, where he explains giving smaller, more frequent promotions to his employees resulted in greater satisfaction, motivation, and ultimately productivity.

#3 Goals ignite your ambition: Goal setting goes beyond propelling you ahead. Having goals makes you believe in yourself to awaken the inspiration you need to go after a task. Everyone’s dreams and aspirations are vague but successful people convert their dreams into actionable goals and make continuous progress towards achieving the same. Do not let everyday tasks come in way of your ambitious ventures; if you think you lack the time to pursue your goals, try delegating some of the work that you can and focus your energies on achieving what you truly desire. Delegation is not about losing control, it is about controlling your life smartly – getting more done in less time.

#4 Goals hold you accountable: When you set goals, you immediately make yourself accountable to self for success or failure – it’s no more just talking about what you want, its concrete action all the way! In cases of failure, goals help you re-evaluate your path and figure where you went wrong the first time – if you didn’t have a clear vision in the first place, imagine how you’d correct your mistakes and make a fresh start? Say when it comes to your fitness goals, accountability is what you demonstrate choose to hit the gym over a laid back evening spent watching sitcoms on the couch or when you choose a healthy salad over your favourite butter chicken.

#5 Goals challenge you to tap your full potential: Goals shirk you out of your comfort zone and put you in the thick of action. Without them, you’d be going about life at a comfortable, default pace and that familiarity is the very nemesis of growth – it keeps you from giving your best shot. With clear goals in mind, you strive to utilize your potential to the maximum and in the process broaden your horizon by exploring new situations, learning new skills, and venturing into hitherto untapped territory. For example, setting a weight loss target will not only motivate you to eat right, but also to research about the best workouts for your body type, the right body postures, equipment you can use, etc.

Now that you know why setting goals is the first step to achieving results, free yourself from the mundane tasks and get started with your goal journal right away! A life with a purpose is a life well led.