My son asked yesterday why goals were necessary. He seemed to feel his current goal of all A?s and B?s is just so much wrrrrrrrrrrrrrk. This from a kid who is so smart his homework takes him 1/2 an hour at the most. And is always the first or second in his class to finish a test. Basically what we reminded him was how successful, impressively so, he can be when he gives himself laser-like focus to achieve something. Be it doing a new trick at the skate park or getting an A on a test in his least favorite subject when his phone privileges are on the line.
But…… it?s a good question. Most of the time, setting goals is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Studies have shown that by simply taking the time to define the things we want to Be, Do and Have, we will get there. The funny thing is – just by doing that one thing of announcing to ourselves what we want, even if we don?t look at that list again for a year – we are more likely to have accomplished all or part of that list. Simply because we gave our subconscious mind something to focus on.
Our subconscious is focusing on something allllllll the time. A good portion of this time, it?s focused on what other people want/wanted for us. What advertisers want us to focus on, who our boss, our spouse, our parents, our grandparents, our teacher in 2nd grade all wanted us to Be, Do and Have. Isn?t it about time we let our own selves dictate what our subconscious mind should focus on?
Setting goals also helps us say ?No.? For example, let?s say our goal is to go to Hawaii this summer using hotel and airline points. But at the same time, we get an itch to go to Las Vegas for a weekend, because friends are going, and we?d really love to go. But give our budget, we would need to use those hotel points. Since we have a bigger, longer term picture (i.e. this summer Hawaii) we can easily say No Thanks. If we didn?t have goals – yes we?d get to Vegas, but then we?d never get to Hawaii. Because some other shorter-term fun or opportunity would come our way.
I?m not saying don?t have fun. I?m not saying be overly regimented. I?m simply saying life gives us tons and tons of options. When we narrow those options down to help us create a path to where we want to be, or what we want to accomplish, or what we want to have – then that path gets easier to see and stay on. And another really cool, unpredictable thing occurs. Opportunities come our way, that are on our list, that we didn?t even know how to accomplish yet. I find this happens to me a lot.
For example, a few years ago, when I was single I decided I wanted to go with friend to Las Vegas and have an amazing weekend. I didn?t know how this was going to happen, and I didn?t have a boyfriend at the time, so I didn?t have a travel companion. Well, a few months go by and I end up going to Las Vegas for the weekend, staying in a suite, and getting VIP access to all the clubs in the casino we were at. For this all I had to do was help a friend for a few hours who got offered an all expense paid weekend to be on a panel for an event. How cool is that? I?ve had the same types of wow – moments for things I wanted to accomplish in my job as well as simple things I decided I wanted to experience or have in my life.
So before thinking goals are not for you, I would offer a challenge. Sit down and think of just a few goals you would like in like – things you would like to Be, Do and Have. Pick a few that are ?doable.? And a few that are ?stretch? and see what happens. And if you really doubt me – go ahead, take 10 minutes, write them down, stick them in a drawer and pick them up next year and message me here to tell me how you did. I?m guessing you will even amaze yourself.
For more on goals, see Before Setting Goals, Acknowledge Accomplishments