Countless business leaders, motivators, and even online self-help articles tell you that if you want to be successful, you have to set goals. But here’s the thing. If you’ve ever spent an entire New Year’s Eve penning down your long list of life goals instead of partying it up, you might have thought to yourself… “This is too much work… Should I head to the nearest count-down party now? Do goals really help? What’s the science behind goal setting?”
Well, to answer your questions: no, yes, and–that’s what this article is for. Here, we’re going to walk you through the 3 reasons why goal setting is invaluable to your success.
Guides and aligns your focus
Without goals, you lack a degree of direction and focus. It'll be like you trying to complete a marathon without knowing where the endpoint is–or worse, which route you're supposed to take. Ultimately, goals give you direction; provide you with something to aim for; and, more importantly, help align your focus and behaviours, so you get to where you want to be in life.
Nothing showcases this better than a 2015 study done by psychologist Gail Matthews, who showed that those who created goals were 33% more successful in achieving them than those who just formulated outcomes in their heads.
Turns big picture goals into small, manageable steps
If you’re like most people, you’ll have many big picture goals (i.e. get fit, buy that sports car, and retire by 45). But you fail to figure how you can effectively get from point A–aka where you are right now–to point B, which is your ideal life. So, sadly, you never fully achieve those goals. And this is where goal setting can help. It helps you break big, overwhelming goals into smaller ones.
Let’s say you want to get fit, for example. A smaller goal would be to hit the gym 2 times a week. And once you’ve gotten that under your belt, you’ll have gotten momentum–and confidence that you can achieve your goals. That, in turn, keeps you going; research shows that we’re more likely to complete a task if we know a goal is challenging yet believe it is within our abilities to accomplish (i.e. not too lofty a goal).
Motivates you toward the best version of yourself
When you set goals, you gain clarity into your innermost desires. They help motivate you and provide you with a concrete endpoint (not to mention, all the micro-goals in between) to strive for. They also make you stretch beyond your comfort zone, so you venture into new places and situations that'll help you grow and tap into your true potential.
Even better, research shows that goals not only affect your behaviour, but they also help mobilise energy–which leads to a higher effort overall. And that, in turn, improves your performance and enables you to become the best version of yourself.
So… What are you waiting for? It’s time to harness all the benefits of goal setting now! And what better way to do so than with The Daily Routine Journal, which not only reminds you to set a goal daily but also helps you break your goals down into manageable, bite-sized chunks? Check out how others have crushed their goals with the journal here!