Why is goal setting important in a chaotic world? In the course of a given day, many different things vie for our attention. We easily get distracted, our energies scatter. If we aren't careful - if we don't take time to think and clarify our intentions for the future - we easily spend our days riding waves of inertia and putting out fires.
Yet, where are we in this picture? How long will it be before we wonder, 'where has all my passion and motivation gone'? Setting smart goals can help to reconnect with who we are and where we're headed.
Following are some reasons why goal setting is important in a chaotic world...
There are many benefits to setting goals, yet perhaps the number one gift of effective goal setting is focus. Smart goals keep us focused on the things we've decided are important to us. This clarity prevents overwhelm and paralysis from taking over as the 'stuff of life' continously comes our way.
Imagine spilling a bucket of water on the floor. What happens? Not much. The water and it's energies scatter. What happens when you use a hose however? The water then comes out with tremendous force. This is the power of focus. What a hose does for water, smart goal setting can do for you.
Why is goal setting important in a chaotic world? Self-discipline...
Self-discipline never sounds like much fun, yet it's the key to getting all the fun things we imagine or want. Smart goal setting creates an environment for us to exercise and strengthen our self-discipline muscles.
Giving yourself a clear and specific goal to achieve sets you up for a challenge. It brings some pressure to bear, asking you to mobilize your inner and outer resources to serve your intention.
Without a goal to strive for we're easily swayed by the whimsical mind.
Why is goal setting important in a chaotic world? Declutter...
Kind of like pruning a tree with a pair of sheers, smart goal setting can help prune non-essentials from our life. Without the clarity of goals non-essentials easily take over.
We wake up one morning to wonder, 'what has become of my life?'
A periodic review of your goals helps to decide what should stay in your life and what should go. Taking this inventory applies to all aspects of life: what you believe, what you think (repetitive and/or counter productive thought patterns), what you habitually do (habits), and who you spend your time with (relationships).
Taking stock in this way is like setting your life on fire. Non-essentials are burnt away and you're left with the rocks - the true essentials.
Why is goal setting important in a chaotic world? Clarity...
An important aspect of smart goal setting is getting clear on what we want. We look for the right words to express our goals - and when we find them - we're rewarded with a surge of positive, inspirational energy.
In the process of goal setting you uncover and discover motivation. You get in touch with what truly excites and motivates you - establishing a clear connection to your subconscious mind.
A vague or confused goal statement reflects vague and confused thinking - which sets the scene for vague and confused results.
Why is goal setting important in a chaotic world? Letting go...
I wish I could find some research or a goal setting study that measured the amount of tension and anxiety that comes with 'not knowing'. On the other hand all we have to do is look to ourselves to find the answer right?
When we don't know where we're headed - when our path is beset by heavy fog as far as the eye can see - we feel lost and insecure. We feel tense and anxious. We find it hard to relax because we don't feel we have anything reliable to lean on.
Under these circumstances we find it hard to just let go.
With a clear purpose and goal to strive for - our confidence is back. We have something to pour our energies into. With a smart goal to 'contain us' finally - we let ourselves go.
Setting out to achieve our goals brings us face-to-face with a long lost friend: ourselves. As we set out on the path - challenge and adventure comes our way. We discover strengths (and weaknesses) we never knew we had.
Achieving our goals may require learning new skills, 'seeing' with new eyes, or contending with mind habits that threaten to hold us back. With each goal - whether achieved or lost - we learn something about ourselves. We become more self-aware.
Pursuing a goal, we may discover that what we thought we wanted, isn't really what we wanted at all. Great! We no longer have to ponder, procrastinate, or wonder about 'what might have been'. We simply redirect and try again.
The pursuit of meaningful goals helps us find out - sooner rather than later - what we're good at, what we really want and what we're eager to fight for.
Why is goal setting important in a chaotic world? New thinking...
When we achieve something new in life - something we've never done or lived before - chances are that a drastic shift in thinking came before it. The process of goal setting is really an exercise in new thinking - eliminating self-sabotage or unhelpful thought patterns that keep us running around in circles.
Take the following exercise in unschooled thought as an example of a loosely formulated goal that may be rolling around in the back of someone's mind...
'I really hope that by the time summer comes around I'll be able to lose 25 pounds. It's just that self-discipline has never really been my forte and dieting has never really worked out well for me.'
How effective is this kind of thinking? How likely would it be to lead to desired results?
Now let's look at a consciously formulated goal statement reflecting an exercise in new thinking...
'It's the morning of July 1st, I'm at the beach wearing my favorite bikini and feeling awesome. Healthy eating and exercise sure was worth it!'
Now that's a goal statement that challenges us to step into a new way of thinking! Can we do it? Can we make the switch without too many 'ifs' or 'buts' creeping in?