- James Stevenson, Accredited Wellbeing Coach and Positive Psychologist -
The importance of goal setting, I believe, is huge. I hope as you read, you feel a fresh sense of the significance of continually setting your own goals in life.
Making a strong decision that you'll achieve something important to you, and choosing when you'll do it, then coming up with a load of ways to get there... this is a really important life-skill to get good at...
It can improve your health, maximise your learning, and fuel your personal development: many of the ingredients for a fulfilled life. It's a skill that when used consistently over time can support achievement in all areas of life.
In order to shed further light on the importance of goal setting lets look at the opposite which can often seem attractive as it's seen as low pressure, less constricted and controlled.
Let's imagine I didn't set goals for a while. I just take each day as it comes. In terms of my direction for the year.
I have some vague ideas. I think I should be healthier, and try to find a girlfriend. I guess I should try and find a better job.
This is all fine really. The majority of people live this way and often quite happily. Plodding along the same way year after year. The thing that is missing however is drive, challenge.
Without a sense of powerful drive and exciting new challenge it is impossible to fulfil our potential.
Without taking our dreams seriously they remain as just that, vague dreams that always remain out of our reach.
So where do you think this non-goal-setter guy is going? Think he's going to find him dream job? Think he's going to become healthier than he has ever been? Maybe he will.
But the chances of this are low. It's more likely although knowing where he wants to go very little will change. I can say this because I've seen it so many times. Without a concrete determination being made, real change rarely happens.
If however goals are set then the key missing ingredient will be created. Motivation to actually do it. This is why it's so important to set your own personal targets.
I have both "goal-setting challenging James" and "the other James" in me. Both exist in me as potentials.
One is a function of my weaker self, and the other my stronger self. I think that each person has a weaker and a stronger self and can operate as one and the other many times in the course of a single day.
Don't get me wrong. People can be successful without goal setting. Some people are born into good circumstances. They are born surrounded by influence. They are born into money.
Perhaps, without any special efforts they can have all their desires realised at the click of a finger. But there is no fulfilment in this. How much did they really grow? Would they ever truly understand the struggles of everyday people and be able to empathise?
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Many thanks to the kind people who let me use their wonderful art work