Goal Setting (Part 1): 3 Reasons Why You Don't Want to Skip It

target market author samantha eklund

If you’re reading this blog, odds are good that you have dreams that you want to come true someday. Odds are also good that you may have had these dreams for a long time, and are looking for a way to actually get started on turning them into a reality.

If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

I’m here to help you take those dreams out of your head and put them in the real world!

The best way to do so is by setting some goals. That word scares most people, but it doesn’t have to.

Over the next four weeks, I’m going to help you understand why you should set goals, how to set them, and how to actually execute on them.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to goal set though, I first want to help you understand why you should goal set. A lot of us (including me in the past), think it’s not much different than just having a vague dream, but this isn’t the case.

Let me show you why in the three reasons below:

Reason #1: It’s easier to not pursue something if you’ve never identified it as a goal.

I think people fear setting goals because they’re afraid of not reaching them, but by never setting a goal in the first place, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you’ll never accomplish it. Conversely, when you write down your dreams goals, you give yourself permission to work on them.

For example, I want to go to New York for New Year’s one day. I’ve talked about it for many years. More recently, I’ve actually written it down as a goal. Somehow, that gives me mental permission to begin thinking about and planning it, even if it’s not going to happen till ten years from now. If I just kept it in my mind, it might become like all those other dreams we eventually give up on and forget about. By writing it down, I’ve committed on a small level to make it happen—be it now or many years in the future.

So not only have I guaranteed that I won’t forget about or give up on it, but on a small level, I’ve also pledged to make it happen.

Reason #2: Dreams are not goals.

Dreams are vague, futuristic, and sometimes implausible. A goal is when you’ve taken a dream and made its moment of success definable. For example, if you want to “one day be wildly successful,” that’s a dream. If you take that idea and figure out the specifics of what that means to you, you’ll be way more likely to accomplish it.

Say you determine that your dream means you want to buy a $10 million dollar yacht in the next 10 years. Now we’re talking specifics. You want one specific item (yacht), know the timeframe (10 years), and monetary cost ($10 million). Now all you have to do is reverse-engineer how you’ll get there. You know you have ten years to make 10-million dollars. How is that going to happen? Are you going to make an even amount of that total spread across ten years ($1,000,000 a year), or are you going to start smaller and then compound your revenue each year? If so, how are you going to do that? How many products do you need to sell or customers do you need to have?

This is how you make a dream into goal, and then ultimately, a reality. (Hoorah!)

Reason #3: It takes the emotion out of the equation.

If you set goals and decide to stick to the game plan no matter what, it pretty much removes the emotion from the equation. Those days when you’re not feeling motivated, you can look to the goals and tasks that you set for that day and be reminded that you already committed to doing this work on this day. That reminder will help you remember why you set these goals, and you’ll likely receive the burst of motivation you need to get through the tasks for that day.

If you’re anything like me, you also hate leaving to-do’s unchecked or having to carry them over to the next day, so that desire to succeed will also motivate you to get the tasks done rather than letting them slide. When you don’t have goals and tasks set up for each day, it is SO easy to get off track because we are emotional beings and life can be hectic!

In summary:

Keeping something in your head is a great way to either forget it or let it get pushed to the wayside, so at the very least you should write out your dreams and their corresponding goals. Dreams are distant desires that are typically vague and have no action steps involved, whereas goals are specific and should include tangible steps to making them come true. Once you’ve created those tangible steps and a game plan, the emotion should be largely removed from the equation. Knowing you have specific tasks to do each day that must be completed before tomorrow’s can be, really helps you stay accountable to each day’s responsibilities.

Action item:

Cruise through each of these reasons and see how you can apply them to your current mindset about dreams and goals. If you haven’t already done so, list out your dreams, write down some goals that would correspond with them, and then list out some steps you can take to make them come true! (Don’t worry about implementing them just yet; we’ll get to that in the coming weeks.)

Join the convo! ;-)

Did you set some new goals? Are you totally pumped??? Comment and tell us about it below!