Why is goal setting important?


Vaibhavi Bafna


We all make resolutions in the first month of the new year. It’s a trending thing, but how many of us even stay committed to all or even a few of our resolutions? Do we even reach half-way there? Most of us do not. We know following a set path to reach the desired result is difficult, but unless we challenge ourselves we will not be able to become a better version of ourselves. The thing that we all crave. If we aren’t serious about our goals, who else will be? Most of us get stuck, but now we need an action plan that can at least help us accomplish our goals.

First, let us try to answer the question: why do we set goals?

We set goals because we want to improve our lives. Goal setting acts as a roadmap for us to follow when we have to overcome challenges and achieve important things in life. These goals also act as guidelines that help us make important positive changes in life.

We set goals because they help us navigate through our life. They can be personal or professional goals or something that would help us replace a bad habit or help in achieving success. Setting goals motivates us and increases our success rate, helps us become more focused and reduces our tension and frustration if adhered to.

There are three major types of goals. Each of the 3 goals is based on how much control we have over them.

1. Outcome goals

Outcome means results. Thus, outcome goals are result-oriented. These are extremely specific results that we expect. However, outcome is something that isn’t always in our control. But with some of the outcome goals, one can easily take steps that influence the end result in our favour.

2. Process goals

These goals are the actions or the strategies that we use that help us to perform well and increase our chances of achieving our desired outcome goals. These goals are also called as procedural goals. Process goals are entirely in our control. If we make up a step by step process to reach the end goal, we will be able to achieve all the goals and face all the difficult situations.

3. Performance goals

These goals test our standards at which we move forward with our process goals, i.e. our pathway to achieving our goals. These goals are entirely based on results like the outcome goals. But performance goals consider all the effort and the different pathways that help us reach so close to our goal. Performance goals not only take into account the achievement of the objective, but also our growth during the process of achieving the objectives.

We are aware of the goal types now, but how do we motivate ourselves to achieve those goals?

Some believe that motivation is not even necessary to build a goal. Most say willpower is enough. But there can be times when our willpower can be shaken off and we may reach to the exact point from where we started our journey! That is, back to square one. So, we should have the motivation to achieve our goals. But, how do we find what motivates us?

1. Form goals that are fun to do and challenge the mind

We need to ask ourselves whether the goal that we have set is challenging enough to compel us to move out of our comfort zone. Will the goal help us grow into a better person? When we know that the goal that we’ve set is going to take us out of our comfort zone, then the goal is challenging enough, because it would test our boundaries and our willingness to perform the required tasks. We must always remember to make our goals an enjoyable experience because that is what is going to help us grow.

Michael Phelps: “Goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”

2. Find inspiration

Often inspiration and motivation go hand in hand. To set up a goal, one should know where their heart lies and what is it that they really want to do. One can also find their inspiration through journaling.

3. Building new habits and rituals

To be on the right track with the goal, we should build new rituals or habits. We must also figure out the previous habits and rituals we were indulging in (consciously or subconsciously) as it would help us figure out how to remain committed to our new habits. The habits will either support us in our progress towards our end goal or hinder our progress. So let us choose and proceed wisely. Let us ask ourselves the kind of activities and tasks that we are currently indulging in: are they helpful enough to help us achieve the goal or not?

All these activities will help us build a blueprint for us to achieve our end goal. It will generate the momentum needed for achievement. A goal-setting process helps us understand where we currently lie; it helps us choose which direction we would want to go; it helps us prioritize important things in life and helps us assess in taking the best steps to reach to our ultimate goal.

Orison Swett Marden: All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.

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Dhwani Nagar
Excellent article😍
Awesome writeup Vaibhavi !! Loved the description of 3 types of goals. I didn't know different categories existed for goals 😇🤓✌
vaibhavi bafna
There are in fact many other categories for goals but these are the major umbrella terms that everything fits under 😊
Krushnapalsinh Rathod
Drumil Chauhan
Jignesh Patel