At this time of year it’s common to wonder why goals are important at all. This is particularly true if you’ve struggled in the past with new year’s resolutions. And I get it. The consistency with which I failed at accomplishing new year’s resolutions and goals for over 20 years definitely made me wonder what the point was to begin with. For many years I even gave up on setting goals all together. But it turns out that goals are not just important, they are essential for creating a healthy, happy life.
Why Goals Are Important
There are many reasons why setting goals is important. They include tangible things like improved health, better grades, or increased income along with intangibles like increased life satisfaction and happiness. In my own journey I’ve found that these are the top 5 reasons why goals are so important in my life.
1. Goals Give Me Direction
First, setting challenging but doable goals that reflect my values helps me better organize my thoughts, activities, and time. Feeling accountable to myself and my goals gives me a sense of direction for my days, weeks, and even for my life as a whole. My goals are guide posts. They help reduce feelings of overwhelm by giving me clarity about what I’m focusing on and prioritizing in my life. And, honestly, it feels good to know I’m making progress along the journey toward my goals rather than simply going through the motions day in and day out and feeling like I’m not accomplishing a single thing.
2. Goals Strengthen My Sense of Self
One of my biggest ah-ha moments about goals came when I realized that the goal I’d been setting for myself and failing to achieve all those years wasn’t something I really cared about to begin with. You see, I set a goal predetermined by social pressure… to lose weight. But weight loss really doesn’t connect to my personal values (not like health does, for example). I always thought it was some failing of motivation, self-discipline, or willpower that prevented me from accomplishing my goals. Really it was a need to dig deeper, figure out who I really am, and identify what matters most to me.
Since I changed my approach to setting goals and began focusing on my personal values I’ve noticed how important goals are to helping me develop a deeper sense of self. And even when life gets insanely busy (which it does) or I feel external pressure to conform to certain expectations my goals have helped me see and hold on to my personal identity.
3. Goals Help Me Hold On (& Let Go)
Goals are important because they help me recognize what I need to hold on to and what it’s time to let go of. They serve as reminders that the only thing I can control is myself and my actions. That chasing my dreams and living an intentional life are absolutely worth holding on to. And they also remind me that I can’t control other people, circumstances, or the world as a whole which allows me to let go.
In setting and pursuing goals I give myself something to focus on and feel good about. Something in my life that I alone can steer and manage. I can take accountability and responsibility for my goals and let go of it in other spaces where it isn’t mine to have.
4. Goals Improve My Growth and Self-Awareness
Setting and working on goals has created a space of true self-awareness and grace for me. As a recovering perfectionist it was always so difficult and painful to admit my weaknesses. I was my own worst critic and biggest abuser and completely incapable of giving myself grace. When I would miss it I would harshly judge, criticize, and punish myself.
Goals are important for me because they allow me to approach my weaknesses with curiosity rather than judgment, cultivate a growth mindset, and implement problem solving skills. I’ve even found myself finally able to ask for help and support where I need it.
5. Goals Increase My Self-Esteem, Self-Love, & Give Me a Sense of Pride
I can’t begin to express how proud I feel of myself EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! Accomplishing goals or even small steps along my goal path is a complete game changer for me. My self-esteem was always so low and I was overwhelmed with self-loathing for most of my life. I felt like a failure, completely unworthy, and most likely to amount to absolutely nothing more than a burden. I spent most of my life simply trying to prove that I was worthy of the space I took up and the air I breathed. Once I started working on my goals I realized that I have something real and important to contribute. That I have innate worth and a purpose. And that I matter and deserve the life I’ve always dreamed of (and that life has gotten a lot bigger since my dreams began).
Goals are important to every area of your life but especially how you feel about yourself and show up in your own life. If you’ve tried before and failed you might be struggling to see how this is true. Maybe you’re afraid to go through that again. And I get it. I know how painful it can be to keep trying and to end up falling short and feeling badly about yourself.
That’s exactly why I create a simple system for accomplishing any goal. After using it to accomplish goals related to health, weight loss, launching and scaling my business, creating financial freedom, managing my relationships, and running my home I started teaching it to others and they found consistent success as well! If you want to learn more about how to accomplish your goals be sure to check out my free video series, Secrets Revealed: How to Accomplish Your Goals.