We’re near the end of June, deadlines at work are flowing thick and fast, and I still haven’t watched that final episode on Netflix. The craziness of day-to-day life can become distracting, so it’s important to stop for a moment and think about the goals and aspirations we once set out to achieve and reflect on how far we’ve come. Since childhood, I’ve always had goals and ambitions, and I’ve learnt to put steps in place to ultimately keep them as a priority – but what can goal-setting achieve? How can we keep ourselves motivated? And is there a limit on when we can set targets during our lifetime?
Many people today are sleepwalking through life. Even though they work hard, they don’t feel like they’re getting what they truly want. That’s because they don’t have a direction of where they want to go or what they want to achieve. Students graduate and they’re not sure what to do with their life; adults work for years and are shocked when they reach their 40’s and don’t feel fulfilled or know what to do in the next stage of their life. When we stop to set goals and think about what we want, we break out of auto-pilot and start living a life of our conscious creation. Instead of letting others tell us what to do, we proactively take charge and create for ourselves – in other words, we give our life the investment it needs to flourish.
Achieving your best potential
Goals help us achieve our best potential, and what could be better than that?! Without having goals in mind, we often fall into a routine of ‘comfortable’ activities and jobs, instead of having the courage to do something different which support our personal growth. Many of us want to leave a legacy which paves the way for the next generation. I know I aim to create many more moments that I’m proud to say made a real difference.
Goals help us to remain motivated and to strive for a meaningful purpose. This is especially true if we’re not in a good place in life at the moment — our goals help to remind us of the things we love, to redirect our focus away from the negative obstacles we might be facing, and to reconnect with our core values and ambitions. When I lose motivation (and we all have those moments), I like to spend time with my family and friends, take time out from whatever I’m doing that maybe triggering stressful thought processes, to remind myself of why I’m doing the things that I do. It’s important to take breaks in order to re-charge and refresh our outlook on life.
Setting goals makes us accountable. Only we can identify what matters to us most, so if we’re going to set targets, we need to own them, take responsibility and take action. By setting specific targets, we can easily measure progress and get back on track when we fall behind. I don’t know about you, but I find it particularly satisfying when I reach another milestone in my life journey. Too often we achieve our goals and quickly move onto the next. Remember to take the time to be in the moment and celebrate success.
Is it too late to start setting goals?
A lot of people I speak to tell me that they think it’s too late to start setting goals, particularly if we’re halfway through a week, a month, or even a year. What I want to stress, is that, it doesn’t matter about time or how long it might take to achieve that goal, the most important thing is that you’ve made a start by setting that goal. If it means enough, you’ll do everything in your power to achieve it.
I remember being told by a mentor and friend when discussing a particularly tricky project that was taking forever to gain momentum, “you’ll get exactly what you deserve based on the effort you put in!”. I invested focused energy and achieved more within a month than I had the previous six! It’s never too late and if you really want to achieve something, you’ll find a way to make the time to make the difference.