“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I love this quote from Alice and Wonderland. It so simply sums up our lives if we aren’t deliberate about what we want and how we spend our time.
Too quickly another year has gone. Maybe another decade has gone. You find yourself wondering why you’re still in the same place when your intentions were anything but.
It sounds cliche. However, if you don’t pay attention, take deliberate action and set some direction of where you want to go, you’ll turn around at the end of your life and wonder how you got there.
Why you need to set goals.
Goals give you something to strive towards. They can motivate you to try something different and new. Goals can be scary as you may need to step out of your comfort zone. Guess what, that is the only way you can grow and change. Goals help tell you the way to go. Because you want to be Alice in Wonderland walking long enough just to get to somewhere.
So let’s take a look at the why you should set goals.
Five reasons why you should set goals:
Goals help you take back control of your life.
Many people find that are just reacting to what goes on around them. Acting on auto-pilot and wondering why their life isn’t different. Reacting to the fast-food ad. Responding to their bosses wishes in a job they don’t like. Reacting to the on button on the TV remote to unwind. When you stop and set goals you think about what. You can then take the steps to proactively work towards that rather than just reacting to what is going on around you.
- You can get better results than you thought possible.
No one walks out the door one morning and decides to run a marathon then and there. Most people, when they set a goal of a marathon, aren’t even close to being able to run that distance. It is the the goal that motivates them to put in the work required to be able to run that distance. That goal enables them to achieve something they once thought was out of reach.
Goals give you focus:
Ever notice that as soon as you buy a car or think about buying a certain car you see that car everywhere? There have been many studies into this, including one concept known as ‘frequency illusion’. This term was coined by Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky. It describes the syndrome in which a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to crop up everywhere. Have you just bought a new car and now you see it everywhere? That s ‘frequency illusion’.
Frequency illusion also happens when you set goals. Once you have defined what you want, it sets a focal point for you to focus on. Because of this focal point, you will start to see things make decisions that you wouldn’t have thought available before. You’ll see things related to that goal more frequently. Ever heard of the terms ‘the timing was great’ and ‘things just fell into place’??.
Goals are motivating:
Just the simple fact of having something to work towards can drive you. You now have direction. The path to take is now clear. You know what steps you need to do. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment once you’ve achieved it. That alone can be enough to motivate you to do it again the next day.
Goals give you accountability:
Once you commit to something you have something to hold yourself to. Rather than just talk, you now need to act. Want to increase the accountability even more – tell someone! Ask someone to check in on how you are going. Accountability to yourself is one thing, having others hold you accountable is another.
Take the time to set some goals, I guarantee it’s worth it. And if you’re struggling to get started, have a look at this article on how to start small with setting goals.