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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

5 Reasons Why It Is Important for Goals to Be Measurable

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5 Reasons Why It Is Important for Goals to Be Measurable

The secret to a successful life is effective goal setting, and the secret to effective goal setting is SMART goals. The magic wand that works it wonders in SMART goals is the ‘M.’

Do you why it’s so important for goals to be measurable? This one property plays the role of the backbone in SMART goals. It eases the way for the rest of the process and increases your chances of moving forward successfully.

Today, you’ll find out all about the significance of measurable goals and how they can enhance your ability to achieve goals in life!

What Are Measurable Goals?

Let’s start by reminding you what SMART goals are and what exactly the ‘M’ stands for.

SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

1. Specific

Specificity is self-explanatory. It means that your goals shouldn’t be general or broad. Instead, they should pinpoint all the details. However, you also need to make sure that while making the goals specific, you don’t overcomplicate them. Answer the what, why, how as simply and clearly as possible.

2. Achievable

Whatever goal you plan should be realistic. If it’s not achievable, it’s not a goal but only a wish. The difference between a desire and a goal is that the latter can be ticked off with the right efforts.

For example, a wish would be to reach the moon. This on its own is pretty unachievable. However, if you set multiple achievable goals, such as joining an astronaut training program at NASA, you may one day step on the moon for real.

3. Relevant

Relevance is extremely significant. Your goals should be relevant to your life’s ideology, your morals, your long-term plans, and also the current circumstances. If you’re already preoccupied with a lot of responsibilities, it’s not a good idea to start something completely new.

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Similarly, going for a goal that is irrelevant to your current lifestyle will put you in major jeopardy. For example, you can’t aim to learn water skiing if you’re living in a desert land.

4. Time-Bound

Time-bound goals set a time limit on your goals—you don’t have room to slack. Whatever you plan needs to have a defined due date as well.

5. Measurable

Now let’s talk about the most important part—measurable goals.

How do you measure a goal? Basically, this factor is an accountability plan for yourself. By devising measurable goals, you define what exactly will make you successful.

Let’s say you intend to increase your income. How will you know how much increase is enough to tick off the goal from your list?

On the other hand, if you clarify that you want a 10% increase in your current income, once you get there, you’ll know you’ve done it.

Not only does this set a standard for you to reach, but it is also a source of motivation. Without a measure, you might overachieve but still not be satisfied.

The Importance of Measurable Goals

SMART goals have 5 factors. Why is it the most important for goals to be measurable in specific?

Well, the answer is simple. Being measurable automatically fulfills the criteria of the other 4 aspects. Here’s how this happens!

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1. Measurable Goals Are Specific

When you’re making a goal measurable, you’re naturally adding more specificity to it.

Look at it this way:

Initially, you had a goal in mind to get fit. However, you cannot really measure anything in this goal. To make it more measurable, you decide to add exercise to your daily routine. It will help you gain stamina, lose the extra inches, and strengthen your muscles.

Once again, you still can’t measure your progress. So eventually, you narrow it down to working out 15 minutes every day.

In this goal, you’re basically measuring how much fitness you want to add to your lifestyle while also making it specific. In fact, you have added more detail this way than you would have if you were trying consciously.

This isn’t any rocket science. Yet, it can be confusing when you’re under the pressure of planning effective goals. So, it’s helpful that simply adding the aspect of measure makes your goals so much clearer and well-defined.

2. Measurable Goals Are Achievable

As previously mentioned, goals that aren’t achievable aren’t goals at all. It is very important to plan something attainable. Otherwise, no matter how well you plan everything and how much you struggle for it, you’ll never reach your desired destination.

There is a fine line between getting unrealistic and going the extra mile. It’s great to want to reach new ends. But sometimes, this ambition can detract you and lead you to something impossible.

For example, it is great if you want to expand your work expertise. Despite working in the sales department for 10 years, you now want to start experimenting in the marketing department as well. Your aim is simply to broaden your skillset.

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While this intent is positive, if you plan a goal to work in both the departments side by side, that will be something unrealistic.

If you catch yourself in a confusing state like this, focus your attention on making the goal measurable. It will naturally start becoming more achievable too.

So, what you can do is measure how much expertise you want to increase in the department of marketing. A good example of this wanting to play a marketing executive’s role flawlessly by the end of the month. Furthermore, you can decide to utilize the 1-hour lunch break to learn these skills.

This will give you a set precedent. Meanwhile, you won’t have to overdo things on the marketing side or let go of your responsibilities in the sales department.

3. Measurable Goals Are Relevant

Measurable goals aren’t directly relevant. But if you put in a conscious effort, these two factors get linked very easily.

When you’re measuring a goal to make sure you can track the progress, you subconsciously know in the back of your mind whether or not it can be achieved. This subconscious sound in your mind is reminding you of the goal’s relevance to your ongoing life routine.

Measurable goals need to be precise. When adding this precision to your goals, you get a clear idea of whether or not the goal can fit in your life at the moment or not.

For example, if you plan to add an hour-long workout session to all 7 days of your week, you can get a sense of whether or not you have enough time to fit it in or not.

4. Measurable Goals Are Time-Bound

Time constraints are pretty natural in measurable goals.

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Time-bound goals can be divided into 4 main categories; immediate goals, short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals.[1] So, based on how you’re measuring your progress, you can add a time limit to it.

Let’s say you’ve started an online blog that you want to take forward. Your measurable goal can be that you want to increase the readership from 350 to 500 people per month. Now, whether you want to do that in one month, six months, or one year is a vital part of this goal.

Time-bound goals give you a sense of a deadline so you’re less likely to procrastinate. Hence, your productivity increases.

5. Measurable Goals Give You a Clear Sense of Direction

With specificity and relevance, such goals lead you to a very clear path. There is no blurry vision, you’re well aware of what you’re aiming for, and the entire process is pretty much clear in your head.

Technically, measurable goals define every aspect of your goals so clearly that there is no room left for confusion—there is no room for haphazardness. You won’t get lost in the way. This clarity itself is a huge bliss when you’re aiming for big goals.

Knowing your direction increases your motivation and hence, helps you achieve what you desire quicker and better. Since there are no obstacles in a path like this, your inner self drives you to work harder too. So, if you’re someone who struggles with achieving goals, try making them more measurable for better outcomes.

Conclusion

What matters the most is that whatever you work hard for, you can achieve it. The toughest parts of life are when all your efforts go to waste.

A fool-proof way to keep these dark days at bay is to always develop SMART goals. Whether you’re planning something for work or your personal life, opt for SMART goals in every part of your life to receive success.

What’s even better is that you don’t even have to struggle with all the 5 factors of SMART goals. As long you put in the thought to make them measurable, your goals will inevitably be as SMART as they can be.

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Neither is this process time-consuming nor is it hard to implement in your daily life. So, without wasting any more time, start making your goals more measurable for increased motivation, organized life, and higher chances of success!

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Featured photo credit: Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Debt Slapped Grad: Time Bound Goals

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 27, 2021

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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