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Why Setting Goals is Essential for Success in Any Area!

Why Setting Goals is Essential for Success in Any Area!

When I started working in my chosen profession, I couldn’t understand why there were those individuals who seemed to succeed in anything they tried, and then there were others who just couldn’t manage to achieve anything. After a while, I became amazed at the precise connections that starting showing up, and the biggest difference lay in setting and reviewing goals regularly.

Then I saw an academic study done by Dr. David Kohl on goals — did you know that:

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  • 80% of Americans claim that they don’t have goals
  • 16% of them have goals, but they don’t write them down
  • Only 3% actually have written goals, but they don’t review them regularly
  • Only 1% has written goals and they review them regularly, and these are among the highest achievers in the US

You need to set goals, independent of whether you want to achieve more or less. Goals are not only about achieving more or wanting to take on more in life; a goal starts with a simple desire. If you have a desire for less in life — for example, less work or less responsibility — these are also goals.

What do you do with your desires and wants in life? You could both ignore them and leave them to fade away in your mind, or listen to yourself and start taking action to get what you want in life.

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Excuses, Excuses.

Do you use any of these excuses for not setting goals?

  • You don’t see the importance in setting them
  • You want instant gratification, and goals seem so far off
  • You don’t know where to start or what steps to take
  • You don’t believe that you can actually achieve what you really want in life

Whatever the reason, I am sure your excuse is limiting you. What happens when you don’t set goals? If you’re vague and unclear about what you want, you might end up at a certain age with things that you didn’t want, or perhaps nowhere even close to having them at all. If you don’t set goals, how do you know what you need to do to get where you want? Or imagine, you get somewhere, and it’s not where you want to be.

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It’s like going to an estate agent (your mind) and saying (thinking) – I want to end up in a beautiful place by the beach one day. That day arrives and you end up in Somalia. I am sure it is a beautiful place and you could be really happy, but is probably isn’t what you really wanted, why? because you weren’t clear.

Learn about the different ways you can make it easier to start setting and achieving your goals.

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The Benefits of Setting Goals

Setting goals not only increase your chances of succeeding, but…

  1. When you set goals, your actions are more focused and you start putting into action the whole process of turning your vision into your reality.
  2. Goals also keep you motivated and inspired when you’re “just not feeling good”; they give you the impetus you need to keep going.
  3. Setting goals and reviewing them regularly is like holding up your vision in front of you on a regular basis, giving you targeted direction and keeping you moving closer to what you want.
  4. You will accomplish more in months than many people do in years, and you will see better results faster than you could have ever imagined.

If you have a really strong desire for something, you have two choices: wishful thinking, or taking action. You can wish for a miracle, try to put the least amount of effort in, hoping to get the most out, and do nothing. On the other hand, you can get clear on the steps you need to take and take them, slowly, one by one until you reach success in that area and you will live with new amazing results in your life.

Setting goals is the essential ingredient to achieving success in any area. It begins with a desire, and then a written goal, followed by the right attitude and action, and that is your formula for success. Keep reviewing your goals and watch how your vision miraculously turns into your reality.

To your success!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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