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Why is it important to set goals?

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

--Pablo Picasso

The last few weeks for me have been stressful, meaningful, and productive. Book sales are starting to pick up, (thank you, everyone for your support!), I’ve started on my second book, I graduated from college, and I am closer than ever to launching new education programs for my clients. To summarize, it has been a great summer. September’s schedule is already almost full, as is my heart. And my head.

Not only was I able to keep up with everything with my time management mastery, but I have clearly-written, detailed goals, and have clarified the steps I need to reach them.

Why do I take the time to organize and clearly outline my goals? Why is it important for anyone to have goals?

I believe that your biggest commitment must always be to yourself. And setting goals is a major step you need to take on your road to achieving the life you want.

By recognizing and working toward goals, you take ownership of your life and where you’re headed.

You create for yourself a vision of who you want to be and where you want to go, and goals give you an outline on how to get there.

You know where to push yourself, and you are inclined to hold yourself accountable to your actions in ensuring that what you’re working on contributes to that vision.

You can manifest your own reality just by seeing it as real - and setting goals will get you there.

And I’m going to encourage you to ignore the thought of always setting "realistic" goals. Sometimes you need to shoot for the stars and imagine something that doesn’t seem like it can be real, because you need to put the universe on notice that you’re coming for what you deem as worthy of a place in your life. Don’t listen to what others have to say, particularly any naysayers - they have no faith in themselves, and therefore have no faith in the energy of the universe.

There have been many time throughout my life where I may have felt a little tinge of self-doubt or maybe even a feeling of selfishness or guilt of asking for too much or something that may be difficult and I have learned to tell myself, “you don’t get what you don’t ask for.” And just gone for it, most of the time with successful results.

(Side note - in the near future we’ll discuss what defines success. It means something different to everyone - what it means to me may mean something different to you, so don’t ever assume what someone means by it. Ask them for clarification for understanding).

When you have goals and a plan to pursue them, you will continue to expand knowledge and experience. And by committing to this continuous learning and growth, you can avoid falling into the trap of tunnel vision and narrowed perspective. If you choose to let your ego and fear of failure define your actions, you risk operating with that narrow perspective and overconfidence that can blind you to fresh ideas and insights. By making learning a lifelong pursuit, you challenge your assumptions and expand your horizons.

Dreams, which inspire actual goals, are an important and inspiring part of making future plans. Inspirational ideas and personal goal-setting tend to be manifested out of dreams. But you can have all the dreams in the world or possibly even a life-changing, astonishing business idea, but unless and until you make a viable plan - backed by action - they will remain dreams.

The process of setting clear goals doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require your commitment. To be effective, they should be clear, detailed, specific - and not necessarily perfect! The desire for perfection before you even get started is restrictive and where dreams and plans go to die. The details and initial plan and desired result may actually change so you don’t need to have it all figured out at the start. In fact, I think it’s better that you don’t have things so concrete in your mind at the start, so you give yourself the opportunity to be open to better and possibly bigger outcomes, and something you didn’t even imagine at the start of this process.

There are a number of ways to document and plan your goals, but the most important part - the first step - is to get them documented. Following that, you can create an outline with ideas and steps you need to take, and resources you will need, to reach your destination.

First, a popular proven method, if you need more help getting started, is the SMART system, with creation attributed to George Duran in his 1981 AMA Forum paper, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write