What’s in a Goal?

I once listened to Jim Rohn say that one of the most important lessons in his life was the lesson on goalsetting. He observed that it wasn’t taught in school or at work. According to Orison Swett Marden, “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible”. One of the things that aid effective goal setting is the understanding of what goals are. Here are a few descriptions of a goal:

  1. Measures success: without goals, it would be impossible to understand the word “success” since the definition of success, according to the Collins English Dictionary, is “the achievement of something that you have been trying to do”. This means that no one can claim the success he didn’t aim for. Setting a goal creates a sense of expectation of a desired end. Whatever comes to you by chance vanishes in an instant. The tragedy of a goalless life becomes obvious when people desire the success that others deserve.
  2. Determines motivation: a goal determines how motivated you are. If you believe in your goal, you will wake up every morning excited and you will live every moment with commitment. The road to achieving your goal may be tough because of all the sacrifices you have to make but with your eyes focused, you will weather every storm.
  3. Measures efforts: if there are no goals, you will not know how much effort you need to put into your activities. Pacing is essential. Athletes know that when running a marathon race, they must pace themselves. If they run too fast at the beginning of the race, they may become exhausted by the last few minutes of it; if they start too slowly, they may not catch up with the others. If your destination is unknown, your efforts, no matter how intense, will be useless.
  4. Determines focus: it is difficult to hit a moving target. If you don’t have goals, you will constantly change your desires and passions. Goals help you to keep your attention concentrated on what you wish to achieve. A wise man once said, “if you don’t know where you are going, everywhere will look like it”.
  5. Measures movement: Goals keep you moving in the right direction. You can determine how much further you need to go by checkout your goals. The beautiful part of a goal is that even when you think you didn’t achieve it, you have move from where you used to be. According to Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars”.