Why set goals

I have been binge watching a Netflix series called ‘How To Get Rich‘ hosted by Ramit Sethi, an American entrepreneur and self-made millionaire.

Ramit takes the viewer on a journey of financial voyeurism where you meet the contestants hoping to attain some level of wealth; and learn how much or, rather, how little they have in their bank accounts as a precursor to them receiving advice on how to manage their money.

Given that Ramit has made millions from being self-taught about personal finance, he certainly knows what he is talking about.

The show answers those questions which we are all too polite to ask in modern society (unless you are Indian in which case your relatives make it a point to ask you this question at every family event), ‘How much do you earn?’.

Follow the philosophy of ‘How To Get Rich’ and you will think that it is entirely possible by, for example, paying off credit card bills and cutting down on luxury expenditure. The bigger purpose of these actions goes beyond click bait viewing and is for contestants to work out what they need to do to reach their endgame. They are asked to set goals in defining their financial endgame.

It is this part which is of most interest to me because I do believe that goal setting is pivotal to achieving whatever you want to accomplish in life.

Are you a goal setter?

I am one of those people who sets goals almost every week. I would feel quite rudderless without the signposting role which goals play. A clear set of goals helps me plan my week out and allocate days and times to what I need/want to do. One thing that I have not done though is a long-term goal setting plan.

Now that I have hit 60, the Netflix series has got me wondering about what it is I want to accomplish in, say, the next 5 years.

Why goal setting is helpful

Do you know how important setting goals are to achieving success at anything? Are they effective? Do you have written goals? If you answered no these questions, you aren’t alone. Research has shown that 90% of people don’t have written goals.

Think of it like this. You go to the supermarket without a list. You roam the aisles, grabbing whatever catches your eyes. When you get home, you realize you’ve forgotten half the things you need. So now you have to make another trip to the store. Not only have you wasted time, but money as well, on things you don’t need.

Having goals without writing them down is like shopping without a list

The one thing all successful people, whether they are an athlete, a business owner or someone who has lost weight and kept it off, have in common is that they set goals for themselves. Many people work hard but don’t seem to get anywhere. They feel as if they’re adrift, floating from one day to the next.

A key reason for this is because they haven’t taken the time to think about what they want in life and they don’t set any formal goals. It’s kind of like starting out on trip without any idea of where you are going. It’s probably not a good idea.

Goal setting is powerful

It puts you in the process of thinking of your ideal future and what motivates you to work toward that vision. Goals are your roadmap to your future.

Creating this goals roadmap is the process which helps you choose what you want in life, where you want to go and who you want to be. When you know precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you need to focus your efforts to achieve the end result.

Having goals will help you quickly spot when you are going in the wrong direction or the distractions that lead you astray

How to create goals

Here are some of tips from well known people, successful in their field, on setting and achieving goals.

  1. Focus and concentration are the keys to success. Focus means that you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish and concentration requires that you dedicate yourself to doing only those things that move you toward your goal.” Brian Tracy is a top sales trainer and personal success authority.
  2. Set ‘bumper goals’ – so that if you finish Benchmark A, B or C – you STILL have a win and can stop or celebrate! This gave me a ‘game’ mentality and I was actually curious to see which goal I would hit first! Maybe I’m a geek, but it made my task more fun!” Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive is a best-selling author, international speaker, award-winning podcaster, and radio guest.
  3. Even though you have a goal in mind that you will work tirelessly for, remember that you are human and that everyone needs a rest. You know that statement that says to adjust your oxygen mask before helping others? That is absolutely true—get your oxygen before you can give to those around you.”  Mally Roncal is a makeup artist and founder and president of Mally Beauty.
  4. Never feel you’ve reached your goals. Don’t ever give up on your dreams, and work toward making them a reality.”  José Eber is a celebrity hairstylist.
  5. I block out several hours every week on my calendar for ‘creative time.’ I turn off my phone and spend time writing and researching. I think it’s really important to do these weekly sessions because they provide clarity about my brand and where I want it to go; this practice can help with any goal.” Emily Morse is a sex therapist, relationship advisor, and author.
  6. “Goals such as ‘eat more healthfully,’ ‘exercise more,’ or ‘get more fun out of life’ are vague. Make it clear to yourself what you’re expecting from yourself. Goals such as ‘bring my lunch to work every day,’ ‘take a 20-minute walk after work,’ or ‘make a lunch date with a friend every Friday’ are easy to measure.”  Gretchen Rubin is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project.
  7. Some goals must be BIG to make you stretch and grow to your full potential. Some goals must be long-range to keep you on track and greatly reduce the possibility of short-range frustrations. Some goals must be small and daily to keep you disciplined. Some goals must be ongoing. Some goals (i.e., weight loss, sales success, education, etc.) may require analysis and consultation to determine where you are before you can set the goals. Most goals should be specific.” Zig Ziglar was a long time motivational speaker.
  8. “A key thing with goals that I learned from Facebook is to only have one goal for a specific period of time. It helps with saying no to other distractions you will face during the year.” Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo, a company that connects businesses with great products that will help them succeed & writes the OkDork blog.
  9. “Using my list of priorities as a guide, I focus on one step at a time. New ideas may be considered, but if they could get priorities out of order, they have to wait their turn. I generally jot those ideas in a project file, and then return focus to the task at hand.” Kathryn Aragon, is an award-winning copywriter, content marketer, consultant and product creator. She is also the editor of The Daily Egg, Crazy Egg’s conversion optimization blog.

There you have it. Straight from successful people on the tips they use to reach their goals.

All the very best with setting your midlife goals.