The importance of having goals

Self-shot photo of myself. All the credit to the timer.

At any time in our life, we wanted something which obtention required a combination of several resources (time, money, attention, …) and which consequently we couldn’t get instantly. To get this thing, we had to turn that desire into a goal and work hard to get it eventually.

When we think back to these achieved goals, we think often of what their achievement has granted us more than what their pursuit has taught us.

Yet for many of these goals, what we learned by pursuing them is more valuable than what we gained by achieving them. This article (based on personal experiences) talks about the ways having a goal can bring us daily benefits.

1. Commitment

Having a goal you have chosen yourself, and that you are sincerely committed to achieving, requires dedication. That dedication brings focus.

2. Priority and decision-making

Having a clear goal facilitates prioritization and decision-making. If you find yourself in a bind, faced with an opportunity, … you may simply ask yourself:

  • Does this action bring me closer to my goal?

This is a question that can shed a lot of light and simplify decisions that seem more complex than they are.

3. Resilience fuel and North star

When you go through difficult times, when you are in pain, having a goal that you have chosen for yourself and being able to see how much you have progressed helps a lot to keep going and to not give up.

Sometimes we are totally lost. We have the impression of being in a world about which we know nothing or in which we have nothing to do. In this situation, the goal you set for yourself before all this madness may be the only thing you know for sure. There are many ways it can lead and help you through this stormy time.

4. Growth and Reward

By trying to achieve this goal you will grow, meet new people, learn new things, … above all you will gain something priceless: self-confidence, energy and resilience for the next goal you set for yourself. It’s a virtuous cycle.

A goal is not a plan

This article is not about how to define a goal or even less how to translate it into an action plan, but I want to make sure we differentiate both. If a goal is a destination, a plan is a route to reach that destination. One has no meaning without the other

Why is it important to understand the difference?

  • It is not enough to set a goal and go have a beer for it to be reached.
  • It is important not to fall in love with a plan.

Don’t fall in love with a plan

Today I am very happy and grateful to be exactly where I planned to be 2–3 years ago. This isn’t by chance but the result of regular and rigorous planning. But, in doing so, I fell in love with my plan for 2020. When our dear Covid-19 brought its share of changes (lockdown, fear, …), I was so in love with my plan that I was paralyzed and almost gave up on my goals for this year. What failed wasn’t my goal but the plan. I had to take a step back to realize that the route I had planned wasn’t the only one possible to reach my goal. I just had to replace it with another one. I did and I was able to achieve several of my goals: move, go freelance, start painting again, …

Hope you found this article interesting. The importance of having a goal and a plan without falling in love with the latter is the most important lesson I learned in 2020.

If you want to discuss this article or anything else, find me on:

Looking forward,

Colbys

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Colbys Dovi

Colbys Dovi

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Product Researcher & Designer ⎜ Interested in human behavior, and many forms of expression (Painting, Music,...).