Really! Why IS goal setting important? Wealth and achievement are two big reasons that come to mind right off the bat. But here are lots of other reasons to set goals!
Goal definition can be important to your quality of life. This fact has been proven repeatedly through sound empirical research in psychology and social science as well as business and economics. Personal goal setting is important for things like …
- Wealth, abundance, and prosperity
- Wellbeing and life satisfaction
- Increased self-confidence
- Hope and optimism
- Greater sense of control and effectiveness
– There was a famous study conducted on students enrolled in the Harvard MBA program in 1979. Those students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
- 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans
- 13% had goals but the goals were not in writing
- 84 percent had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, these graduated MBA students were interviewed again. Here are the results:
- The 13% of the class who had goals had an average earnings nearly twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all.
- And what about the 3% who had clear, written goals? Get this! They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% in their class put together.
There has got to be some kind of correlation there, don’t you think? This study answers to the question “why is goal setting important?” as far as wealth is concerned.
But wealth isn’t necessarily the same as abundance and prosperity, is it? Those ideas reach into other areas of life …
Why is Goal Setting Important
In Other Areas of Life?
Abundance and Prosperity
Abundance means that you have a plenty of something, an ample supply … and it doesn’t just mean money. Goal setting is important because the act of setting a goal requires an attitude of hopefulness and abundance as opposed to an attitude of scarcity. It points to prosperity and a sense of sufficiency rather than the feeling of being on the loosing side of the win-lose equation.
You are more likely to achieve whatever project you are striving for when you have a set of goal definition around your project . . . whether it is personal or professional.
When you set goals for your personal strivings, it is easier to look back and actually see what you’ve achieved. That way you don’t forget how positive your life really is! And that knowledge of how positive life is, leads greater sense of well-being and Life Satisfaction.
Well-being and Life Satisfaction
Your sense of well-being is enhanced when you set goals and have personal projects in the works. Sometimes you aren’t able to make your goals happen just as you intended. Why is goal setting important in that case? Your sense of wellbeing and life satisfaction is often greatly improved just because you set a goal for yourself.
The truth is, if you aren’t able to attain your goals, or if you never get started on your projects, there is drop in your sense of wellbeing and satisfaction, but it is still greater overall than if you never set the goals in the first place (Burnstein 1993). I guess that makes sense doesn’t it?
The important answer here to the question “Why is goal setting important?” is that just consciously setting goals in the first place leads to a greater sense of wellbeing and life satisfaction. All that helps sustain whatever plan you put in place, which leads to greater and greater sense of satisfaction and wellbeing.
You’ve created a wonderful, energic cycle instead of the proverbial viscous cycle…
Research shows that there is a connection between self-confidence in general and being able to finish tasks and setting goals. Psychologists call it “self-efficacy.”
Why is goal setting important to self-efficacy and self-confidence? When you consciously set goals for yourself, you are more confident about making things happen, and you are more effective in life. Whether in the workplace, the classroom, or in personal life, goal-setting people are just more confident in themselves. As a result they …
- tend to set higher goals for themselves
- are more committed to achieving them than when someone else assigns the goal
- are more positive when they don’t actually get what they want
- find and use more creative, effective strategies to achieve what they want
- have less negative thoughts about their personal strivings and potential than when they don’t set goals
- respond more positively to evaluation (including negative feedback) than people whose goals are set for them. (Locke & Latham, 1990; Seijts & B. W. Latham, 2001).
Motivation is that powerful something inside you that drives you to get started and follow through with your ideas, projects and tasks. The choice and skill to set realistic, achievable goals increases a person’s motivation.
For some reason, consciously making the choice to set a goal makes your intention feel more exciting, and more do-able. In fact, it seems that setting and achieving one set of realistic goals leads to stretching the goal a bit, motivating a yoy to achieve higher goals than you might have thought possible.
Hope and Optimism
Having goals gives you something to focus your energy, your mind, and your emotions on. Setting goals gives people a reason go roll over and get out of bed in the morning. Goals give you a sense of control over your own life and create a sense of life purpose!
Why is Goal Setting Important to Your Life?
As you can see from this list, setting goals goes a long way toward making positive changes in your life and toward creating abundance and prosperity.