The moment you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. Aim at nothing, and you’ll hit it every time you try to shoot it! Having no goal in life is catastrophic. It is exactly equated with getting on a journey to nowhere or shooting at nothing. You gain nothing out of it all.
Worse still, in the context of leadership, it is suicidal to lead with no goal, aiming at nothing specific to be accomplished. If a blind person leads other blind people, all will fall in a pit. If a leader goes to a place he/she does not know about, the people he/she is leading are even in much more danger than those without a leader! All leadership must be goal-oriented.
A goal is something you want to achieve in future; something you would like to accomplish in life.
Goal Setting on the other hand, is a conscious, deliberate effort to take charge and plan for what will be accomplished in your life; an act of strategizing to prevent potential / predictable problems in future; an act of preventing the firefighters’ mode of living: reacting to challenges in life, rather than planning to prevent them.
Is Goal Setting of any Importance?
- Goals give direction: They answer the question, ‘where am I going to?’ Goals show you “where”.
- Goals promote enthusiasm: Challenging goals make you more motivated and enthusiastic to work towards their achievement. Seeing yourself on a road of achieving your set goals gives you a deep sense of fulfillment, joy, and achievement.
- Goals give a results-orientation: You get concerned about accomplishment and progress. You get focused on results. What matters is not how much you do (activity) but how much you get done (results). Many leaders get very busy creating no impact. Setting your goals makes the expected result of your efforts clear.
- Goals give organization to your life: You know your priorities i.e. what’s important to you in regard to where you are going in life. As a result, you live an organized life because you know where to put your energies.
- Goals help in self evaluation: When you have goals to achieve in life, you are able to evaluate your performance and measure how far you have come along your journey.
- Goals reduce the dependence syndrome: They help you take responsibility for your own life and actions. You no longer need to depend on anybody for your life’s plans and targets.
Nature of goals:
Your goals must be both:
- smart and
1. Specific: They should be clear and not vague e.g. “I want to be good by the end of next week!” What is ‘good’?
2. Measurable: They should be quantifiable i.e. measurable e.g. “I am aiming at being among the top students in class at the end of this term.” What is ‘top’? Maybe, say that you want to be among the top 10 students. This is measurable.
3. Achievable: Though they’re supposed to be challenging, they should be achievable e.g. “My goal is to be a Professor of Medicine by the end of Senior Six!” Who has ever achieved this? Anyway, does it have sense in it, given the education systems world over?
4. Realistic: They should not be mere impossible daydreams that have nothing real about them e.g. “My goal is to be the oldest President in the world by the age of 20!” his is self defeating!
5. Time Bound: They should be given time boundaries e.g. “By the end of this year, or month, …”
If your goals are to be balanced, they should touch each sector or aspect of your life. You should therefore, have / set:
- Health Goals (Eating Habits, Fitness And Exercise, Medical Check Ups, Etc)
- Social Goals (Sharing Knowledge With Others, Helping, Community Work, Etc)
- Recreational Goals (Relaxation, Leisure, Vacations, Etc)
- Personal Interests (Hobbies, Magazine, Etc)
- Spiritual Goals (Prayer, Bible Reading Life, Etc)
- Educational Goals (Study And Career, Professionalism, Etc)
- Family Goals (Marriage, Budgeting, Children, Etc)
- Financial / Business Goals (Financial Education, Earning, Saving, Donating, Etc)
Necessities for goal achievement:
- First decide on what you want to do with the rest of your life, and set relevant goals
- Get the right knowledge about what you want to achieve. Knowledge, remember, is power.
- Make sure that you get the necessary skills. This is the practical know-how.
- Crystallize your thinking and have the right positive attitude. Don’t forget that your excellence in anything begins with your attitude. If you think you ca, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right. You’re neither a failure nor a success until you think so!
- Don’t wait for the so-called “perfect conditions;” begin to act on your goals from wherever you are, with whatever you have. You’ll pick momentum along the way.
- Let prayer be your greatest tool (Jeremiah 29:11; 33:3). Divine intervention is crucial in goal achievement.
To be successful in life, you must think and do something about Goal Setting. You must be proactive and future-oriented: be interested in the future because that’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life! You must escape from past-orientated mode of living (cf. Isaiah 43:18ff). Forget the past failures. You must not wait for things to happen to you; but take charge, and make them happen. You must have clear goals: “What do I want to achieve?” You must develop plans & schedules for achieving goals because faith without action is dead. You must assume responsibility for implementing your plans. Spoon feeding is babyish. You must persevere in the face of setbacks: quitters never win; winners never quit!
In all, remember that good choices lead to better results, while poor choices lead to wasted time and energy. Choose this day to set goals because there is power in setting goals. Above all, wake up and implement your goals. The first step to achieving your dreams is to first wake up!