It’s that time of the year, should I even bother about setting goals?

It is the beginning of the year, and you may have many ‘must do’s, ‘stop doing’ and ‘need to haves’ on your list for 2022. While we ponder on these most of the time, it can be a great challenge to put them down in writing. Like the younger me, you may suffer from commitment phobia or unconsciously avoid specificity because you want to offer yourself options. That very same fear is often why we end up achieving nothing. Now, I understand you may have done goal setting a couple of times before; I do encourage you to try again. I even commit to checking-in to remind you how important it is to evaluate where you are against your plan.

You may not be sure of all the elements of your goals upfront, but it is vital to put down what you know for sure. You can at least have a working list that you can add to as you go along. Goal setting is quite effective for children too, and the sooner they get into this habit, the better it prepares them for life ahead. My son is turning 13 this year, and he, with dedication, lists his goals at the back of his room door. He aced all of the previous years’ goals.

Goal-setting can be a robust process and brings a level of clarity about your ideal future; please note, ‘ideal.’ For leaders, it helps them to remain focused on what truly matters. It also allows employees to do likewise. A well-communicated plan motivates employees and sets the organization’s pace and direction. Translating a big, audacious vision into the company’s day-to-day work is one of the greatest attributes that can immensely serve you as a leader.

The critical part is designing an action plan to get you there and then launching into action. Lastly, you have to persist until you reach your destination. You have to see the vision into reality. When you set goals, you put a map to live by, and each day is lived with a sense of clarity, purpose, and passion.

I will help you with setting your goals in my next article. For now, I want to assure you that, done correctly, this process will help you zoom in on where you should be, where and what you need to invest your time in, and remove the urge to waste valuable resources. It will also provide a stable foundation, and a sense of direction for where you want to end up at the end of the measured time. Think of goal-setting as your navigation system. Your goals will help you from distraction by other people’s agendas and expectations. The most crucial part about goal-setting is what it makes out of you as you painstakingly seek to achieve them.

Here is how goal setting will help you:

  1. Focuses your actions

When your goals are clear, you laser-focus your actions towards getting you closer to the plan. You can also reflect on the gaps, determining the required towards attaining your goals. Some of your dreams will be short-term, while others will be futuristic. That is normal. What is essential is to write down goals that are important to you. Secondly, assign priorities to focus your attention on.

2. Gives you an indication of what is important or not

Of course, you will receive many invitations to join causes that are interesting but not aligned with your goals. They may seem exciting, leaving you with a sense of ‘missing out’. Goals are an excellent compass to providing you with red flags when straying. They also provide you with a perfect excuse for refusing some of these offers.

3. Helps you build a roadmap.

Goal setting can help you build a road-map for achieving what you have set out to do. What you are aiming for may not be within your immediate capabilities. Setting goals will provide you with questions about the required capabilities and resources needed to achieve these goals. Then set out to source these.

4. Helps you to prune what you no longer need

Clear goals will help you remove what you no longer need to spend energy on and prune it.

It is a continuous long-term process and may require updates and revision as some priorities change. It is important to expect that there may be challenges, and when they appear, do not quit or abandon ship as this is part of the process. Constantly remind yourself of the ultimate big-picture, realizing that obstacles are part of the journey.

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Phumza Dyani SHE-UNLEASHED

Phumza Dyani SHE-UNLEASHED

A Marketer, with an absolute passion for new challenges. An advocate for inclusive societies and work places. Love for Technology and innovation.