Why Set Goals

This is the first chapter of nine included in my free, full version program, Goals! An Interactive Guide. The other chapters will be added in blog entries for future use.

Goals! An Interactive Guide Chapters:

Chapter One: Why Set Goals?

Chapter Two: Decide Exactly What You Want

Chapter Three: Create an Unstoppable Drive

Chapter Four: Get Organized

Chapter Five: Stay Flexible

Chapter Six: Overcoming Obstacles

Chapter Seven: Review Your Progress

Chapter Eight: Velocity-Based Goal Setting

Chapter Nine: Operate From the Highest Level

What makes some people successful? Why do some people seem to have the best careers, relationships and health while others suffer in dull jobs, dead relationships with misery and illness? Why do some people seem to overflow with happiness and enthusiasm, while others struggle just to get out of bed? Why can some people make incredible contributions and achievements in their life while others need the support of government and charity just to survive?

Perhaps these people we just given more resources, education or support than others? Why then is the statistic that an immigrant to America is four times more likely to be a self-made millionaire than an American citizen? How could someone who comes here be four times more likely to succeed even when they have less resources and often don’t even speak English as a first language?

Maybe these people just started really early? What about Colonel Sanders? Here is a man who was living on social security in his mid-sixties before he achieved the success he is now famous for. A man whose only asset was a chicken recipe can hardly be put into the category of people who were given a lot of resources.

It might just be luck then. Perhaps life is really a roll of the dice. Some people stumble upon an opportunity and that must be the reason they are successful. Surely these stories of triumph and overcoming adversary are just their way of taking credit for what was really just random chance. If you believe this, then I’d have to agree with you. Successful people are lucky, but the difference is that successful people make their own luck when none exists.

If success doesn’t rely on any of these factors, then what does determine success?

Bunker Hunt, a man who became a multi-billionaire from a cotton farmer said that achieving success was actually fairly easy. He said it only required two things. First, you must decide exactly what it is you want and the price you will need to pay to get it. Second, you must resolve to pay that price.

In other words, success isn’t about resources, age or luck. Success is about clarity and commitment. Knowing exactly what you want, determining how you are going to get it and then resolving to do so is the fundamental key for any form of achievement. This exact process is described in the skill of goal setting.

What is Goal Setting?

Goal setting is a procedure that can allow you to harness this power to take control of your life. Like a laser beam, goal setting allows you to focus on what is really important to you so you can assure results. There are three key elements to all goals: written, objective and a deadline.

Written

As Steve Pavlina says, “a goal that is not committed to writing is just a fantasy.” Any goals that you set need to be committed to paper. Having an idea or wish in your head will not keep you going in tough times. It is far to easy to forget, dismiss or neglect any goal that is not written down. Like an anchor, writing your goals keeps the ship from drifting off-course.

Written goals also create additional clarity. Chances are you have a lot of vague fantasies, dreams and ideas that you are unable to articulate inside your head. Writing down your goals turns that vague and imprecise image into something specific and meaningful. Solutions cannot be created until the problem is defined. Similarly, a goal cannot be successfully achieved until your desire is definable.

As an exercise in this practice, write out one of your desires in the form box here. Just write a few sentences about your desire. I want you to be actively involved in the process of goal setting, so you need to experience it firsthand. Please take this step before continuing to read!


  • http://radicalhop.com/blog Peter Kua

    Great article Scott. “A vision without action is HALLUCINATION” :) There are thousands of thoughts and distractions in our daily life, and if we don’t have written goals to guide us, we’ll be forever floating aimlessly in an open sea.

  • http://www.scotthyoung.com Scott Young

    Great thoughts.

  • http://www.airjair.com Reality Bytes

    I know for a fact this works. It actually takes a lot of practice! As I get older I make better “dreams”, get better at defining them, breaking them down, and achieving them!

  • http://www.scotthyoung.com Scott Young

    Reality Bytes – Great to hear it. I often hear how it is much harder to dream big when you get more experienced and jaded about the world. Good to see that this generalization isn’t always true!

  • http://n/a Claudia

    Thanks It helped me to really get my thoughts adjusted to thinking in format of a goal

  • ChrisR

    Wow. This may be quit some time after the article was originally put up, but this is the first time I’ve read it as I just decided on a whim to try to find a way to motivate myself, which led me to goals and accomplishing them, which brought me here.

    My goal is to find a way to complete some effective study time. I’ve set the goal to just do 1 hour of homework and 1 hour of study time every night of the work week. I’ve given myself a week to do this. Writing all of this down has felt really good, and I hope it all works out for me, since I’ve had trouble with studying for a long time now.

    Going to continue reading this series, just wanted to say thanks

  • http://www.scotthyoung.com Scott Young

    Thanks ChrisR.

    You might be interested in checking out my Habitual Mastery series from the sidebar.

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  • Rebecca

    WHY NOT

  • Pradeep M

    Hi man read your posts and really felt a change in what i was doing!!!! thanx a lot. But need some help to change myself…. I need some help fro changing my behaviour…. plzzzzzzzzzz help me

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