How Goals Could Change Your Life?
The Power of Goals
Don’t you like reading success stories? They inspire us, motivate us, and push us to change ourselves to make the ‘new us’. One of the greatest examples of a ‘success story’ is the British author, philanthropist, and business magnate Richard Branson, who famously made a quote that gives us the recipe for success:
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision, and change.”
As said in the above quote, the only thing that can bring anyone to the road to success is – change. One cannot progress in life unless he changes his way of life, his thinking, and his attitude. If we keep doing things the old way, we will get what we have been getting in life. The perfect change in life comes from cutting the ‘old’, and bringing in the ‘new’. What can help you achieve it?
The answer is - Goals.
Goals motivate us to make better changes
Let’s understand in detail how goals help us change.
ALSO READ: Should I Set Goals?
#1: Goals help you chalk out a clear direction
Do you know the three things that help us love and live our lives? They are focus, purpose, and priority. Unless we have these, we will be drifting away in this world, like a rudderless boat that drifts about in the wind. The last thing that anyone would want is spending energy in going around in circles and reaching nowhere.
The biggest hurdle that keeps us from keeping goals or pursuing them is the waiting factor. What does it mean? It simply refers to a mental attitude of waiting for the right time, because of the feeling of ‘not being ready yet’. No one needs to wait till the beginning of the year to get the motivation of keeping mammoth resolutions, which don’t work out well.
How can goals give you the needed direction?
Goals motivate you
Wendy Osefo, a professor of John Hopkins University says that goals keep you motivated through every journey in life. Without them, you can reach a professional or personal standstill in life. Wendy also made a useful comment: “You want to keep pushing yourself to reach your full potential. [Setting goals keeps you] motivated to achieve more, depending on what is important to you. You don’t want to get stuck on a hamster wheel at work.” Read here in full about why you don’t need to wait for the New Year to start keeping goals.
Goals give you a target to aim
Life without a goal is like having a bow and an arrow without a target. Where would you shoot? Goals give you the aim to focus your energy, talents, resources, and abilities. When you have a sense of direction, your mind gets the power to focus on that particular direction and makes it possible for you to hit your target and achieve your goal. All of this becomes possible without stress, strain, and pain.
How can you keep such goals?
The simplest way of keeping goals is the P-V-G-A formula. Let’s understand how it works.
- P stands for Purpose – What is your purpose?
- V stands for Value – What value does it bring?
- G stands for Goal – What goal should you keep?
- A stands for Action – What action should I take?
Now let’s take 1 example to see how we can use the PVG formula.
- Purpose: To reduce weight
- Value: To become healthy and happy
- Goal: To reduce 10 pounds in 6 months
- Action: Cut down on carbs, eat more proteins, etc. (can be more specific)
Below the action, you can draw a detailed table of your plan and draw date columns to update your progress.
The above formula can be used to keep any goal in life, and the action plan can be spelled out clearly as per the situation. If you keep a journal and write down each goal in the PVGA format, you will also be able to measure it over time.
In this way, goals will give you a clear direction on what to aim for to reach your purpose in life. Now’s let’s discuss how goals can keep your path clear from distractions.
#2 Goals keep chaos away from your life
David Wenham wrote a meaningful quote which fits well for all of us:
“My life at the moment is a bit like my wardrobe. Organized Chaos.”
As the quote implies, one thing that we can never run away from is – chaos. Many of us have learned to fight it, struggle with it, embrace it, and then live with it. Many of us have even learned to find the calm within the chaos by successfully accepting it as a part of our life. While it’s true that we cannot make our life chaos-free, we need to remember that not all chaos is healthy. Keep goals help us keep much of the chaos – the harmful ones, away from our life.
How does it keep chaos away?
Goals let you plan
What comes first? Goals or chaos? Many people have started keeping goals after they have been through a lot of chaos in life, while many people have faced chaos while fulfilling their goals. No matter when chaos hits you, if you have clear goals in mind, it becomes easy to plan and stick to your goals.
Goals let you adjust
If you have the habit of keeping micro and macro goals, you will also be in a better position to adapt or rewire your goals. When you have everything clearly outlined it becomes easier to make way for contingencies, or damage-control, which is not possible if you don’t have goals.
What can you do to keep away chaos, or at least keep it to a minimum level? We strongly recommend the following two techniques:
Use the 5-minute-rewire technique:
The first thing that hits hard during chaos is our focus. Without focus, achieving any goal is impossible. So if you are hit by chaos or unexpected events, don’t panic or develop a narrow vision, but be focused. Sit focused for 5 minutes and reflect on your next course of action. If possible, we recommend that you write down your thoughts and your action plan and work hard on it. Use those 5 minutes to focus on the solution, not the problem.
Use the ‘If-then’ technique:
In this article, James Clear, a Writer, Entrepreneur, and Behavior Science Expert explains the useful concept of the ‘if-then’ technique. This technique is useful to plan for chaos and develop alternative strategies to keep up with your goals. The formula is completing the following phrase:
“If [something unexpected], then [your response].”
If I can’t make it to the music class during my lunch break, then I’ll take the online class this afternoon.
A great tool to help you set up your daily journal to use the above two techniques is Habitify. This platform helps you to put together a list of activities to create routines that you can check on daily. With multiple reminders, you are never lost and the app also helps you track your progress daily.
Applying the above two techniques with Habitify will help you plan for chaos and will help you remain calm and make the best of your situation. Now let’s discuss the final aspect, i.e. how goals make you more productive.
#3 Goals make you more productive
According to a study conducted by Sven Asmus, Florian Karl et al, goal-setting can increase the performance of an industrial worker by 12 to 15% (even without any financial incentive) compared to a situation where no clear goals are defined. There are numerous studies where researchers have connected goal-setting to performance and this holds true for all aspects of our life.
How can goals make us productive?
Goals keep us regulated
Goals that are clear and specific help you in implementing decisions faster, and allocate resources smartly. Goals act as guidelines to keep your plans in check and help you pool all your resources to your desired outcome. With a plan, you are motivated to push harder. In a sense, your goals regulate your resources, energy, and focus to lead you swiftly to your purpose.
Goals help you measure performance
When you have a goal in place, you can measure your existing performance with it to understand where you have reached. Without a specific target, it is impossible to measure productivity and efficiency. There is no real way to identify performance or quantify your efforts without keeping a target. If there is no goal, a person may find himself needlessly slogging and risking stress and burnout.
How can you keep goals to improve productivity?
Rather than keeping any type of goal, or keeping a goal for the heck of it, keep SMART goals.
The idea behind SMART goals was conceived by the management guru Peter Drucker, and then explained and expanded by many different management experts. The basic premise that will help you keep productive goals is:
S: Specific: Is your goal simple, clear, and specific?
M: Measurable: Can you measure your goal, or is it too general?
A: Achievable: Is your goal just wishful thinking, or is it practical?
R: Relevant: Is your goal in line with your purpose or values? Is it reasonable?
T: Time-Bound: Is your goal time-sensitive and time-bound?
When you use the SMART methodology of keeping goals, you will find that achieving your goals is simpler than you thought, and you will have additional motivation to fulfill it. Without having SMART goals, any plan or purpose can easily become unrealistic, vague, and ambiguous. Even the most difficult goal can become achievable if we use this simple tool.
With the Habitify app, you can develop the routine for productive work and join the growing community of more than 1 million habit builders.
Let Joe Vitale, a spiritual teacher, and a well-known author summarize what we have discussed so far:
“A goal should scare you a little, & excite you a lot.”
The only thing that will set you apart from others in the world is your determination to convert your vision into reality. This can only happen when you set goals so high that you end up challenging yourself to achieve it. The best way is to choose the right tools and develop the right habits that motivates you to keep going.
If you set an unwavering aim, the determination will follow and what you achieve will be nothing but amazing!
Try out Habitify to make your routines stick and follow through with your goals.