goals setting

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

-Yogi Berra

The New Year is already in full swing. Are you currently living out your resolutions? Or are you still trying to figure out what you should focus on achieving both in your personal life and for your business this year?

If you still haven’t figured out your goals for this year, relax, there’s still time. However, you’ll want to start now otherwise you risk skipping the opportunity to cerate actionable goals for yourself this year. Here are five of the top reasons why goal setting works.

1). Neural linguistic programming (NLP)

Neural linguistic programming, or NLP, is the method of influencing brain behavior (neuro) through the use of language (linguistic) to enable a person to “recode” the way their brain responds to stimuli (programming) and manifest new and better behaviors.

A great example of NLP in action is from a Harvard MBA study. Students were asked whether or not they had set clear, written goals for their future, and whether they had plans in place to transform these goals into realities. Only 3% of these students had written goals they planned to accomplish, 13% had goals in mind but had not gone as far to write them down and 84% had not yet established goals. 10 years down the road the same group of students were interviewed again. The 13% of the class with unwritten goals earned about twice the amount of the 84% who did not have goals. Even more astonishing is that the 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class combined.

Lesson learned here? Create goals, write them down and make an adamant effort to achieve them.

2).Keeps you disciplined

If you don’t actually write down your goals so you can visualize them, it becomes a lot easier to come up with either goals that won’t challenge you or goals that are far too unachievable. Writing down your goals, and following a thorough process to analyze them will force you to assess whether your goals are comfortable, achievable or aspirational.

Stay away from comfortable goals. These are goals that are easy to achieve and are probably going to happen at some point in the year without much effort on your end. At the same time, you want to also avoid aspirational goals, or goals that are up in the stars and if you’re gauging all of our success on it, there will likely be some misses and disappointment. Focus on goals that are achievable. These are goals with hard work and dedication, can become a reality.

3). Makes you accountable

The New Year is here, but that doesn’t automatically mean that a new you has arrived as well. It’s easy to fall into old habits, such as finding yourself too busy to focus on prior commitments or ambitions. Don’t let that happen to you. Create solid goals for yourself in an effort to create accountability for yourself as well. Hold yourself accountable each and everyday, and no matter how busy you get or how man fires pop up, don’t lose focus on your important goals.

4). Eliminates distractions

What we don’t do matters just as much as what we do. As new opportunities and potential commitments come up, use your goals as a prioritization filter for these new opportunities. You need to have this type of filter in place to understand if the activities you’re doing everyday are working towards helping you achieve your goals, or prohibiting you from achieving them. Every day you should ask yourself if you’re focusing a majority of your time on tasks that align with your goals. You’ll find that some do not and this will make it much easier to say no when it’s necessary.

5). Lays the foundation for a plan

A wise man once said, “A goal without a plan is just a dream.” Similar to writing down your goals, you need to also have a formulated plan in place on how and what you’re actually going to need to do to achieve that goal. You will never be able to determine your success if you don’t have a plan in place to get you there.

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