Why Setting Daily Goals is So Good For You

Why Setting Daily Goals is So Good For You

by | Dec 2, 2021

Imagine having to shoot an arrow without being given a target. Where would you aim? And if you did aim at some random thing, why would you aim there? And what would the purpose be? This is a literal example of what life is like without a goal or target in mind. At the end of the day, goals are what give you direction and motivation in life. They are a challenge set to excite you and prove to yourself that you can see things through to the end. Small, achievable goals give you a sense of direction by allowing you to hit your target and feel accomplished.

When setting goals for yourself, it is important to write them down. This provides a fixed and tangible endpoint for you to aspire to, and allows you to measure your progress more easily. It is a good idea to invest in a working diary or journal, so you can set yourself a certain number of tasks to complete per day, week, or month.

When setting goals, it is also important to keep your sights on the near future. Try not to set abstract goals to be completed ‘in a year from now’ – it is much more likely that we will lose our motivation if the end seems too far away. You could set yourself really simple goals such as – wash the car – spend an hour running – call five clients that day.

Whatever your tasks are, if you write them down at the beginning of the day, you are setting an intention. Then at the end of the day, week, or month, you can tick those things off the list. This gives you the most incredible sense of achievement, making you feel good – and then incentivising you to do more.

By setting goals, you give yourself mental boundaries too. When you have a certain target in mind, you automatically stay away from certain distractions and stay focused on the goal. Having a tangible accomplishment to direct your focus towards has a subtle and automatic effect on your brain, making you less likely to divert from the task at hand. Take this as an example – your friend is leaving for Italy at 7 pm, and you want to see her off at the airport. You know it takes 20 minutes to get to the airport, so you set off at 6 pm to give you plenty of time to say goodbye. You are significantly less likely to get distracted on the way, lest you divert from your goal and have less time to see your friend. If you have a time- sensitive goal such as this, your focus narrows into completing that goal – it encourages you to stay locked in. You subconsciously keep away from distractions and your focus remains only on the goal.

When I set myself a goal, what helps me more than anything is being held accountable. Having someone or something to hold you accountable for your tasks means that you are much more likely to complete them and less likely to procrastinate or quit. For example, if I arrange a run,

I always ask a friend to meet me, so the temptation of skipping the run and staying in bed just cannot happen! This is known as having an ‘accountability partner’ and is a very effective way to increase productivity. There are also several accountability apps that you can use if you do not wish to ask a friend or family member.

These activities help you to overcome procrastination and laziness, but keep in mind that long- term goals can actually promote procrastination. Most people aren’t good with a deadline that is three months away. So, whenever you’re given a long-term goal, break it down into several short-term goals so you can complete a chunk of the larger long-term goal every week or every day. It’s never too late to set a goal either…so why not start tomorrow?

As the legendary author and playwright Sidney Howard once said: “One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.”

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