Why is Goal Setting Important? Let’s Talk About Life, Business, and Sport!
So, why is setting goals and priorities important? Setting goals and objectives are important for a variety of reasons. From goal setting in business to setting goals in life, goal setting allows for us to focus our energies to be the most efficient and productive.
Now, the definition of “productive” changes for whoever is setting the goals – which is why it’s important to understand why setting goals is key in a variety of areas. We’ll walk you through a few goal-setting examples to demonstrate not only why to set goals but how to set proper goals to be able to achieve them!
Why is Goal Setting Important in Life?
Goal setting isn’t something that only businesses or athletes do. Thinking broadly, goal setting is very important in our everyday lives and over the course of a lifetime. Goals can fill your life with purpose and direction.
It’s important to remember that goal setting isn’t easy. People generally set out to do something believing that they can – only to find out they were unprepared, not ready, or unable to do so. Not thinking things through can really set yourself up for failure! If you want to achieve something, setting the right goals is a good way to ensure you succeed.
Unlike in a company with a boss or a coach in a sport, you’ll have different support people around you to cheer you on as you strive to meet your goals. Use their energy and guidance. If you are finding it difficult, you can always adjust your goals by using the people around you for their feedback. If you have the dedication and the willpower, you’ll be able to achieve the outcomes you want. However, you must set goals that can help direct you there!
Life goals can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. For us at Board and Life, we want to become better writers and have tips and tricks to get there. Whatever your reasons and motivations are, it’s important to think about how you set those goals. Often, setting the right goal can give you a great foundation for success in achieving it.
Goal Setting Using the SMART Principle
Before we dive into the different areas where goal setting is important – and why – we should address the how to set effective goals. When you’re setting any types of goals, it’s important to make sure that they follow the SMART principle.
The letters of S.M.A.R.T all stand for something that you need to remember when you’re beginning to set goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based. We will dive into the SMART principle in another article. For now, keep in mind that there is a framework that is used for settings great goals that you can achieve!
Why is Goal Setting Important in Business?
One of the most popular places where goal setting is talked about is in business. After all, without measurable goals, how do you know which direction the company is heading or how much they are earning/losing?
Of all the different sectors in business, it is very often used in marketing. There are plenty of marketing strategies that set goals for sales and other key performance indicators (KPIs). However, marketing goals can be hard to set, track, and achieve. This is because there are many measurable outcomes when it comes to “doing marketing” for a business – and often the one you want to understand and measure isn’t the one you can come to sound conclusions about!
It’s important to remember that the goals of your individual employees can be linked to your business goals. In fact, achieving one set of goals can usually influence the achievement of the other.
Goal Setting for Productivity & Skill Development
Goal setting in the workplace, in general, is also important for productivity as well as skill development. Obviously, different companies in different industries will set very different goals for their employees, executives, and company as a whole. That said, no goals are any less important compared to another set of goals – if the goals set are deemed to be important.
For example, a commercial factory that manufactures car parts might have productivity goals for its employees on the line and works on building up the workers’ skill set to achieve those numbers. In a smaller tech startup, founders and their early team members might set goals for quick growth, early decision-making, and skill development to be able to execute more tasks early on in the life of the young company. Both sets of goals are important – but they differ greatly due to their context!
In the end, business goals are important for direction. It’s hard for anyone to steer a ship when they have no idea where they are supposed to be heading!
Why is Goal Setting Important in Organizations?
In general, any organization – whether it’s an NGO or a small community group – should set goals. Goals help to guide activities and keep organizations accountable for their efforts. Usually, goals can be outlines to plan events, activities, and even the simple day-to-day tasks for organization members. Overall, goals give people a blueprint for what the organization should be doing not just from the day-to-day but even on a year-to-year basis.
There is no doubt that goal setting in an organization can be a tricky thing to do. Often, organizations have to answer to multiple stakeholders who have differing opinions about the goals that need to be set and met. Luckily, this is when an organization can refer back to their mission and vision statements for overall guidance. If your organization doesn’t have a mission or vision statement – also a set of values – then perhaps consider making one as soon as possible. It can be a great exercise in ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Why is Goal Setting Important for Students?
Goal setting for students takes a slightly different form than for a business or your life goals. Of course, they are similar because student goals can provide direction. However, student goals are typically based on academic performance. This is a great place to start because academic performance is very measurable and – like in sport – you know whether you achieved the grade or not.
Setting goals as a student can help you channel your energies into your studies more effectively. For example, if you know you want to achieve a high mark in a specific class (and you don’t really like that class) you know that you will probably have to work/study harder to make sure you achieve that goal.
On the other hand, if there is a class that you naturally do well in, you know that you won’t have to work as hard at it. You will still try hard to meet your term goals, but you’ll be better prepared to divide your time and focus on the things that need more attention. This is just simple prioritization – and it’s a skill that takes time to develop!
Why is Goal Setting Important in Sport?
Another area where goal setting is super important is in sports. Goal setting also lends itself well to sports outcomes because they are often measurable and tangible outcomes. You can easily set a goal and know whether you’ve achieved it or not. Did you match or beat the pace you set for running that half marathon? It’s a yes or no questions as to whether you achieved the goal.
As for setting the goal in the first place, there are different types of goals that you can plan. They are usually broken down into three groups outcome, process, and performance goals. In this scenario, process and performance goals will lead to your outcome goals.
Goal Setting for Sports Training & Planning
Once you have set a SMART goal – you can plan your day to day training around it. If you know how much faster you need to be or how much you have to lift, you can even set smaller goals to work up to the main goal. The idea of progression is key here – with the overall goal achievement being the ultimate goal.
If you don’t have a goal, then you are just training for the sake of it. If you don’t test and measure your outcomes, it’s likely that you’ll lose motivation sooner or later.
Benefits of Setting Goals in Sports
Goal setting in sport is also important because it helps keep you accountable for coaching and training staff. When everyone is on the same page about what needs to be achieved, you’ll receive help and other impacts from outside sources. These inputs (from people that know the sport best) can be vital to your success in achieving goals that are important to you in your sport. So, goals setting in sport is VERY important!
And there you have it – some great commentary on why goal setting is important. Still not convinced? Take a look at anyone you deem to be successful. There is a chance that they set goals early in on their development to become the person you idolize. Goals drive us, focus us, and let us know when we are progressing, If we aren’t, they let us know so that we can shift the course of our actions – in life, business, sports, whatever!
We’re big into setting goals for ourselves – like blogging goals – and we’re going to write lots more on this subject. We feel it’s super important in an increasingly entrepreneurial landscape. Like the article? Share it on Twitter and tag us @boardandlife so we can see and others can weigh in on the conversation!
As always, Stay Curious,
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