Goal-Setting Refresher
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Have you set--or are you setting--goals for this new year? This week we're talking about goals and how to focus them based on what's most important and what we would like to accomplish in the new year. Goal-setting refresher: It's possible to accomplish our goals without overwhelming ourselves or pulling us away from daily priorities As we’re starting out this new year, a lot of us have been thinking about goals for the coming year. We’ve talked about goal-setting in the past (TPW223, 285, 379, and a series on goal-setting way back at the beginning, episodes 004, 005, and 006). It’s been a while, though, since we talked about the basics of goal-setting, so for my sake as much as yours thought I’d do a little refresher. What is a goal? The Oxford dictionary defines a goal as  “the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”  Dictionary.com defines it as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end”  It may be helpful to think of it in terms of a sports analogy, where the goal is the target, the place you’re trying to get the ball in order to score a point. On the soccer field or the hockey rink, the goal gives the players the point of focus for what they’re doing.  “A goal is an object or an aim that we wish to achieve through action.” [from Importance of Goal Setting]  I like this--a goal is something we want to achieve through action. A goal guides what we do by providing a target or focus. Why do we set goals? What is the benefit? Goals provide a focus for our energy, attention, and action each day. When we set goals, whether for a day, a year, or a life, we are being proactive--intentionally choosing--rather than simply wandering through our days reacting to what the world throws at us. Goals make our activity productive and purposeful--they are the difference between being busy and being productive. They provide motivation, both as a target and as we see our progress.  “Why are goals important? Simply put, they allow you to focus your attention on an objective and measure your progress along the way.” [from 5 Reasons Why You Should Set Goals]   This article also says: “The real value of setting goals is the focus it affords you in a world otherwise chock-full of distractions. With a clear idea of your objectives, you’ll have more capacity to home in on your target. If you veer off-course, you’ll have your goals written down to help bring you back to center.” I thought an article titled 7 Reasons You Should Set Goals provided some food for thought about the value of goal-setting: “Know that all things are created twice: first in the mind, then in the physical world. The mental creation happens when you set your goals.
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