Why Goals Are Powerful Tools for Greater Clarity
The Tremendous Power of Clarity
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, clarity is paramount. Being consistent and staying on track is largely a result of being unambiguous about your life’s direction and purpose. We all need a personal mission statement that drives us. The good news is, getting clarity is easy with a little daily effort.
Most importantly, having clear goals is critical. I like to use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting system designed by Paul J. Meyer:
Since implementing his methodology my life has benefited greatly; my income has increased, my business has taken off and my relationships have even improved.
Your brain is much more capable of finding solutions if the objective is obvious. You’ll also stay on track more easily if the end result is clear. If you don’t have a specific endpoint in mind, you could end up anywhere. Like living your life by default.
Everyone knows that goals are critical, but few people have them. Largely, this is because you can go from kindergarten through college and never be taught an effective goal-setting process. Those who know what they want consistently outperform those who don’t by a large margin.
Another issue with setting goals is the fear of making a mistake. But here’s the secret: you can’t make a mistake! Doing the “wrong” thing is better than doing nothing. At least if you choose the wrong path, you end up with something, its progress. You can always choose something else. If you do nothing, you end up with nothing.
As Teddy Roosevelt put it, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Many people confuse having a direction with having a goal. For example:
“I want to make more money” is not a goal. “I want to make an extra $50,000 in the next 365 days” is.
East is a direction. The tip of the Empire State Building is a specific destination.
So how can you be sure you’re setting effective goals?
Goals should have a yes/no quality to them. If someone asked you if you’d reached your goal, you should always be able to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without any doubt. That means that your goals have to be measurable and specific.
A good goal would be, “I want to earn $10,000 by July 1, 2018.” The amount is specific, and there is a deadline. It is also measurable.
Write down your goals and intentions. There’s a magical experience around writing something down. We think thousands of different things every day – so many things, in fact, that stuff tends to get lost. Writing your goal make it distinct from all the other things you have going on. It provides relevance and importance.
Writing your goals also gives you greater options than mere daydreaming. You can actually read your goal out loud. Thinking is good, but thinking and reading are way better. Better still is thinking, reading, and writing. Read and write your goal every day. This practice helps reinforce and solidify your intentions.
Clarity is really just a choice. To simply wake up and see what the day brings, is that really even living? Moving through life on auto-pilot… doesn’t sound very exciting.
To have clarity means that, to a large extent, you’ve already decided what you’re going to do that day. When you know where you want to end up, you’ll easily figure out which direction to go. And when you do get to that desired locale – the feeling is amazing!
Another potential roadblock is to avoid making a choice because you want to keep your options open. But what’s the real result of this decision? If you always keep your options open, you’ll never choose any direction in your life. You’ll merely be part of everyone else’s goals. That’s kind of lame and below your true potential.
Clarity is critical to living your life on purpose, and it requires a daily decision. Implement the ideas above and see how much clarity you can get. With every day, you’ll be closer to living the life you’ve imagined.