Author Benjamin Mays wrote that “the tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” Think about this for a moment. Have you ever known someone who lacks ambition, is content in their current state, and never changes? While feeling safe and secure in our environment is nice, not wanting to move forward is a big mistake. If you’re going to feel fulfilled and live a life of value, you must set goals. Even if you don’t reach them, failure, too, can enrich your life.
From having an increased sense of purpose to experiencing direction and clarity in decision making, our team at West Fifth Apartments understands that the benefits of goal setting are endless.
Goals provide you with a clear direction. Whether your goal is to start a family, purchase a home, or land a promotion, you must maintain perspective on the bigger picture. Think of it like this: You are an avatar in a video game tasked with the mission to reach a destination. Along the way, you might face defeat, make mistakes, stumble down the wrong path, and have to fight to get yourself back on track. Eventually, however, with enough perseverance, you reach your destination and win the game. Life is quite similar. We’re human beings who make mistakes and face adversity. By setting goals that bring you closer to your final destination, you give yourself a clear sense of direction.
By definition, purpose is the reason for which something exists. It is also one of the defining characteristics of human beings. “Human beings crave purpose and suffer serious psychological difficulties when we don’t have it,” explains Dr. Steve Taylor. Studies show that having an overarching meaning in life helps you live longer, buffer against setbacks, and maintain a higher degree of well-being.
Goals play a significant role in defining your life’s purpose. They allow you to have visible measurements of progress and an increased level of focus and stamina on the path to fulfillment of your life’s purpose.
Clarity in Decision-Making
Another benefit to setting goals is providing clarity in decision-making. Leslie Riopel, professor of psychology at Northwood University, states, “Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guides [sic] your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life.” By maintaining a clear perspective, decision-making becomes easier as you seek to choose what brings you closer to your final destination.
There are endless benefits to setting realistic and attainable goals. Be sure to ask the hard questions, be honest with yourself, and remember this idea often misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”