Since it's the beginning of a new year, it seems appropriate to lead off with a lesson on goal setting. The year 2009 can be a much better year for you, regardless of the lousy economic conditions, if you plan to do something positive like setting goals for a better life. In this lesson we will review "Why People Don't Set Goals" for themselves.
There are hundreds of books, CD's and seminars produced annually on the tremendous benefits that setting goals can have on your life. And I'm sure that you have been reminded for years that you need to set goals to accomplish great things in your life. You also have to know that you can't hit a target that you just can't see. Yet the sad fact is that statistics tell us less than 3% of individuals have their goals in writing and less than 1% of those review them regularly. Everyone seems to put off the most valuable exercise that they can possibly invest their time in. Why is this so?
I believe the first and foremost reason that people avoid setting goals is they are just not serious enough. It's easy to talk big but much harder to spring into immediate action and be a doer. The phrase "actions speak louder than words" applies here. One person who takes immediate action is worth ten brilliant talkers and procrastinators who do nothing. Don't tell people what you are going to do someday. Show them now that you are serious and START DOING THINGS RIGHT NOW!
The second reason that people don't set goals is that they have not accepted responsibility for their own lives. If you don't take full responsibility for everything that happens to you, but rather find someone, something or some event to blame for every setback or failure, you cannot take the first step toward goal setting.
On a small scale, the failure to take responsibility for oneself leads to personal anguish and constant frustration. On a large scale, the failure to accept responsibility for one's life has always led to tyranny. After all, the Soviet Union was nothing more than a small group of men who attempted to plan the lives of everyone else. There was no personal responsibility. There were no personal goals and aspirations. All direction, all responsibility, all planning was to come from the small group of men.
We all know how the Soviet Union ended up and it was a GIANT lesson for the whole world to see: You can't pass off responsibility for your life to anyone else. The responsibility is all yours. It's called human nature. Nature is what it is. Man cannot change it, but instead must learn it and follow it.
Goals come from within you, and not from someone else. Planning for your future comes from within you, and can't come from someone else. You also must respect the other side of the coin: You can ONLY set goals for yourself and not for anyone else. You can only plan your life, and no one else's.
In addition to not being serious, and not taking responsibility for one's life, there is also the issue of environment. Because so few people set goals for themselves, chances are excellent that most of the people around them don't have goals. So it's actually the norm. To break out of that norm is not the easiest endeavor, but it's very possible.
First, you would have to find out about goals. Thankfully, with the help of the Internet, more and more people have the ability to observe and learn about what goes on outside of their own relationships. Second, if you've just read about goals for the first time, you would have to believe in it. This is a big one. Many times, people who live around tough situations believe that this is how life is. After all, it's what they've always been around. To finally learn that you are responsible for yourself, that you can direct how your life goes, and that you need goals to pull you forward can be a bit hard to believe.
If a person finds out about goals and believes it, they will have to take the final step and make it a reality. Taking that first step can be tough, especially since it might upset the apple cart a bit. The people in your environment may spot your ambition and try to knock you back down with words of discouragement. Your own doubts and fears may also be a challenge. But if you keep pushing through despite it all, you'll build some momentum and be on your way. So as you can see, environment can be an obstacle, but it is possible to overcome. It has been done many, many times before.
I have outlined only three of the countless reasons why people don't set goals. Your job is to make sure that you are not one of those people without goals for 2009. Set goals in writing NOW and work towards them. You'll never regret it.