Part 4 | Six Reasons Why Having Goals Works


October 12, 2016

Reason #4: It’s Replicable

Having goals is important, but it’s not everything.

Sometimes it is important to have no plan because it gives us an opportunity to relax, allow, and participate in the spontaneity of the world around us.  After all, there are nearly seven billion people on earth, and when we dive in to the flow of things we open ourselves up for experiences, learning, and personal growth.  Not having a plan or a goal tests our flexibility, our receptivity to the unknown as well as our responsivity to the present moment.  We may find opportunities to expand our world view that we never even knew existed.

That said, when it comes to creating circumstances and experiences that are non-negotiable (aka the things that we want to do before we die) having goals is a prudent consideration.

One of the main reasons for that is this: We can build off of what we can identify.  Add to that, the fact that we may easily track, measure, and benchmark that which we do intentionally and purposefully.  True, we might stumble into greatness a time or two.  But, how reliable is that path, and is it replicable?  Can we teach others how to do what we did by accident?

It seems unlikely.

That’s why having a goal works on many levels.  We can repeat our successes and avoid our failures and we can be of service to others by sharing our direct experience with them.  That is, we can describe our steps and instruct others on what, exactly, worked for us.

For example, if we have found that 15 minutes of daily exercise helped us stay accountable to our goal of losing 10 pounds in 6 months, we can use that as a model for future action.  Contrast that against someone who had no plan and no goal—maybe they shed the weight, but could they really detail how and why it happened?

Having goals takes the guesswork out of some of life and allows us to feel a greater agency in our living experience.

Action:  Start small with a 5-minute goal.  Think of a task or an action that is difficult for you to stay consistent in.  Maybe it’s keeping up with the dishes or meditating or getting to sleep on time.  Grab a piece of paper and divide it into seven columns.  Write the days of the week across it and commit to dedicating just 5 mins/day to the activity.  That means, 5 mins/day doing the dishes, 5 mins/day meditating, or 5 mins/day doing some deeply relaxing breaths before bed and clearing your mind.  Each day that you achieve your goal put a check mark under the day of the week that corresponds with that day.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

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