Part 6 | Six Reasons Why Having Goals Works


October 28, 2016

Reason #6: Goals are Trackable

Goals give us something we can see, track, adjust, play around with, and share.

This is a good thing because—like it or not—life is always happening.  And, so much of it cannot be seen, tracked, adjusted, tinkered with, or shared.  At times, it might feel like life is just flooding in and our only option is to do our best to keep our head above water.

Trying to control or predict all of the elements of the world is like trying to catch the current of a river in a jug or capture the wind in a net.

So much is going on, in fact, that even in times of calm it can be easy to coast and float through life without really reaching for new heights.  We can become passive observers of our lives without even realizing it.

Perhaps we fall in to the mesmerizing rhythm of our comfort zone where there isn’t any urgency to speed up or slow down.  The days blur together.  The time passes.  We age, we accumulate things, we move around.  But, is that really life…are we truly growing?

Without goals or solid intentions in some areas of our lives, we will generally settle for what life hands us.  And, globally, “what life hands us” is whatever is produced by those around us who have plans and goals.

So, by taking deliberate action and setting goals, we are, in a sense, stepping out of the rushing river and giving ourselves something “homemade” to focus on and track.  We give ourselves the gift of watching something grow and unfold…on purpose.

Setting one tiny goal can deliver a rippling effect into the rest of our lives because that single goal might be (or at least feel like) the one place in our lives where we have a say, where we can put incremental actions into motion and achieve tangible, observable results.

Action:  Set one goal: write it down, tell a friend, put it on the calendar, track it, and do it.  As always, if you’re new to this process, start small.  Make it something that you can easily get your head around, like: flossing for 10 days in a row, or doing the dishes every night before you go to bed, or getting to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 4 weeks in a row.  Try it out using the system and ideas from this series.  Remember, it takes practice and some fine tuning to adopt a system of goal setting, and, as always, it’s a matter of progress not perfection.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.


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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