Research on the significance of setting goals is overwhelming, well-documented and convincing. However, along the path of my life’s journey I made some discoveries that allowed me to exercise more flexibility when it comes to setting goals. And speaking of flexibility, ask any athlete about its importance. If you aren’t flexible and you haven’t stretched, then you risk injury, possibly a serious one.
There’s something to be said about that when evaluating the goals you want to set and the destinations you program into your GPS.
But I’ve loosened up on goal setting in recent years. I didn’t relax my pursuit of goals. Instead, I relaxed how I pursued them. I used to think that if I didn’t write down that I wanted to earn one million dollars per year, live on Maple Street in San Diego by the time I was 30 and drive a red Ferrari, then I wouldn’t accomplish it. Horse patootie!
Instead of setting a goal that contains an exact address, city name or dollar amount, I found it much more productive to set a direction.
I don’t believe in getting hung up on a purpose or a goal nearly as much as getting hung up on a direction. Why? When we set goals with no regard for the direction we’re taking, we usually end with goals that take us in a direction we may not want to go. For example, when I was new to personal development and success principles, many of my “goals” were tangible things: a new car, a home, a mountain bike, a watch, etc.
Goals like this can strap us financially and keep us from going in the direction we really want to go. Considering the direction first allows us to make more mature, accurate and beneficial decisions. Furthermore, real satisfaction and fulfillment, which is what we all want, come from the direction we are moving much more than the goals we attain.
Goals are important, but put them in the proper perspective. They serve as important mile markers that confirm we are traveling in the direction we intend to go.