Goals Part 1: Why even set goals?

As the sun sets on 2023, there’s plenty of talk about goals.

There are templates, approaches and ideas everywhere. And most of them are probably ok.

But as a coach, goal setting is a crucial part of the helping people achieve their potential. Sessions often involve a big chunk of time getting clear on goals. (And there’s a reason for this – having clear goals has significant benefits).

So I think a lot about goals, what makes a good one, and why it’s a good idea to spend the time getting clarity.


Why does it matter?

I’m going to share a few insights on goal setting from a coaching perspective. This series of articles will help you if you’re feeling lost about setting goals, or if you’ve already done some thinking and want to make sure you’ve got some good ones.

I’m going to go into:

  • why goals are good,
  • how to refine a goal you’ve already got,
  • how to set one if you don’t know where to start, and
  • how to set yourself up for success, once you’ve got a goal

Why set goals?

The summer break is a natural time of reflection. The time and space afforded by a beach retreat, mountain adventure, road trip, or just the chance to switch up the daily routine naturally puts us in a different mindset.

This time away from our day to day creates perspective that helps us reflect, and to think about what we want to be different in the future.

Coming back to the routine of work, we want to harness this new perspective, take it with us as we embark on the new year and it’s opportunities.

Why should goal setting be part of this?

I’ve got 5 reasons:

  1. Being active in contemplating and designing your future means it’s more likely you’ll get there. It’s pretty unlikely that one day you’ll wake up everything has magically fallen in to place. Thinking through and articulating what it is you want means less reliance on luck. And that is a good thing.
  2. It makes decisions easier. If you’re clear about where you want to go, what you’re trying to achieve, it means that when you’re faced with choices you’ve got a framework to make a call.
  3. It’s also easier to deal with challenges – if you know you’re working towards something important you can withstand downsides and the hard things. There will inevitably be barriers thrown up, potholes on the road to success, and it will be easier to summon the energy required to overcome these if you’re clear that there’s a good reason for it.
  4. Progress builds confidence – working towards something creates a virtuous cycle where you gain even more confidence. Realising that you’ve moved on from where you were, that you’ve shifted mindset and operate differently can inspire higher aspirations and bigger goals, cause you realise what you’re capable of.
  5. It’s also rewarding in itself to see your own progress. Intrinsic motivation is crucial for long term success, so building skills and capabilities, undertaking tasks for the enjoyment creates fulfillment.

So, if you’re excited about setting some good goals for 2024, stay tuned – how to refine good goals.