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4 Reasons Goals are Important and How to Write Them

Do you ever wonder why some New Year’s Resolutions die a long, slow death while others seem as easy to do as a simple checklist item? It comes down to goal setting. The reality is people who set goals are more successful. Here are four reasons why goals are important. 

  • Goals give us a purpose. If we are not moving forward, we are standing still. Goals help us envision what we want to accomplish and give us the steps for how to do so.  

  • Goals help us focus on the future. Circumstances can get difficult, but when our focus is on the big picture, it keeps us pushing forward. 

  • Goals give us perspective. When facing difficult times, which we all will, reflecting on written goals reminds us that small roadblocks going up the mountain should not hinder us from reaching the top. 

  • Goals promote movement. Change is hard, but focusing on our goals helps keep us changing, which makes us better.  

However, not all goals are created equal. Fanaticizing about your goal can be de-motivating. It tricks your brain into thinking you have already achieved it. Goals that are not set properly can have the opposite, negative effect (Edwards, 2019).  

SMART Goals 

Therefore, the problem is that for many of us, the way we set goals actually sets us up for failure, hence why many New Year’s Resolutions do not stick. When creating goals, keep in mind they should be SMART.  SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (Goal Setting, 2023).  

Examples of SMART Goals  

I will submit all assignments, assessments, and discussion questions on time for the next month, earning no less than a ‘B’ in both of my classes.  

I will lose 10 pounds in eight weeks by exercising three times a week for 30 minutes and eliminating soda from my diet.  

Did you know that individuals who write down and reflect upon their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than those who do not (Forleo, 2019)?   

Therefore, here are some things to do to be successful in the future: 

  • Set SMART Goals 

  • Write them down 

  • Read them daily 

After all, goals give us purpose, help us focus on the future, give us perspective in difficult times, and promote self-growth and movement.  


Edwards, V. (2019). Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goal. Medium. Retrieved from  

Forleo, M. (2019). Self-made Millionaire: The Simple Strategy that Helped Increase My Odds of Success by 42%. CNBC. Retrieved from  

N.A. (2023). Goal-Setting. CALE Eastern Washington University. Retrieved from  

About the Author

Michele Poulos has been in education for the past twenty years, working in elementary, secondary and post-secondary settings. She has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Psychology. She has learned and taught in traditional and online environments. She currently serves as Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences with ECPI University. She was recently initiated into Marquis’s Who’s Who in America for 2022. She resides in Naples, Florida with her husband, eight-year-old son, Trenton, and six-year-old daughter, Eliana. One fun fact about her is that she was a contestant on the Price is Right. While she never made it out of “contestant’s row,” she did win a year’s supply of Ivory soap and a vacuum.

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