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.