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Setting Goals - Why They Are Important

Barry R Parker

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Goals are important at all stages of your life. They give you a feeling of happiness and satisfaction when you achieve them, and a feeling of enthusiasm and excitement as you set out to accomplish them. They are also important in improving many other aspects of your life: your self-image, self confidence, self-esteem, and your happiness in general. Not only do they improve your well-being, but they also improve you as a person. They increase your abilities, they strengthen your strong points and they help overcome your weaknesses, and also of importance, they make you forget yourself and your everyday problems. When you're busy trying to accomplish your goals, you're too busy to worry about personal problems.

The first thing you have to do is think seriously about what your goals are. Be realistic, but don't be afraid of shooting too high. Maybe it's to make a certain amount of money, or become an accomplished athlete, or a successful musician. Whatever it is, fix it firmly in your mind, then write it down. It's also important at this stage to picture yourself accomplishing it. This helps create a deep desire within yourself for achieving it, which is important. Let it become a burning desire.

Writing down your goal is the first step, but of course you also need to set up a program for accomplishing it, and it should also be written down. In short, you have to have a plan, and it must be detailed. Set it up so that you know what you are going to be doing each day, and what you will accomplish each week and each month.

Finally, you have to give yourself a time limit. It's no good to work towards your goal without having any idea of when it is to be achieved. You have to say, “I will accomplish this by May 1, " or whatever date you decide. Again, be realistic, so you don't feel let down if you don't reach it. If your goal is to lose, say, 30 pounds, then set yourself a goal of losing 10 pounds a month for three months.

Many people prefer to have milestones, or short-term, goals along their path to the final goal, and this is a good idea. For example, if your goal is to run a mile in 4:20, begin with a goal of five minutes, then try to improve to 4:40 over the next six months, and 4:20 over the following six months. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment as you reach each of the short-term goals, and it will help keep you on course.

One of the problems with goals is that many people eventually give up. For a goal to have meaning you must take it seriously - very seriously. This means you must have determination, and one of the best ways to keep this determination is to develop tremendous enthusiasm and excitement for what you are doing. Don't let it become a chore; don't let it become boring. A good way to make sure you do this is to keep your eye on the final objective.

Persistence is the key; don't let anything stop you, and keep telling yourself that you're never going to give up until you have achieved what you want. Everyone has disappointments when they start out on a path such as this, but don't let them get to you. Don't let them get in your way. Success is possible if you keep at it.

Barry Parker is a professor emeritus (physics) at Idaho State University. He is the author of 22 books on science, health, writing, and music. His website is and he has several blogs, one of them is at - He has done research in biophysics (mutations in the DNA molecule) and in relativity theory (Einstein's field theory), has a strong interest in health and fitness, self-improvement, and in music (particularly piano). He taught a writing class at ISU for several years. His most recent book is “Feel Great Feel Alive. "


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