• Mark Hannafin

Copy of The Importance of Goal Setting.

In my previous blog entitled ‘The Six Steps for Desire’ (https://markhannafin.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/the-six-steps-for-desire/) we looked at the six steps needed to achieve that which you desire. In this blog, we will examine how to focus on the important goals in order to achieve your desire on a daily basis.

In Step Four, you were asked to put a plan together for achieving your desire and to put that plan into action. To put any plan into action you must work on it day after day, and you must keep your desire and the long-term detailed plan firmly in mind each day. It is easy to get distracted and get bogged down when things are not progressing as fast as you may like them to. However, each step in the right direction is progress. Your plan may have an array of smaller goals that need completion before you are able to achieve your desire. With this in mind, I think it is just as important to have a daily planner so you can focus on that goal for that day.

Understanding the difference between that which is important and what is urgent is also necessary if you wish to achieve anything, as it is possible to be busy working, but making no progress. Stephen Covey in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, talks about the difference between, important tasks and urgent tasks. Important tasks are those that will make a difference in your life. With this in mind, Covey asks that you consider two questions:

  1. What one thing could you do (you aren’t doing now) that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?

  2. What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

Urgent tasks, on the other hand, are pressing, do it now tasks, such as paying bills, answering emails, going to meetings and so forth. Urgent kind of activities that need to be done now. Most of the time these are unimportant. If you took the time to answer the above questions for yourself, you might have identified something important that you could do which would have a significant impact on your life. Then possibly if you were to keep an eye on how many urgent matters you deal within a single day you may even realise how little time you spend doing the things are important and could conceivably “make a tremendous positive difference in your life”.

If your desire is to be a renowned designer, for instance, but you have no experience or training in the field, how would you make progress towards this goal on a daily basis if you currently had a job as a bartender or waitress? Focusing on acquiring new skills and some experience would be part of the plan, as would organising a portfolio as this would be important to your overall desire. Working in the bar or restaurant would be urgent as others would be dependent on you to do your job and important because you need money to survive and buy materials and pay for courses or seminars but wouldn’t be important in terms of achieving your desire of being a designer. Focusing each day on making progress with your plan even if the process is slow is far more effective than doing things that are urgent. Urgent matters that are also important cannot be ignored, but it is your job to limit the number of urgent tasks you take on as they only tend to serve as an excuse as to why you are not making progress.

We all know the unimportant and non-urgent things that can be cut from our lives. The problem is that these things are usually fun, easy and/or comfortable, such as watching TV, playing games or scrolling through social media looking at videos. These are things that could be cut back on. I’m not suggesting that people should delete their Facebook or Instagram accounts or cancel their Netflix subscription

as I do believe it is necessary to take time out and relax every now and then.

Look at your plan and make sure each day to focus on what is important. In my case, to become a designer, I need to work on my projects and create a portfolio within a realistic time schedule. Each plan is unique and will require a totally different set of goals. When planning for the long-term also remember to plan each day and take action even if the action is only a small step. You cannot run until you can walk, so take it slowly in the beginning. After a time you will move faster and faster soon you will be a very effective human and your desire will be met in no time.

It is important for me to note at this time that the journey is as important if not more so than the destination. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Becoming a designer is a journey as is owning your own business or seeking financial freedom. Only you will know when you have arrived at the point you wanted to arrive at - and even then you will probably have new desires and greater things to accomplish. Just remember to focus on what is important not just on what is urgent.

I wish you all the best and every success. Thanks for reading.