I know what you’re thinking: “Robin, give me a topic that’s fresh and original and challenging. Why are you writing about goals? We know this stuff. It’s boring!” Few success practices are as important as articulating your most closely held goals and then reviewing them daily. And guess what? Most people don’t spend more than an hour a year doing this.

In my mind, there are 4 big reasons for you to set goals: Focus, Measurement, Alignment and Inspiration.

#1. Focus. Where your focus goes your energy flows. I’ve been blessed to have been the success coach to some genuine superstars in the field of business. One of their primary traits of greatness is their focus. They know “the vital few”, in other words the key goals they need to achieve to get to the extraordinary and then they focus like crazy on them. Goals breed focus.

#2. Measurement. One of our corporate clients is El Al, Israel’s national airline. We did dome leadership training for their management team. Amos Shapiro who ran the airline offered me a tour of Tel Aviv’s spectacular airport when I was last there. In one of the meeting rooms used by his staff, a statement appeared on a rumpled piece of paper: “what gets measured gets improved.” Powerful idea. Setting goals gives you something to measure. If your physical goal is to get down to 11% body fat, you have a standard against which to measure where you are at. And as you measure, you have a basis on which to improve.

#3. Alignment. I’ll share one of the biggest “secrets of success” with you: make sure your daily actions are aligned with your deepest values. Let me put it another way: there can be no happiness if your commitments are not congruent with your convictions. Isn’t that what integrity is all about: ensuring that your schedule reflects your values and what you stand for? Setting clear goals that are aligned with your most important values is a superb way to get to personal greatness.

#4. Inspiration. Goals breathe life into your days. The very act of articulating your goals on a crisp white piece of paper causes you to step into a whole new possibility for what your life can become. Setting your goals is a statement that you refuse to be ordinary. Setting your goals is a bold play for your best life. Setting your goals is an act of heroism because you are reaching for the potential that has been invested in you. And our world needs more heroes.

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