Why Setting Goals is a Valuable Exercise

A survey of graduates from Yale University in 1953 (yes, that’s a LONG time ago) found that only 3% of them had written down goals for their lives. The survey team followed up with those people 20 years later and found that the 3% who wrote down goals had accumulated more wealth than the other 97% combined. (Now, we’re not saying that wealth is the only important measure of success. It was simply the one being used in the study, and one that’s fairly easy to quantify). This survey shows the value of goal setting.

I (Dale) learned the value of goal setting relatively late in my career. For much of my career, I would simply focus and work on the things that other people told me I should. And because of that, my career was not focused or directed. I was what Zig Ziglar calls a ‘wandering generality’. I tended to bounce from one thing to another. 

Image Credit: Jonny + Liz Photography


There are both short-term and long-term benefits of goal setting.

In the short-term, goals…

  • Help us stay focused on what we want to achieve. We all know that there are more distractions today than ever, and it’s only getting worse. So having a tool that helps us focus our attention is tremendously valuable.
  • Direct our efforts. In many ways, goals act as a compass ensuring we’re investing our time, and tracking our progress, to achieve the results we want from our businesses.
  • Motivate us to achieve more than we would without them.

Image Credit: Jonny + Liz Photography

Over the long-term, goals…

  • Help us grow and get better at what we do. They help us become the person who ‘naturally achieves these goals simply by being who they are and doing what they do.’
  • Help us develop discipline to be and do more than we otherwise would.
  • Help us be intentional in where and how we invest our time and energy, so we can more fully achieve our ‘why’.

So, if you want to achieve more in your business in the coming year, we encourage you to take the time to set goals in your business. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much they improve the results you get.

In upcoming posts, we’ll get into the details of how to best set goals along with the all-important part – creating the plan to achieve the goals you set!


Image Credits: Jonny + Liz Photography

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