I know a lot of people who hate the idea of setting goals. This aversion can make it difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish anything useful—except by accident. I believe the reluctance to set goals stems from the way we were forced to set them and ignore them in favor of 10,000 trivial tasks in the corporate world—only to be punished for not accomplishing them in our annual review.
Yes, I’m talking to you, computer industry!
But I have come to view goal setting as a spiritual practice. It focuses your intent on what matters to you.
All of your goals should derive from your personal values or principles. But you must first identify what those are. Once you do, you can use them to determine whether the 10,000 things that beset you in the course of your daily life support your values or distract you from them. With well-defined goals, you can quickly determine which tasks are important, which you should do now, which you should put off, and which you should ignore. Many of the things that seem urgent in the moment resolve themselves if you ignore them, but others can still come back to bite you in the butt.