Finding those beautiful sunny days with not a single cloud to darken the sky might not be the easiest task when living in the UK, butroad signs when they do come along one of the best ways that I find to enjoy them is to go for a walk. It doesn’t matter where I’m heading, I can just take an amble around the beautiful countryside and enjoy the scenery and the serenity that the great British outdoors can boast.

Having a walk to nowhere is great fun (as long as you can find your way back of course!) but sometimes we all require a bit more direction. Imagine trying to walk to a new job for example, without knowing the way. I’m not sure a new boss would be impressed by the lack of foresight when you could have headed to Google Maps and printed out some directions.

Life is a bit similar to this very simple picture. Sometimes it’s nice just to be carried on the breeze, enjoying wandering aimlessly around with nothing to do. Those days off are to be cherished and their importance can’t be overstated, but when you need to get somewhere, when there is something that you need to achieve, it is important to ensure that you have the directions in your hand. If you are really looking for success in your business then putting a bit of a road map in place could elevate you to new heights, pushing you to succeed at a higher level than you have ever reached, or even dreamed of before.

Goal setting doesn’t always have the best reputation. We often think of it as something that isn’t really necessary. We think of it as something that teachers in school forced us to do to try and get us thinking a year or five years or ten years ahead to a career or a life that would suit us. This vague “one day I’d like to be” type of goal setting won’t necessarily help you along your way to success, but by putting together tangible and realistic aims that will guide you on the way to that big dream you could easily find yourself more able to reach its lofty heights.

Consider our example again. It is all well and good having a destination to walk to in mind, but that won’t really help you on your way to reaching it. It’s the specific instructions such as “turn left at the roundabout and take the second right” or “walk forward for half a mile before climbing the style on your left and trekking across the field” that really move us in the right direction.

Setting specific goals can help anyone to achieve anything, but they aren’t a magic formula. I’d love to be able to tell you that as soon as you put together a few targets in your mind, you’ll wake up and have achieved all that you wish to in life but it’s not the case. Hard work is always a requirement when it comes to fulfilling your dreams, but by putting goals in place you can reap a host of benefits that will keep you moving:

1. More Motivation

Have you ever had one of those days where your motivation seems determined to hide? Instead of working on your business you find yourself distracted by the housework or the television or any of the numerous options that seem either more important or more interesting than what you know you need to do. Those days happen to the best of us, but it is much easier to find our motivation once more when we have achievable goals written down in front of us. There are few things more motivating than making real progress toward a target, and by breaking your goals down into manageable steps you’ll have more determination to work through the difficult days to reach the next level.

2. Reduced Effort

There’s a good chance that you could reach that new place of work by walking systematically in circles around the general area in which it resides, but that certainly won’t be the most efficient strategy! A map with specific directions to your destination will save you a huge amount of that searching effort. It’s exactly the same when it comes to setting goals for your business or for anything in life that you are determined to achieve. By putting a detailed plan in place to take you from where you are now to where you would like to be you will undoubtedly save yourself effort along the way. Instead of using a system of trial and error to work toward greater success you’ll be able to take managed steps toward your end goal.

3. Increased Confidence

Without confidence you will always struggle to grow your business. You need to believe in yourself, to know that you are more than capable of achieving great results. That confidence is something that will inevitably grow over time as you start to see your success, but you can give it a significant boost by setting goals. Why? Because each time you achieve a result, each time you cross a step off your list, your confidence will naturally start to grow.

Every successful business around today has seen good times and bad times and yours will be the same. By putting goals in place and developing your confidence through the good times you will be well placed to break through any and all moments of self-doubt that creep in when things aren’t going so well.

If you do nothing else today why not pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down something that you would like to achieve, a goal. You might be pleasantly surprised at just how much difference it can make.

As always I wish you the very best of success,