What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
It resonated with me instantly.
Not long ago I wrote an article about the benefits of setting goals. It’s one of the most visited articles on my site.
I have found goal setting to be a powerful and necessary motivator in paying down debt.
If you’re wanting to pay off debt then it’s absolutely essential to set a goal, make a plan in the form of a budget and then make changes to your life to ensure you follow the plan and achieve the goal.
The achievement of the actual goal isn’t the important part
The quote simply means that the person you become is more important than actually hitting the target.
That’s because you grow and change as a person on the journey to accomplishing your goals.
If you’ve ever set goals in life and achieved them, or you’ve ever had life throw challenges at you and you consider you’ve come through the other side, whether in one piece or with some scars, you may understand. Maybe you’re even in the midst of some life challenges right now and can relate.
There’s the age old saying:
That which does not kill us makes us stronger
I’m not a fan of that saying. When people tell you that in the midst of life challenges it feels so dismissive and degrading.
But the fact of the matter is, it’s very, very true. You are going to come out of any challenge or any journey to a goal stronger than you were when you entered.
I’d argue that the more “difficult” the goals, or the more significant the challenges, you will probably understand on a deeper level.
It’s not the achievement of the goals. It’s the journey you go through to achieve them that changes you. You become wiser, stronger, more knowledgeable, more experienced.
How can you not?
Some of us are aware of the growth more than others, but there’s always something, even if you don’t reach your target.
I immediately thought back to the time that I set goals to pay off debt and achieved them in less time than I planned.
It was a small goal in a bigger picture, but a great achievement for me.
I have many more debts to pay down and they are mountainous in comparison. But achieving this small goal helped me realise I can do it. It also taught me that stepping closer to a goal is exhilarating and in turn spurs you on with self-motivation.
When I look back at the bigger picture, the mountain of debt, I know that it’s a certainty that I’ll achieve it by breaking the debt down into manageable goals and taking my challenges by the horns day by day.
There’s a certain confidence in getting to the point of achievement of a goal that nobody can take away from you.
I have changed my thinking in regard to money.
Along this journey I’ve become far more stringent with my money.
That was stringent, not stingy.
I make sensible decisions far quicker and I’ve found that I no longer hanker for luxuries. I can easily walk away from items in a store that I don’t need, when before I would have likely dipped in my pocket or beat myself up for a while.
I’ve become far more satisfied with a simple and less materialistic life.
My outlook on life and what is important has changed, but I’ve also changed a lot about the way that I live.
These positive changes come about no matter where your goals reside.
If you’re trying to lose weight for example and you keep to an exercise and healthy eating regime that helps you achieve your goal then you’re likely to form habits that keep you on this course.
Many multi-millionaires will tell you that earning their first $1 million was the hardest. The reason behind that is because they learn the effort and the processes along the way to making their first million. They make the mistakes, learn from them, and by the time they are making that kind of money they’ve found a groove, they’ve adopted processes and they’ve learnt what it takes to make the next million. It naturally becomes easier the second time around.
But they’ve also found a confidence in being able to achieve it. I believe that the confidence you find in yourself is the biggest and most important benefit of goal setting. Having done it once you know you can do it again.
To know you can do it again and again makes you unstoppable.
Fear holds us all back in some way shape or form.
If you hate your job you’re likely afraid to quit, particularly if you have nothing else to pay the bills or you don’t have savings.
But what if you set a goal to make yourself $1000 in a month whilst you have your job and then you achieved that goal?
What if you didn’t achieve the goal but you managed to make at least $100? You will have still learnt important lessons. You can still look back and say, “I can make that $100 again”, except this time you can consider how you can do it faster, or better, to make double the amount.
If you keep doing this month after month, setting goals, testing yourself, teaching yourself, you’ll grow.
You just have to make a start.
This is what I’m doing right now with this blog. I’ve achieved some smaller goals with my debt, I’ve changed the way that I think about and approach money, but I have a journey ahead of me.
I now need to make some extra income.
If you want to follow along and learn from my successes and mistakes sign up to my mailing list and we’ll do this together.