The Power of Knowing What You Want

accountability goal setting personal development professional development purpose Apr 25, 2022

We’re all busy handling life’s many responsibilities. Whether it’s school, work, family or sports, it can be really overwhelming to get the to-do list crossed off. When you’re so tied up in the day to day tasks, it can be hard to find the time to think about the bigger picture. Think about it - when’s the last time you asked yourself, “Is this something I want?” 

Knowing what you want makes a big difference in the decisions you make everyday, big or small. If you don’t know what you want, or what you want to accomplish, it can be hard to make any progress at all. Having a clear picture of what success looks like is an important part of any goal you set for yourself, personal or professional. Here are a few ways that knowing what you want helps you make decisions and reach your goals. 

Clarity creates a clear to-do list. 

When you know what you want, the next step is to work backwards and figure out how to make it happen. You’ve heard the saying “A goal without a plan is only a dream”. So let’s stop just dreaming and start planning. The first step is to understand what you actually want. Let’s say you want to get a job. What kind of job? Where will that job be located? How much do you want that job to pay? What kinds of companies do you want to work for? The more clear you can get on what you want (and what you don’t want) the clearer your to-do list becomes. 

Knowing what you want can help others support you. 

Help other people help you. Be clear about your goals. If someone asks you what career path you’re interested in, don’t say “I don’t know.” Be sure to have already done work to come up with an idea of what jobs and careers interest you, so you can say something specific. “I want to work for a sports marketing agency doing content creation,” is something your contact can keep in mind when they are coming across opportunities. 

Here’s a simpler example - you go to the gym and start working out with a personal trainer. They ask you “What do you want to get out of these sessions?” Instead of saying “to get fit” or “not sure” you should come with what you want in mind. Maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you want to build muscle, strengthen your upper body, etc. The trainer can only really help you if they know your end goals. 

Understanding what you want keeps you focused. 

Indecision comes from a lack of thought on what you like and want to get out of something. It’s ok to be indecisive sometimes, but when it comes to the big picture, you have to take time out of your day to day to think about what you want to be working towards. And when you understand that, it makes it easier for you to say no to the things that don’t fit that image. For example, if you know that you want to be using your platform to support causes that protect the environment, you can say yes to those opportunities and no to others. 

Reflecting on what you want can motivate you.

You will undoubtedly find times that you feel overwhelmed, stressed and unsure of what you are doing. Reflect on what you want to achieve and how far you’ve come. Keeping what you want at the top of your mind can help you stay motivated to continue on during the tough times. You’ll want to continually check in with yourself to ask “Is this still what I want?” throughout your life. What you want may change and shift as you learn and grow, and that’s completely ok. 

Take stock of what you want to achieve, what you like and what you want to gain out of opportunities. Reflect back often and ensure you are still on the path you want to be on. And then, embrace the clarity, focus and support that knowing what you want can bring you.


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