Are Your Goals Worth the Effort?

When you set a goal, it is critical to assess whether the outcome will be worth your time and effort to achieve it. If the benefit is not at least equal to what you put in, then you can say bye-bye to keeping up your motivation levels. If your motivation is low, then it is unlikely that you will achieve your goal.

Here is a rather extreme example. If you wanted a bar of chocolate, but the nearest shop was 10 miles away, it is doubtful that you would walk that distance to get it. Although the cravings may be very strong, and you really wanted the chocolate, the amount of time and energy required clearly outweighs the benefits.

How do you assess whether a particular goal is worth your time and effort? The simplest and most effective way is to list the inputs (time and energy) compared to the outputs (achieving the goal).

It is always so much more effective when you write everything down. Draw the map first, and then follow it!

Let’s take an example of a popular goal. Say you want to stop smoking.

Firstly, write down your goal. “I will stop smoking cigarettes on the 15th of next month”.

On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle. At the top of the first column, write down “INPUT”. This is where you list what you need to do to achieve that goal.

At the top of the second, write down “OUTPUT”. This is where you will list the benefits of achieving that goal.

In the INPUT column, write down the actions that you will need to stop smoking. This may include “Do not buy cigarettes” and “Chew a piece of gum when I would normally have a cigarette”. Stick to the facts – write down the actual actions that you need to carry out.

In the OUPUT column, write down all of the benefits associated with you being a non-smoker. “I will have more money”, “I will be fitter” and “I will have more energy”. Brainstorm here – there are loads of benefits!

Next, review the entries that you wrote in the INPUT column. Assess the amount of time and effort that each action will involve.

For instance, the first statement was “Do not buy cigarettes”. It is logical to assume that buying cigarettes would take time and effort (getting to the shop, carrying out the purchase, and returning home). It follows therefore that if you didn’t buy cigarettes, then no time or effort would be needed.
“Chew a piece of gum when I would normally have a cigarette” would take no more time or effort than having a cigarette. Indeed, it would arguably involve less physical effort.

Once you have written down a number of Inputs, consider the amount of actual time and effort that would be needed for each. In the example above, there really is no physical effort or time involved. When you compare these with the tremendous benefits that you will derive from stopping smoking, it would be extremely difficult to argue that the amount of time and effort exceeded the benefits!

This exercise can be carried out with any goal you choose. Here are the steps again.

Write your goal down on paper.

List the Inputs and Outputs.

Assess the amount of time and effort needed against the benefits.

You will then be in a much better position to keep yourself motivated and to achieve your goals.

To continuing your success!

Jan specializes in encouraging people to “Make Positive Changes Now” in several aspects of their lives including career change, personal development, and combating addictions.

She is currently developing a number of CDs and DVDs to motivate and encourage people to make positive and worthwhile changes in their lives.

Visit Jan’s web site at