A lofty goal is any goal that’s big enough to get you outside your comfort zone and into your growth zone. These are the kind of ambitions that inspire you to break free from your past self and reach new heights. Setting them is exciting, but they also have some inherent benefits.
The benefits of setting lofty goals include increased motivation, innovation, and resilience. Aiming high forces you to think outside the box, narrows your focus, and promotes personal growth as it gets you outside of your comfort zone. When you achieve lofty goals, your confidence, performance, and determination grow.
Now let’s get right into it and learn about the benefits of lofty goals!
1. Lofty Goals Help You Be More Productive and Motivated
They found that setting specific and high goals leads to greater performance, persistence, and motivation when compared to goals that were easy or ambiguous.
If you think about it, this makes perfect sense.
Say you were to set an easy and vague goal like exercising 3x per week. That doesn’t sound very exciting. It’s not going to make you stretch. You’d have very little motivation and commitment to a goal like this.
But imagine you set the goal to exercise every day of the week to train for a half marathon in six months.
This is the kind of goal that’s inspiring because it’s got direction and gets you out of your comfort zone and into a place where you can grow.
You can imagine how it will feel to improve each week as you push yourself to train for the race. You’d run more miles, lose weight, and increase your strength and stamina.
Running across the finish line is something that might feel impossible, but the excitement you get from thinking about how good it will feel can motivate you to keep going when working out gets tough.
Whether it’s running a race, starting a business, or getting married, setting lofty goals will help you feel more empowered than setting tiny goals. That’s because they require your full attention and the elimination of distractions if you want to achieve them.
A Story About How Having Big Dreams Makes You Work Harder
Steve Young started his college football career as an eighth-string quarterback at Brigham Young University. That was a discouraging step back from his successful high school football career.
At first, Steve wanted to quit. But instead of playing small and giving up, he decided he’d set his sights high and then focus on what he could control —the number of hours he put in.
He showed up to practice before everyone else. He was the last one to leave. And in his spare time, he threw footballs for extra practice. It was painful, but Steve wouldn’t give up on his lofty goal.
“My arm hurt. But I wanted to be a quarterback.”
— Steve Young
Because Steve committed to big dreams, he was able to push himself harder. Even through difficulty, he kept going, all because of the inspiration and motivation that setting a lofty goal gave him.
Eventually, he became the starting quarterback at BYU. Not long afterward he began his NFL career with the 49ers.
2. You Grow Faster When You Have Lofty Goals
A few years ago I had the idea to go back to school to get a master’s degree. Around the same time I’d been running half marathons and chose to sign up for a full marathon. My wife and I also decided that it was time to expand our family and have another kid.
It was a whirlwind of a time with all of these crazy goals that I had. I probably took on too much which is something to watch out for when setting lofty goals.
But I don’t know that I’d do it any differently because I grew so much faster in that one year than I had in most of the years prior.
I started grad school at the beginning of the year and my growth as a Civil Engineer accelerated quickly.
In the summer, I trained for and ran the marathon. My strength, stamina, and fitness level skyrocketed to the best they’d ever been.
And later that year we had our daughter and became a family of four. It was tough because she came early and was in the neonatal intensive care unit for a couple of weeks. But we all grew from the experience and expanded our ability to handle difficulties well.
When you set goals that push you outside of your comfort zone, you’ll grow faster than if you’re always setting goals that you know you can achieve.
You’re also more fulfilled because you’re not wasting time on things that don’t fill your battery. Instead of losing energy to social media and Netflix, you’re gaining momentum as you steamroll through excuses to reach your big goal. Which accelerates your progress even faster.
3. Working on & Accomplishing Lofty Goals is Massively Fulfilling
Think of what feels better, going after a big goal or a little one. Sometimes you have to maintain some areas so you can grow faster in others and that’s okay.
But imagine how it would feel to always have one big goal you’re working toward and you’re always accomplishing great things and maintaining that as you work on other goals.
Instead of setting goals like:
- Get a raise
- Lose 10 lbs
- Run a 5K
You could set these kind of goals and feel way more fulfilled:
- Start a business and double my income with it
- Lose 50 lbs
- Run a marathon
This isn’t to say that if you’re in a place where running a 5K would be a lofty goal for you that you shouldn’t set that goal. Go for what feels big to you and celebrate every bit of progress no matter where you’re at in life.
Three years after I started my master’s degree I graduated, had completed that marathon and continued to exercise, and we had another kid. The sense of fulfillment in knowing that I did those hard things is unreal.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I’m glad that I didn’t set mediocre goals that I’d only be marginally proud to have accomplished.
When you complete lofty goals like these, you’ll find that your confidence and self-esteem grow. You realize that you can do hard things, and it motivates you to go after even harder goals.
Since finishing grad school, I’ve set even bigger goals and have continued to grow my mindset, family, health, and finances.
A Word of Caution
As I mentioned earlier, I probably had too many lofty goals all at once way back then. You have to be careful that you don’t make the same mistake because you can easily burn yourself out.
Begin by planning out your big goals to make sure that you’re not taking on too much at once. You’ll just end up overwhelmed and struggling rather than succeeding. Break your lofty goals down into smaller steps, and don’t take on too many big goals all at once.
Also, be ready with a plan in case you don’t achieve your lofty goals. It can be discouraging to not have your business succeed or to not be able to complete a race.
In the middle of my marathon, I got a minor injury that made the rest of the race incredibly difficult. I powered through it, but I finished far later than I had hoped I would.
Rather than being hard on myself, I recognized that I didn’t have any control over whether that injury happened. I’d trained for it and had been injury free for nearly a year before the race. There was just nothing I could do, so there was no sense in beating myself up over it.
Make sure that when you set lofty goals you’re not taking on too much at once and that you’re ready in case you don’t succeed the first time.
And remember, if you’re struggling, don’t give up. Just give yourself more time.
Let’s Wrap This Up
In summary, the benefits of lofty goals include:
- Greater productivity and performance
- Accelerated growth
- A sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and self-confidence