We just wrapped up a road trip, and I am struck by how much planning it takes to do something like this successfully. Some people like to fly — or drive — by the seat of their pants, but those people are usually not parents, and when you have children in the car with you for more than an hour, you need to know where you are going. Knowing where we are going, when we will pass cities with gas stations or Starbucks or bathrooms is very important if you want to reduce stress and simplify the trip. At the most basic level, though, it just helps to know where you plan to drive to, and when you hope to arrive. Without that, you have no metric to measure yourself against it.
Are you running behind, or are you ahead of schedule? Can you expect to arrive early enough to catch that movie you were hoping to see? Should you order take-out, or will there be enough time to cook?
Setting goals is like picking a destination. You set up something to measure yourself against. Are you losing the weight fast enough to reach your goal by your reunion? Do you have enough work lined up to pay the bills in three weeks, or should you scramble for more?
Set a goal and measure yourself against it. It’s the only way to know if you are improving and growing and getting to where you were wanting to go.