Why Are Goals So Important to Wellness?

This month I’ve been writing about goals, which is an apt topic I think as we begin a new year. Now obviously terms like “goal-setting” can be somewhat overused, especially amongst the personal-development crowd, so today I thought I’d take a moment to examine why exactly goals are so important for us. Here’s a quick list:

1. Goals give us direction on a large scale.

They tell us where our life is going. Without them we tend to flounder and move sideways at best or even go backwards. If you don’t believe me, then just try going through all of 2021 without any goals and see how you feel and where you end up by December of this year (that isn’t an actual suggestion, by the way). Bottom line: We human beings need goals to act as our compass and map.

2. Goals give us structure in the near-term.

They provide a framework for our daily life. Goals help us to set weekly and daily routines and schedules. They give us reasons to wake up in the morning, and they give us something to feel good about at night. If you work toward a goal each day, even for a short amount of time, this helps you to sleep better at night because you feel accomplished and productive.

3. Goals ensure that sure we are always developing and growing.

A quick formula that I will throw at you here is this: Dreams + Goals = Personal Development. Think of a few dreams you might have (whether professional, financial, health-related, or whatever), and set a few doable goals that move you in the general direction of those dreams. You do this, and over time you will see yourself develop and grow. You do this, and you will become stronger and wiser in some capacity, guaranteed. That is seeing results!

4. Goals make use of our talents.

We are each created with great potential and talents, things that are divine and truly unique. The question then is, Do we allow the world to convince us that we are average or worthless, or do we allow ourselves to be special by recognizing and developing those talents? Give yourself permission to be special, and tell yourself each day that you are worthy of sharpening and showing off your talents. Make a list of five gifts that you possess, five talents or strong suits, and set goals related to how you can develop these things.

5. Goals give us self-esteem.

I don’t have to tell you, my readers, exactly how big the business of antidepressant and antianxiety medications is nowadays. People all over the globe are swallowing these pills, and oftentimes it is because they have swallowed the idea that they are somehow “broken.” Now obviously there is the chemical imbalance line that contributes to that and I won’t even get into here, but at the heart of much anxiety and depression lies a problem of poor self-image and low self-esteem. People feel weak, powerless, victimized, heartbroken, guilty, bored, average, angry, or just plain un-loveable, and this all translates into a frightening image of life and self and poor mental and emotional health.

On the flip side, if we want to experience better wellness, it really begins with thinking better about ourselves. This allows us to create a better internal climate which then makes the world look better, too. And goals allow us to do all this.

Each time we accomplish, or even move in the direction of a goal, we feel as if we are strong, sharp, in control, talented, and yes, special. We feel as if the world is full of possibility, and we feel better about our place in that world. And if we regularly engage in this process of moving toward goals, then our self-esteem is fed in a positive way continually. That is a recipe for better health.

6. Goals give us fulfillment.

A sense of fulfillment is crucial to feeling “alive.” We can have all of the riches and all of the security in the world, but if we aren’t feeling fulfilled we will sink into an emotional abyss. We’ve all seen (and at times lived) the reality of just going through the motions of an unfulfilling existence. And maybe this happens because of a dull, soul-sucking job, or maybe it happens because we aren’t developing or expressing ourselves in our personal lives, but either way it needs to change. Again, goals allow us to change this. Set a few goals with regards to your home life (how can you make it more loving, healthy, or just plain fun), set a few goals with regards to your work life (is it time to plan for a change, even if that means financial sacrifice at first?), set a few goals with regards to productive hobbies such as learning a language, a software package, or some other skill, and set a few goals with regards to spiritual development. These goals will help to fill your life with purpose.

7. Goals make the journey fun and rewarding.

Now this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, but life really is more about the journey than the destination. In the equation I mentioned above (Dreams + Goals = Personal Development), that personal development piece happens more because of the journey goals set us on than it does because of any end result.

So say you want to lose 10 pounds and you do; now you aren’t suddenly a more developed or happier person because you weigh less. Rather you are stronger, sharper, and more confident because of the journey you took to get to that new weight. And alongside the sweat you probably had some fun by exploring new recipes, joining a new gym, finding new walking or running routes outside, shopping for new workout clothes, etc.

No matter what goal you set, if you get serious about reaching it you will dig deep and prove something to yourself and have a little fun along the way. You will find needed excitement, discover measures of fulfillment, learn new things both about the world and about yourself, and make your life richer.

Here’s to your goals in 2021!

Until next time,



Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”

Shelly, Ohio

“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”

Jon - British Columbia, Canada

“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.

"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”

Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt

“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”

Andi, North Carolina

“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”

Alex, California

“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”

Catherine, Virginia

“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”

Erikka, South Dakota

“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”

Kim, California

“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”

Leanne – Ontario, Canada

"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."

Miguel, Atlanta, GA

"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."

Eric, MI

“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

John, WA

“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

Emma, United Kingdom

“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”

Ram, AZ

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If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.