When it comes to most areas of life, people tend to float around and embrace the idea of whatever happens, happens.

No matter what you’re talking about, whether it’s work, play or relationships, here are five reasons why setting goals is important.

#1 Goals keep you focused:

Imagine a ship setting sail without a destination in mind—as it traveled wherever the winds take it, supplies would eventually run out, and the crew would starve to death.

Okay, so maybe a lack of goal setting won’t yield such dire results. Yet you certainly won’t get anywhere specific if you don’t have a plan. Whether you’re talking about work, hobbies or relationships, setting a goal will keep you focused, moving towards success and fulfillment.

#2 Goals help you make a plan of action:

When you know how much you’ve accomplished, you can understand how much you need to achieve and pace yourself accordingly.

For example: you set a goal for yourself to save up a million dollars for retirement. You’re two decades away from retiring and have only saved up $500,000 dollars. Calculating out how much you need, you know you need to save around $2,100 per month in order to reach your goal.

#3 Goals get you motivated:

Without a goal in mind, you can always say it will happen tomorrow—whatever it is. Of course, once tomorrow arrives, there will be a tomorrow after that, and so on. Setting a goal with a timetable will force you into some accountability for your actions and force you to get up off the proverbial couch.

#4 Goals help you actualize your potential:

Each and every one of us has incredible talents and abilities that exist within us. Very few people actually leverage those talents into something useful.

Setting goals and working towards them is a great way to put your skills to work, while developing and sharpening your natural talents.

#5 Goals keep you committed:

One of the biggest deterrents to success is that people just give up along the road. If you set a goal for yourself and stick to it, you can block out unhelpful distractions and resist falling into depression or self-pity when things don’t quite go your way. You know there’s an awesome view at the top of the mountain and you’re committed to seeing it, no matter how challenging the climb.