If you look at the world’s most successful companies, they have two things in common: they are built on an enormous ambition and fueled by the visions of their extraordinary leaders. You can’t reach something that doesn’t exist in your imagination. To pursue dreams takes guts, and mastering courage is not easy because it requires living outside of your comfort zone. Those visionary leaders who push their boundaries are the ones who transform our reality.

Most people have a mixed relationship with stepping outside of their comfort zone, and goal setting in general. Some believe they are happy just the way they are, while others continuously strive for bigger and better things, never feeling satisfied with what they have accomplished. Neither group experiences a sense of true happiness. Behavioral studies have shown people felt the happiest when they were continuously improving. Staying the same and convincing yourself to be satisfied with the status quo limits the amount of happiness you will experience.

There is a difference between goals and aspirations. If you are measuring your progress against an abstract ideal, you will never be satisfied. Happiness won’t come from this state of mind. Moreover, it will make you feel as if you haven’t accomplished much because our dreams tend to constantly transform into other things. On the other hand, if you are tracking progress against a measurable goal, you can see how far you have come compared to your starting point, and this sense of gradual accomplishment will trigger the desired emotional response.

To experience higher levels of satisfaction and happiness at work, learn to dissect your aspirations into measurable stages and track progress along the way. Every time you put energy into reaching a goal, you will experience a sense of accomplishment because you will view yourself in terms of your improved self. You will feel motivated to continue pushing forward. Remember: effective goals are specific, measurable, and have a time limit. If there is a vague component, redefine your goal. If your goal isn’t specific, you can’t measure progress, and if you can’t track improvement, it stunts the amount of satisfaction you can get from accomplishing it.

Consider implementing a Goals Management tool that will let your company define, measure, and track progress of your teams’ goals over time. It will do wonders for your workforce, and boost their productivity. Most importantly, it will be a supporting tool to achieving something greater: allowing you to create, innovate, and inspire.

Authored by: Andrei Kazlovich, Director of Operations at HelloTeam, Inc.

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