A month ago we have just started 2017 according to the Georgian calendar. The Chinese New Year will start soon. What mistakes to avoid while setting goals for the upcoming year?
“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie
Many schools teach you how to set goals. One of the most common methods is to use the SMART criteria. However, there are some more important pitfalls to avoid while setting goals in order to be successful:
8 Things You’re Doing Wrong To Achieve Your Goals And How To Win Them
Let’s start doing the test. Answer the questions below, and you will notice instantly how many pitfalls you have not avoided while setting goals:
- Do you have an emergency goal?
- Have you written your goal?
- Are you aware of the obstacles?
- Is your goal time-oriented?
- Do you know what resources you need to achieve the goal?
- Do you know your “why”?
- Do you focus on too many goals?
- Who knows about your goals?
If you have answered “yes” for at least one of the questions, this article is for you and the faster you will apply the tips described here, the better the new year will become for you. Let’s start from the most common pitfall:
Everything which is not written is just a mere dream. Our subconscious mind needs writing as burning the data on the CD. If you write a document, but you do not save it, you lose your work. The goals which are not on paper or an electronic document are not goals. However, it is better to write goals on paper as it is easier to brink it everywhere even on a little sticky.
Plan each goal in writing. Buy a diary or a notebook in which you will record your goals and plans for their implementation. Right now, after reading this article, go to the bookshop to buy a new diary and sat a mere goal for tomorrow. Check how it will work within a week.
You Have No Emergency Goal
Emergency goals are like a lifeboat when you are facing the storm in the middle of the ocean. Remember that during pursuing of your major goal you will face obstacles and temptations. Sometimes they can be so high that you will fail. However, if you have an emergency goal, your failure will not be total. It is like stumbling, not falling totally.
Review your goals for this year. What smaller goal can you set for each of them? For example, let’s say that you swear a lot and decide to stop it altogether. However, it happened that you used the dirty word because of anger. Then your emergency goal may be “I swear not more than once a week” instead of “ I stop swearing.”
You Have Not Defined the Costs and Benefits of the Goal
We often give up working on our goals while facing the obstacles, which are the price we have to pay for pursuing the goal. The truth is that you can often set the goal without the willingness to pay the price – devoting your time, being motivated and determined to accomplish the goal. Sometimes the price means resigning from some of your favourite activities, financial costs and even ending some relationships
On the other hand, the advantages which you will take after accomplishing the goal are your benefits. For example, you will be more attractive losing weight, richer finding a better job or happier – ending an abusive relationship.
However, remember that your goals also have an impact on other people and the environment, so they also need to have as little negative consequences as possible. If you end a relationship, someone may be hurt. If you change the job and move to another city, some people might miss you. You also have to choose one option from the goals which contradict with each other. For example, getting a job which is time-consuming and far from your home or spending more time with your family, but having less opportunity to find a good job as you are not for disposal.
Take the goals you have set for 2017. Are you sure you want to work on them? Make the cost-benefit analysis, in writing. If the goal costs you too much, consider making it smaller or postpone work on it by the next year.
You Are Not Prepared for Challenging Obstacles
I can assure you; there WILL be obstacles on the way while pursuing your goals. Be prepared for them in advance, this will save you stress and frustration. When you list potential obstacles, it is easier to overcome them because you will know the solution in advance.
List of the barriers for each of your goal. Do it in writing, using a notebook or a diary. Be aware, that 80% of your obstacles will be internal: your beliefs, lack of skills or bad habits. Some obstacles may occur while working on any of your goals while others are specific for one. Overcoming external obstacles should be your priority.
You Have not Decided How To Compensate Other People in Return for the Help
It is evident that you will need help from other people while pursuing your goals. However, people usually expect something in return. Now it is the time to list all your skills and the ways you could contribute to the lives of other people.
List all kind of help that you need from other people. Then list who can help you and what they will receive in return. Do this exercise for each of your goals, in writing.
You have Set the Strict Deadline for Your Intangible Goals
Your goals can fall into two categories: tangible and intangible ones. The first group is measured quickly while the second isn’t.
If you set a deadline for the goal “I will be more assertive”, the chances are that this goal will not be accomplished. Why? Because it is not very specific and measurable. You need to specify what “more assertive” means.
More than that, some goals require a long time span to work on, e.g. when you create a new habit. Then, before you achieve the final result, set some subgoals to see the progress. Remember that before you are ready to enter the Olympics, you need to polish your stamina, strength and suppleness and all theses skills will not be improved within one day.
Therefore, regarding intangible goals, it is even more important how often you work on them and how much progress you have made, within a given time span, not by which day.
You Focus on Too Many Goals
Brian Tracy recommends up to 15 goals per year. However, if you are inexperiences in goal setting or you work on a big goal, the chances are that less is better. Remember that big goal usually have subgoals.
For example, as I mentioned earlier, if you prepare for the Olympics you are working on your stamina, suppleness and muscle strength. If you are learning a foreign language, you are learning the vocabulary, grammar and use of the language spoken and written. Each of these skills is a separate subgoal.
Check how many goals and resolutions you have set for this year. If the number is too big, think about what you can do to reduce it. Remember, maximum of 15 total in your personal and your business life are enough.
You Tell All the People about Your Goals
You have probably heard that announcing your goals will motivate you more to work on them. However, do it in a smart way. Tell the similar people about your goals, i.e. those who also want to develop and grow. Unfortunately, most people will not understand your vision and more than that; they will discourage, or they even wish you bad luck. In this case, keep your mouth shut.
Think who you could tell about your goals; who inspires you. Also, list all the people, including the members of your family, who have discourages you in the past. Until you accomplish your goals, avoid telling them about your pursuits.
What Is The Biggest Obstacle For You To Achieve Your Goals?
I’d like to hear from you, so share your conclusions with others who will read this blog, as maybe you will help someone to avoid mistakes and become a happy person. Thank you.