Goal setting is not as simple as deciding on what you would like to accomplish and working towards it. There is a lot to take into consideration before setting goals that most people take for granted, and that can be the difference between achieving your goals and labelling yourself as a failure. We live in a society that is obsessed with goal setting. Motivational speakers, self-help gurus, and our bosses to mention a few always say: 'if you want to accomplish something set a goal and you will achieve it.'
But what happens if your goals are too specific or too broad and require excessive financial and emotional support than you can't give, or better yet what if that goal is outside of your capabilities and core competencies? You will fail, that is inevitable. Nevertheless, you can avoid all of this by asking yourself truthful and simple questions before entrenching your 'goals' in your brain.
Is this goal mine?
Not that of your family, friends, or even your boss, but yours. When you set a goal that is purely yours; you will, by default practice what experts call the 'endowment effect' which happens when people take ownership of things and it becomes 'theirs' therefore integrating it (the goal) into their sense of identity. Your goal = your sense of identity.
Are you going to enjoy it?
It will be extremely futile to create a goal around something you do not enjoy. Your thoughts and your mental approach to your goals are what determines whether you reach your goal or not. So give yourself some time to think; maybe you do not need to 'set a goal' but hire someone to do it for you. I mean, how else are you going to achieve a goal you did not enjoy setting, where are you going to get the enthusiasm?
Are you realistic?
It is easy to allow goals to outsize our capabilities. It is important to learn to distinguish between potentially feasible and impossible self-change goals in order to avoid overconfidence and false hopes leading to eventual failure and distress. Studies reckon when we first set our goals we are super optimistic and filled with hope and fail to identify 'possible blockers.' Do not be myopic when setting goals. Do not limit yourself either. Just be realistic, assess yourself first. Is this something you can do?
Do you have a tracking system?
Developing a clear and definite plan to achieve your goal is crucial but so is a definite tracking system! Your plan should include solutions and methods for assisting in maintaining your focus. Think of what you can incorporate into your plan to assist you in sustaining your momentum. How else will you know if you are close to attaining your goal or far off?
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