Goal setting sounds simple right? Well it is, but it can go wrong. “If goal setting is so simple, how can it go wrong?”, I hear you ask.
Well there are two main reasons you’ll fail at goal setting:
You just won’t follow the process through
You’ll commit one of the seven deadly sins of goal setting.
It’s important for you to understand how the goal setting process can go wrong so you don’t fall into the same trap – so make sure you read and fully understand the following sections on where it can go wrong. As you read through each point, ask yourself honestly whether you’re at risk from falling into that particular trap. You will know this from your past experiences and just your knowledge of who you are.
Why People Don't Follow Through
Most people never even start the goal setting process (mostly because they haven’t even heard of goal setting outside of the context of new years resolutions), so you’ve got a head start already just by getting to this point – so keep it up!
But of the people that do start the process, or have at least heard of it, the ones who fail to get anywhere usually fail because:
They can’t think of a good reason to set goals: Perhaps they haven’t figured out what they really want or maybe they just aren’t convinced that goal setting is important. This is your future we are talking about here – goal setting establishes the destination and how to get there, so that one day the future you dream of becomes your reality. You are in control of your own destiny – you are where you are now because of the action [or inaction] you have taken in the past, and where you’ll be in 10 years time is a direct result of the action you take over the next 10 years. What better reason is there to start setting goals and have some control over your future?
They don’t see how goal setting will help them: Perhaps they haven’t realised how effective goal setting can be for ensuring success, or maybe they just haven’t figured out how it works. Maps help get you where you want, right? Well that’s all goal setting and action planning really is – your map to your future, so of course it will help.
Just remember, people who succeed have goals, and people who have goals succeed.
They haven’t got time: Goal setting is about working smarter, not harder. Yes, it will take some of your time and energy, you may even have to make some sacrifices, but the end results are truly worth the effort. Surely you can take 1-2 hours a day to plan your life’s direction and take the action necessary to get there?
We’ve all procrastinated though and put off important tasks – I’ll start my diet tomorrow, I’ll
change my life with new years resolutions, I just want to wait until the kids are older. The sad reality is that some people procrastinate all their life and never achieve what they really want to achieve.
Don’t be one of those people. Visualise what life will be like when you achieve your goals and use this vision to give you the motivation and drive to get there. In the words of Nike…Just Do It!
They find it too hard: Goal setting is not hard. Yes, it takes some time and you need to do some deep soul searching to determine your inner most needs, desires and motivations – but it is not hard. I can understand though if you find this all a bit overwhelming. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s the same with goal setting. And that’s the best thing about this workbook – it takes you through the process one step at a time, so you won’t even realize you’re doing it!
The other thing to remember is that goal setting is a skill, and like all skills it takes time to learn and gain experience. Again, by following this workbook, we’ll make sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew by starting you on a few ‘easy’ goals and building you up from there – before too long, you’ll be an expert goal setter!
They are afraid they won’t achieve their goals: What is fear? False Expectations Appearing Real. This means that what you are really afraid of, probably isn’t real anyway. What will happen if you don’t lose those 10 kg’s overnight? You may still lose 0.5 kg, but you won’t get struck by lightning, no-one will laugh at you, you won’t be considered a ‘failure’ – so what is the real problem?
Fear of failure is real, but the outcome if you do fail is often overrated. It is really important though to come to terms with this as fear of failure can result in in-action and therefore failure to achieve. Learn to grow from failure, rather than fear it.
They don’t take it seriously: You need to take goal setting seriously if it is going to work for you. I’m sure you’ve tried new years resolutions before – did you take it seriously? Did you succeed?
Just think about everything we’ve gone through so far and ask yourself whether you’re committed to this process or not. I hope you are! If you’re not convinced, read through the chapter again and other recommended books on goal setting listed on our website. There’s no point continuing unless you are truly committed to this process and are going to take it seriously.
You know yourself better than anyone else, and its important for you to know where you might let your self down in this process. So, are there any reasons why you may not follow the goal setting process through? (Tick any of the following that apply to you).
Now for every trap you think you are likely to fall into, add it to your key message list. In BIG LETTERS write the opposite of the trap – for example, write “I am not afraid of failing” or “This is not too hard for me”. Make sure you read this every day with conviction – the power of positive thinking is amazing, so help it keep you out of these traps.