If you have a hard time attaining a goal despite your best efforts, maybe the problem isn’t the effort but the goal.
Sometimes, you find yourself doing everything right, but with the wrong results. Maybe you’ve set a goal. You’ve broken it down into smaller goals, drawn up a timeline, and made sure you had the resources you needed. You’ve been motivated and worked hard…and it feels as though you haven’t moved an inch closer to your goal. Maybe the goal has been the problem all along.
Here are some ways people often get goal setting wrong:
1. Setting impractical goals.
However on top of the world and powerful you’re feeling, goals that are ambitious to the point of being unrealistic can only do you harm. Aim high — but within reach.
2. Trying to do everything and ending up doing nothing.
When the focus of your goal is too broad, nothing gets your attention. It’s easy to move from one thing to another with no progress. When you attempt too much you end up not achieving anything at all.
3. Focusing on what others think.
Base your goals on your own mind and heart instead of worrying about what other people think you need to do. It’s hard to concentrate on achieving your goals when they don’t really feel like they’re yours.
4. Underestimating timelines.
Goals always need a timeline so you can hold yourself accountable, but when you don’t give yourself enough time to do the things you need to do, you won’t be able to meet those goals. Don’t be discouraged or give up — just revisit your timeline and make the adjustments you need.
5. Not appreciating failure.
A good goal has an element of possible failure. If you don’t know the wisdom you can learn from your failure, you’re missing out on a great gift. Think of failing as yourself falling forward. Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently — it’s an event, not who you are.
6. Not building in regular review and assessment.
If you don’t schedule times to check in, review, and reassess what you want to achieve, your progress is never going to be what you want it to be. Regular review is a critical step in the process.
7. Having a negative attitude.
We all know that negativity can interfere with achievement, but it can also keep you from setting positive goals. A bad attitude is like a flat tire — you cannot get very far until you change it. It’s one of the biggest disabilities you can carry, at every step.
8. Setting too many goals at once.
Multiple goals quickly become an issue. As with setting goals that are too broad, there’s no need to focus in and achieve. You can justify spending your energy on whatever’s in front of you, which means you’ll never get where you want to be — and negates the whole point of having goals.
Creating solid goals isn’t the whole game — it’s just the first step — but done well, it can make them a lot more achievable.
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Originally published on Inc.com