Goal setting is so easy, but committing to achieving these goals is hard. In fact, you can get fascinated by the number of goals you can achieve if you only do something to achieve them. You can end up changing your goals because of the challenges along the way. While it is good to set too many goals, not fulfilling any of them can be frustrating.
If you have already set goals, ask yourself why none of them are fulfilled. Sometimes, we are too focused on creating these goals that we forget to understand how to achieve them. The process may not be new to you as you have undergone the same goal-setting process, but you keep on failing. There might be problems that you fail to recognize, causing you to have difficulties advancing to the next stage of the goal-setting process.
For instance, have you asked yourself if your goals is aligned to what you really want to do? If you are only setting some goals for the sake of having a goal, it definitely won’t work. When your goals are only influenced by other people’s opinion, you will not realize the importance of these goals as they are only created based on society’s expectations.
It can be tough to set these goals if you are completely clueless about the road you are going to take. If you set these goals without knowing the reasons for doing so, you will give up if you see any obstacles to fulfilling these goals.
When you follow-through on a goal, it means you know why you need to fulfill it. There is a difference when you know why these goals are created in the first place. If it takes time for you to achieve your goals, re-evaluate them so you will know if they are right or suitable for your needs.
Questions you should start asking yourself
1. Is there a finite end to this goal?
Sometimes in our attempt to acquire a new (and healthier) habit, we choose a goal that can never be fully achieved. Popular goals in this category are things like writing everyday or going to the gym three times a week. It sounds great, at the beginning. But not only are you more likely to be overwhelmed by a never ending goal, but it robs you of the joy of ultimately accomplishing it. Nothing says a single goal has to last all year. If you really want to go to the gym three times a week, maybe set a goal for just the next week. When that goal is complete, you can set it again or re-evaluate if that’s the right goal for your needs. Either way, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself and your ability to follow-through. These shorter-term goals are actually what many elite athletes use to drive better and more consistent performance.
2. Does your goal address what you want to do or what you think you should do?
It’s hard to overstate how much our goals are influenced by the opinions of others. Is losing weight really important to you, or is it something you feel you “should” do, based on society’s expectations? Do you really want to write a book with ever fiber of your being, or does gracing the shelves of your local book store somehow feel more worthy than spending time on another craft project? While it’s not impossible to follow-through on a goal driven by a should, it’s a lot harder than one driven by your own personal definition of success.
3. Why do you want to accomplish this goal?
Related to #2 is the why behind your goal choice. Many of us imagine our goals will produce some sort of life-changing result upon accomplishment. You tell yourself you’ll improve your health if you run a marathon. Or you’ll stop worrying about money if you hit a certain income target. But can those goals really deliver the outcomes you want? The truth is, an awful lot of goals are driven by ego. And the satisfaction you get from ego-based goals, even if accomplished, is usually short-lived. A better approach is to start with the real why, and then brainstorm goals that have a much better chance of producing the end result you want.
4. How challenging will it be to accomplish this goal?
There are two schools of thought here. One says to pick goals that stretch you without overwhelming you. The other says to choose goals so ridiculously high that you have almost no chance of achieving them the first time around, but make it more likely that you’ll accomplish more than you would if you’d set more “realistic” goals. I suspect different people will find one approach more appealing and motivating than the other.