Friday, November 29, 2013

6 Things To Avoid If You Want To Achieve Your Goals

By Lachlan Haynes

Progress necessitates that you do more than just hope something happens for you. Unless you have a clear set of smaller, attainable goals and a clear plan of execution and an understanding of why you want to reach them, your chances of attaining the achievement you crave aren't going to be great. Luckily, there are tools that you can utilize that will help you avoid the pitfalls to progress, which will help you to set your goals confidently and grant you the ability to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing what you've planned to do. Let's check out some of those pitfalls that you'll need to avoid in order to achieve success!

1. You've set goals that don't motivate you. When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you (yes, you!) This means making sure that they are important to you, and that you feel there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture you have created for yourself, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Why? Because goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an "I must do this" attitude. When you don't have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. So do your goals actually motivate you?

2. Your goals don't work for you. Does your adherence to your goals find you feeling confused about the next steps to take? If your goals are not concise, attainable, practical, and/or quantifiable, they are not smart goals - thus making their execution frustrating and much harder on you than necessary. Are your goals simply outlined, and able to be completed on a realistic timeline?

Your goals aren't specific. Concise is key, so when you set up a list of indistinct goals, you're working against yourself because you will not have a specific course. Always remember: your goals should show you the path to your progress.

Your goals aren't quantifiable. Your goals should be measurable in dates, totals - in numbers. You will find comfort in knowing that your percentages toward achievement are growing gradually each day, so if your goal is something as general as 'learn more', how on Earth will you see when you've achieved this? When your plan of action is devoid of quantification, you will lose out on the feeling of celebration that arises when you make progress.

Setting achievable goals can be tricky for some. You want to set goals that are challenging and not met too easily but you also need to be realistic. If you set yourself an unrealistic goal you may have no hope in attaining, especially if it is something out of your control, and you are setting yourself up for failure. Setting yourself up for failure will only lead to disappointment, frustration, and eat away at your self-confidence. On the contrary, if your goal is too easily achieved you may feel disappointed once you do accomplish it because you did not have to work that hard for it. This disappointment may pave the way later for a resistance in setting goals since you did not receive the feeling of triumph you expected. By finding the balance between realism and challenge, you set yourself up for a demanding climb but a rewarding pay out.

Your steps are not significant to your progress. When you outline your goals, they should relate directly to the big picture. If you can keep your daily steps parallel to your ultimate career and life goals, your moves will keep your eye on the prize. When you set irrelevant or contradictory goals, your time and energy will be wasted on activities that get you nowhere.

The goals you set need to follow a timeline and have a deadline. A deadline creates a sense of urgency and will further motivate you to keep on track with the steps needed for success. This also means when you hit your deadline and you have been successful, you can celebrate your victory.

3. Your goals live only in your head. When you can see your goals laid out in front of you, they have a real, actual presence that brings them into your life. Write them out, and keep them somewhere in which you are forced to see and acknowledge them every day. Rather than using language like, "I'd like to", or "I hope to", create more certainty by beginning sentences with language such as, "I will". This lends legitimacy to your goals, which will soon be apparent in your actions. When you use flimsy language, you give yourself a built-in excuse to procrastinate or take longer than necessary to achieve your goals.

4. You have no real action plan. Many people feel this is unnecessary, yet those who are successful recognize this step as essential to making progress. You may feel you have your sights firmly set on the big picture, but if you have no daily goals set to help you achieve incrementally, you will lose focus and have trouble knowing exactly what needs to be done. When you allow yourself to check off the smaller steps little by little each day, you will find yourself striding toward the finish line with an even, realistic pace.

5. Your goals are all or nothing. When you have set more challenging and long-term goals such as wanting to lose a significant amount of weight or finish a marathon under a certain time, you may be setting yourself up for a negative outcome. It is important to define how you will feel if you get very close to your goal but not exactly meet it. The pass or fail mindset can be damaging and cause a negative spiral of self-defeat. For example, if you want to finish a marathon in less than 3 hours, what happens when you finish at 3 hours and 10 minutes? Are you going to beat yourself up or consider that a success?

6. You have given up too quickly. When times get tough, it is easy to give up. Did you give yourself enough time to achieve your goal? Or did you lose focus and get off track? Set up reminders for yourself on a weekly basis to check in with how you are doing. Even a few minutes to take check of your progress can pay off big in the end. You may find that your deadlines, goal milestones, or action plan need to be modified from time to time and that is okay. The most important thing is to stay focused, motivated, and confident. Don't give up; your success is just around the corner!

About the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment