A phrase like “achieving life goals” sounds like an extremely important, yet complicated and time-consuming thing to do.
After all our life goals play a key role at how successful we will be in life.
If you already have big life goals – congratulations!
If not, I’m sure that you’ll find a worthy goal to pursue.
What matters right now is for you to increase your chances of success, by avoiding 3 Major Goal Setting Mistakes.
These mistakes are so sneaky that many Goal Setting courses actually teach them as a part of their achievement strategy. Yet they are so harmful, that they easily account for 80% of failed goals, unmet New Year’s resolutions and wasted Goal Setting efforts.
These mistakes make achieving life goals not only more challenging, but close to impossible. Here they are:
Major Mistake #1: Pursuing several goals at once
If you are not new to Goal Setting you’ve probably heard advice to break your life goals into 7 different categories: Health, Career, Finances, Family, Education, Spiritual Goals and Pleasure Goals. It is advised to have 2-3 goals for each category, to give you a complete picture of all the areas that you want to improve your life in.
At a first glance, it makes sense, but what this advice actually represents is a step-by-step guide to failure. First of all, just trying to remember all 21 goals is a tiresome task. But if on top of that you have to pursue a couple, it becomes totally unproductive. Not only are you spreading yourself too thin by dividing limited resources as time, energy and motivation between multiple goals, but you also work harder, instead of working smarter. Why?
Because just as our brain is not programmed for multi-tasking, constantly switching between two unrelated tasks, it’s not used for pursuing several goals at once. If you want to achieve any worthwhile goals, start small and focus on just one goal at a time. It’s the fastest way to get great results.
One down and two to go. Keep reading and you can improve your chance to reach your goals and find the success you are searching for.
Major Mistake #2: Setting huge goals
Life goals are usually big goals, meaning that they are also complex, time-consuming and overwhelming. And what do we do with complex, time-consuming and overwhelming tasks? We actively avoid them by focusing on easier, more pleasant goals (even if they don’t make any significant impact on our life). You don’t want your biggest, most important goals to turn from a source of motivation into a source of procrastination, break them down into smaller sub-goals.
For example, look at your biggest goal and think how you can break it down into specific, measurable and realistic mini-goals that you could achieve in the next 90 days? If you want to lose ‘24 pounds in a year’, make it ‘losing 2 pounds in a month’. If you want to build a new start-up, set an objective of researching, contacting and getting 3 meetings with the angel investors.
The old design “KISS” Principle that stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid” – works great when applied to setting goals!
Major Mistake #3: Dreaming about the Outcome
It is important to be clear about your goals. Knowing exactly where you want to get in life, who do you want to become and what you want to have, creates momentum and gives you initial boost of motivation. However, research shows that focusing too much on the outcome could be one of the main reasons why it is so hard for us to stick with our goals.
Psychologists noticed that when people were focused on the results, each step of the way seemed harder and less enjoyable. On the other hand, the group of people that focused on the process (like going to the gym three times a week or eating 500 calories less a day) would stick with their goals much longer and felt more motivated.
Take this lesson and use to your advantage to achieve life goals. Because after all the “life itself is a journey, not a destination”!
Written on 10/18/2013 by Arina Nikitina.
Photo Credit: Celestine Chua
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