This Article is About
setting goals
lack of motivation
lack of knowledge
failure
Tackling The Problem Of Setting Goals You Won't Achieve
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Tackling the Problem Of Setting Goals You Won\'t Achieve

If you’ve ever made goals in the past and you haven’t achieved them, have you thought about what went wrong or have you decided that goal setting just doesn’t work? Lots of people blame the principles of goal setting rather than considering what they could do to improve their goal setting techniques to ensure their success. Setting goals you won’t achieve is clearly pointless but worse it is stressful and dispiriting.

Now I know the majority of people wouldn’t deliberately set goals they wouldn’t achieve so why does it happen? Laziness, lack of motivation, lack of knowledge... It could be any of these things, or something entirely different. Whatever the problems you might have had with goal setting in the past, leave it in the past. Now is the time to reassess your goal setting techniques and make sure that you plan goals, that will lead you to take action and ultimately achieve the success that you deserve.

Set goals that are goals not wishes

One of the key reasons that people don’t achieve goals is because they set ‘goals’ that really aren’t goals at all. They are no more than wishes. “I want to get fitter” is a common example. Well that won’t cut it. What does ‘get fitter’ mean? Without having any detail of what that means and what you will do to try and achieve it, it won’t happen.

Set goals you believe in

You may be thinking that you would always set goals that you believe in but one of the criticisms of goal setting in the workplace is that employees often have goals imposed on them that they don’t believe in or they’re not committed to so they fail to achieve them. So don’t set yourself up for failure. If you’re setting a goal, ensure that it’s something you really want and are committed to achieving.

Understand the benefits of the goals you set

When you’re thinking about goal setting it's important that you think through the benefits of achieving specific goals. This will not only help to bring clarity to what you want to achieve, but it will also help you to stay motivated when you’re completing tasks towards your goal. You will have a constant reminder of the choices you've made and why you're doing what you're doing, which will help keep you going when things go wrong or you experience dips in motivation.

Avoid being over ambitious

There is absolutely nothing wrong in being ambitious. There’s nothing wrong in setting goals where you will have to stretch yourself, work outside your comfort zone and or learn new skills in order to achieve them. However, it’s important that you understand your ‘baseline’ ie your starting point and set challenging but realistic timeframes.

Avoid setting goals that are too small

Now of course the size of the goal is entirely subjective, but this is only meant as a warning. Setting tiny goals that you can easily achieve can be counterproductive and can act as a delaying tactic to setting the goals that are really important. In the long term it can also hit your motivation as you realise you’re not really making progress in the areas of your life that you wanted.

Summary

Some of the examples above may resonate with you or you may have further examples of your own. Setting goals you won’t achieve is something you clearly want to avoid. Goal setting does work, but if you’ve found it’s something that you’ve struggled with in the past – examine the techniques you’ve been using and give it another go. Successful goal setting is the first stage in starting to transform your life.


Street Talk

I think I see me having problems in all those areas!! LOL It's great though, when I focus and get in the zone...I think this has to do with a belief that I CAN do. I notice that when I am unsure IF I can do something, I rarely will stay focused and accomplish.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for taking the time to comment. You're absolutely right to adopt a 'Can do' attitude to getting things done and staying focussed.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Goal setting is so critical - thanks for an informative article. I'm in a phase of working tiny goals, myself. As in gaining the habits on a day to day basis that I need. Overall also big ones but more in a heading in the direction of since I have so far to go:-) But working on the tiny habits create the groundwork. In work and all phases of life...

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hi Cynthia - Thanks for the comment and apologies for the late reply. I think you're sensible to work on some small goals that help you to establish habtts. You're absolutely right they do help to lay groundwork.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

It took me a long time to understand that I was guilty of always setting the bar too high. One one figures this out it does get easier.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn (sorry for the late reply). It's a fine balance isn't it between setting the bar where you push yourself and setting it at the point where you're setting yourself up for failure. The biggest challenge is understanding just how much we're capabale of.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Johnney  

Obviously, setting goals is like have a roadmap to get to where you want to go, but if it stays in the glove compartment, you'll always be as lost as last years Easter Egg. As far as the size of your goals and not being too small, what do think about breaking your goals into smaller chunks if you start feeling you're not progressing as well as you had hoped? Thanks for the share, coach.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for taking the time to comment Johnney. I like the idea of it being lost in the glove compartment. I think its great to break goals into smaller chunks and do it all the time. However, the point I was trying to make (probably not very well) is that if we constantly set small goals that one can easily achieve we may actually be avoiding doing things that should have higher priority and are of more importance.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Johnney  

Very good point indeed. Often times the easy road leads to complacency.

  
  about 7 years ago
Barbara9  

excellent article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Barbara. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
You May Also Like
Setting Goals the Smart Way!
Setting goals for yourself is an important way of achieving what you need to. You may have been told to set goals many times but what is the best way to do this? How do you effectively go about ? The process can vary greatly according to what you are…
By: RyanK in  Business  >  Career Advice   Apr 14, 2013  
1
  Likes: 0

Setting Goals for Maximum Performance
Regardless to whether you are an amateur playing for fun or a world class professional tennis player, you always want to show your best tennis. Since everything should be done according to the plan or schedule, to achieve best results you need to set goals. Goal setting would include both…
By: Luca Godano in  Recreation and Sports  >  Tennis   Dec 15, 2012  
1
  Likes: 3

Effectiveness Of Setting Goals
We've all been told about the importance of setting goals but how effective is goal setting? Harvard did a survey about goal setting with 100 of their alumni with very interesting results. It turned out that only 3 out of the 100 made a lifelong habit of goal setting. What…
By: Steve McWilliams in  Self Improvement  >  Goal Setting   Aug 16, 2013  
8
  Likes: 3

Get Better At Basketball By Setting Goals
Begin with the 6 P's to Success What are the "6 P's"? They are basically a fun and easy way to remember the road to success. I don't know who said it first or who made it up but the first time I ever heard about it was from a…
By: ElaineK in  Recreation and Sports  >  Basketball   Jul 19, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Resolutions, Goal Setting, Is it Really so Hard to Stick? A New Way Of Setting Goals for Mumpreneurs
How many resolutions or goals have you made at the beginning of the year and a few weeks in they have fallen over? I often hear myself to be much better, do more and do not give up. Does goal setting ever really work or does it focus on the…
By: Fiona Scrymgeour in  Self Improvement  >  Goal Setting   May 22, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Setting Goals
You probably have heard many times that you should be setting goals. You might think that it is not something you need to do. You can accomplish everything without having to set goals. This would be the wrong mind set. If you look around you and see people that are…
By: Walt Derksen in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Jun 10, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Do You Know What the Big Secret Of Achieving Your Goals Is?
Every journey starts with a step and every victory involves practice. The difference between a dream and a goal is belief. While a dream is something that seems unattainable, the goal is an achievable target. When we embark in accomplishing something and we commit to do every single day an…
By: Ancuta Neagu in  Self Improvement  >  Goal Setting   Mar 11, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Set Running Goals
If I asked you what goals you had set for your career, education or future in general, you would probably easily be able to list off a few of them. Some might be reasonable and obtainable for you and some might be these sort of "dream" goals that you hope…
By: Irksy in  Recreation and Sports  >  Running   Jun 29, 2012  
11
  Likes: 6

5 Benefits Of Goal Setting
Are you one of those people who struggle to see the benefits of goal setting? After all if you have something you want to achieve – why should you think any further than that? Why not just get on with it? If that works for you that’s great but certainly…
By:  in  Self Improvement  >  Goal Setting   May 24, 2012  
10
  Likes: 5

How to Get What You Want
There is something that every single person has in common. We all want something. Maybe you want to go shopping for new clothes, maybe you want to be in a relationship with another person, or maybe you want to travel to another country this year. One cannot ever run out…
By: Greg12 in  Self Improvement  >  Goal Setting   Feb 22, 2013  
2
  Likes: 2

The Setting Of Goals - Why Some People Dont Do It
When I first trained as a coach, I couldn’t work out why the setting of goals might be a controversial issue. It’s obvious why you should set short, medium and long terms goals isn’t it? Well actually no. It may be obvious to people who are very goal orientated, but…
By:  in  Self Improvement  >  Goal Setting   May 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

The Facts to Lose Weight
Diet, health and weight loss are the most trendy subjects nowadays, Everyone talks about losing weight, going healthy. But there are much deeper facts regarding this subject, as you go further there is always the emotional eating, eating for pleasure, nothing-else-to-do eating…etc these are most of the reasons for eating…
By: T.S. in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Feb 24, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

How to Start Running When Out Of Shape
So, you want to know how to start running when out of shape. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you've already thought about it, hence landing on this article. Also, the "how to" is not very difficult once you understand the tasks involved. The…
By: CyberAaron in  Health and Fitness  >  Exercise   Mar 19, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

The Process Of Self Development
We would all agree that the process of self development isn’t an overnight process and not instantaneous either. It is also confirm-able that it takes time and can be quite challenging as well. One can easily give up if not guided or if the right tools for self improvement are…
By: Josh McObuya (Greenright) in  Self Improvement  >  Motivation   Feb 06, 2012  
22
  Likes: 14

Goal Setting for Writers
One way to give direction to your writing efforts involves setting goals. This can prove particularly useful to writers new to the craft. However, even experienced writers can find it useful to set goals on a regular basis. An important aspect of goal-setting related to your writing involves getting clear…
By: Christine Lebednik in  Writing and Speaking  >  Writing   Jan 24, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1498    Report this Article