When Goal Setting may Not Be a Good Idea
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When Goal Setting May Not Be Such a Good Idea
We hear so much these days about goal setting.
How to set goals, big goals, little goals, target driven goals. But there are times when goal setting is not always such a good idea.
Many people want to achieve certain goals but sometimes end up failing and feeling more miserable than before they started. Which is why I see so many people not set any at all. Especially around New Year.
New Year is the time when many set their resolutions but how many set or review their yearly goals? Very few and the reason is because of fear.
The fear of failure
I’ve seen some who spend their entire lives trying to achieve target driven goals for very little return on their efforts or simply spend years not enjoying it.
However, we often read about some incredibly driven and committed people who manage to achieve some amazing things, often with huge physical or mental challenges. And the reason is …
There’s Something Else Required
I’m not against goals entirely, far from it. But having a goal without a vision doesn’t really amount to much. By vision I mean a vision of something greater than just a goal. A vision is a series of goals, each building on the last realising something of real significance.
It also needs something additional.A reason why. Your why has to be great enough to overcome the challenges along the way and also to be worthy of your most precious commodity, your time and your life.
It means to have a bigger picture. To achieve something a bit more than just a monthly sales target.
Earl Nightingale, the American radio host and speaker once said “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal”.
Which Begs the Question…..
When looking at your vision and goals, I would recommend asking the question “What’s worthy of your time and your life?”.
Your vision doesn’t have to mean a picture of a luxury yacht in the Caribbean, sipping cocktails whilst making millions. That’s a little shallow. Unless you happen to like yachts and the Caribbean.
For some the idea of being able to spend more quality time with their family rather than killing themselves at a job they hate would bring so much happiness to them.
Or maybe being able to spend time writing a book you’ve always wanted to.
There are so many things that can change your world and bring you and others true happiness or contentment. If it’s the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.
So, When is Goal Setting Not Such a Good Idea?
For years I worked in a very pressurised environment in commodities and there was a high level of expectation from the companies I worked for, colleagues and of course, from myself.
Which was to be expected given the industry I was in.
For the first ten years I worked in small teams, we all knew what was expected of us and we all worked together as a unit to achieve the results. We didn’t have any false goals or targets but I did have my own personal targets and what I thought was a vision of my future.
However, one company I worked for had a much larger team of people and the outlook was completely different. And so were the goals. The goals were set by the company and the bosses and certainly didn’t include my vision.
Goals when set by others are not always such a good idea.
I understand some have them and some need them to keep focused. They need the pressure to perform but it can be counter-productive.
We feel obligated and instead of being ourselves and going after our own goals, we chase others’ ideals that have been set for us and can lead to anxiety, stress and frustration.
What Can Happen?
The effect is that we don’t really reach our potential. I couldn’t get excited by doing what others thought I ‘should’ be doing instead of following a vision for my future.
So whilst goals in themselves are not bad, without the bigger picture, the vision or the dream, they can just be millstones or unrewarding challenges, especially if set by someone else.
When setting your goals. It may be an idea to re-think your goal strategy, vision or dreams and if you haven’t got any, an even better time to start making some.
If you would like to know more about how I may be able to help you with your vision and goals, get on touch by clicking here