Setting goals is easy, exciting, and even satisfying, but fulfilling them is the real challenge. What part of the process fails us when we don’t reach our goals?
Some research shows telling those around you what you’re trying to achieve negatively impacts your chances of success. There’s an interesting Ted Talk on the subject. Per those sources, telling others your goals gives you a false feeling of achievement, leading to complacency since you’ve already made “progress” (not!).
I agree that announcing your goals can be a factor, but once you’re self aware, it’s easy to overcome. Instead, I believe the largest problem with goals is when they aren’t S.M.A.R.T.:
- Specific: no generalities; instead of “I want to run farther” say “I will run a 10k by March 2018”
- Measurable: without a defined end goal, it is impossible to see progress which can diminish motivation
- Achievable: it must be something you can see yourself accomplishing because it is easy to be discouraged when a goal seems out of reach; instead of going from not running to “I want to run a marathon” say “I will run a 5K” – work up to the larger goal
- Relevant: if your goal doesn’t directly relate to a passion, hobby, or even work, loss of interest is inevitable
- Timely: if there is no deadline, there is no fire!
When goals don’t meet all of the above – when a goal can’t answer who/what/when/where/why – it’s very easy to let them fall by the wayside. It’s no surprise, and certainly no one’s fault! Why would you stick with a goal that isn’t relevant to your current interests? How can you achieve a goal when there’s no way to know what’s actually been achieved?
This year, all of my goals are going to be S.M.A.R.T. certified. We’ll visit my goals and intentions for 2018 in the coming days.
In the meantime, have an incredible New Year’s! Have fun and be safe! (It’s snowing in Austin – what’re the odds?! I almost ate it taking Miles downstairs for a walk…)