7 mistakes of Goal Setting #2 & #3
Find & follow your motivation
As you don't just go on vacation, you also don't just set a goal.
Knowing why you do what you do will keep you on your track and afloat.
Look at the WHY as being the destination. The goal is the map, and the actions you take are all the different roads that lead you to your destination.
I hear many people: "My goal is to go to the gym this year". That is perfect! But why? You see... when you know your Why you have options.
"I want to lose 10 kg". So your goal is to lose 10 kg. Going to the gym is one mean to achieve that. And what happens if you can't go to the gym?
"Hmmm... I can run... Or join a walking club. I can do some exercises at home."
This is the difference: if your goal is to go to the gym and if going to the gym will not be possible (reasons are many, pick one), your goal dies. If instead, you name your Why, you can be creative and find ways to get there- you can achieve your goal playing by your own rules.
How to identify your Why, your motivation?
Look beyond the action you are thinking about:
What do you accomplish with this goal?
What need does it fulfil?
What emotions does this goal bring?
How does your life look like after the goal was accomplished? Look for what excites you about the action that you want to take- that is your motivation, your Why.
Sometimes, finding your Why saves time: do you pursue this goal because you want to do so or you "should" do so? Did you set a goal out of spite for someone?
Time is the only resource that can't be saved, stored or multiplicate. Use it wisely, invest in what you feel a passion for, in what adds value to your life and the lives of others, in what helps you move towards better days and empower others on your way to fulfilment.
Deadline... when the goal is dead because of the deadline...
Nowadays, everything seems achievable NOW. Well, if not now, then tomorrow. Nothing takes time or patience, everything is possible as soon as you decide to go for it and the fruits of your efforts can be gathered the next day. Can we, though?
A few months ago I read a book (can't remember the title- I think it was The Happiness Advantage) where it was explained how we underestimate our ability to cope with failure, go through hard times and move on (yes, we are stronger than we think we are). In relation with goal setting, I would add that we also underestimate the time in which we can travel from our present- state to the desired- state, from setting the goal to achieving the goal.
Why NOT to set a unrealistic deadline?
First, a job done in a hurry isn't a job well done. The risk to make mistakes increases as you hurry up more and more.
Secondly, a tight deadline causes stress. Put under a lot of stress, your mind and body will demand that you choose between the goal and your well- being. Tough choice, right? If some deadline is non- negotiable, check your priorities. Follow the rule: important and urgent things first, important but not urgent things, second.
Let me ask you something else... Would you enjoy a trip if you had to rush through the forest and field to reach the destination? "Hurry up, come on, come on, faster, faster!" I don't think so... Loosen that target date so you can enjoy the process- ups and downs, replanning and reflecting. Everything will bring you closer to what you want, and everything teaches you something new. By rushing through it, you will lose opportunities to become wiser, to deal efficiently with changes in the plan and thus, to find a better and faster way towards your goal... I hope you know: if you fail to plan well, you plan to fail.
So, let's take some time to check the deadlines we set for our goals.
Is the deadline supportive of us?
Did we allow ourselves room to learn and fail, to fall and get back up, to observe and asses, to enjoy the process and make sure we arrive at the destination well?
Now I hope you see how motivation fuels you in your endeavours and the deadline doesn’t feel anymore like a tight nose around your neck.
Motivation, your Why inspires patience and creativity, consistency and determination. And these are the attributes of a person who is in the game for the long run, who commits to their goals no matter how hard or how long the road will be, who knows and truly believes that the prize will worth every effort.