It takes dedication and competence to crush goals, anything less to kill them.
We are told that goals are important. Year after year, we have the best of intentions to make sure this year is different from last – no repeats. Then we rinse and repeat and wonder what happened.
Little do we know that there are things we do (and don’t do) that ensure we never hit our goals, if we even have goals. In this article, we will start with the assumption that we have a goal. From there, what happens along the way is crucial in determining if we will ever achieve it.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best ways to kill our goals and consequently our dreams of a life desired.
We don’t write our goals down
It’s so simple, yet so few people do it. How can we expect to be able to do the difficult part of achieving our goals if we can’t even do the easy part of writing them down? There’s a special “magic” of writing down goals.
First, the act of writing something down will cement it in your mind. The thought process of writing creates deeper pathways to memory than just have the goal rattling around in our mind amongst the million other things we have in there.
Second, we are paying a price to write it down, namely time (our life). When we pay a price for something, it is in our nature to get something for it. We raise the stakes on our commitment to our goal.
And if we write them down every day, we must either take action on those goals or stop writing them down. The cognitive dissonance of continuing to write them without doing anything about it is too much for most people to bear.
We don’t set a deadline
A real deadline can be inferred from the word. It’s the line that if we don’t cross it, we’re dead. More precisely, our goal is dead. And that’s one of the best ways to kill any goal and our future.
There’s a special science behind setting a deadline. Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. In other words, we will always wait until the last second to complete any task.
So if we don’t set a deadline, by law, we’ll never actually complete it. Moreover, it is imperative to not wait until the plan is in place to achieve the goal before setting the deadline. This is a huge mistake that I personally see with anyone looking to achieve a goal.
Instead, commit a date in which the album will be released, the paper will be published, or the competition will take place and then begin to create the plan to be ready by that time.
We wait until New Year’s Day
Time is both the solution and the enemy. Investing time in the worthwhile can make all of our dreams and goals come true. Conversely, spending time doing anything else can destroy our chance for success.
Any serious goal, or at least one worth doing, cannot wait. The infamous, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow” is the kiss of death. Why? Because tomorrow never comes. Granted, New Year’s Day will come and very likely will go with the same non-committal attitude that we had on December 31st.
There’s no time like now to at least get the goal written down and get moving on making it come to fruition. If we can’t devote a few minutes of our life for what we truly want today, how will we ever find time tomorrow?
We set a goal too small
How often do we find ourselves doing what we want instead of what we must? Distractions are easy to find, especially when they’re more fun than the important task at hand. What can we do to keep us focused and eliminate the distractions?
We must have a huge goal. A goal so big and so exciting that we can’t wait to get to work on it. Setting a small goal is setting ourselves up for failure. Not only does it make us want to avoid the work, the reward is so small that it often doesn’t even feel worth it.
This doesn’t mean set a goal so huge that it’s completely inconceivable. However, a huge goal should scare you, at least a little bit. If it doesn’t scare you, it’s probably not big enough. At the end of the day, it’s never how big a goal is, but rather whether it’s worth the effort.
We become a secret agent
Goals are never accomplished in secret. There is a key ingredient to hitting any goal and it’s called accountability. We cannot be fully accountable to ourselves, no matter how much we believe we can.
Any goal we keep to ourselves can easily be forgotten or quit on. After all, who will know except us? And we can just add it to the pile of other unfulfilled promises we make to ourselves every day. Talk about a depressing pile!
A higher-level of accountability to commit to another person. Something bigger than us must be on the line. It’s got to be a do-or-someone-will-die situation else the stakes for quitting will not be high enough.
Publicly announcing a big goal is yet another level of accountability. For one, it requires that we are serious enough to blast it out there, and two, the mere fact of looking bad in front of others will drive us to never quit on our goal. What’s truly amazing is the amount of support that we’ll find through others that could help us achieve our goal faster and more efficiently.
Let’s stop stopping ourselves from creating the life we want. To start, let’s stop these 5 mistakes and start doing the right way:
Write our goals down – every day!
Set a deadline immediately.
Start today with a small action.
Set a goal that scares us.
Tell someone your goal – and be excited about it.
The good news is that if we take our goals seriously, we’ll find that life becomes a process of constant improvement, unconditional happiness, and level of wealth in each aspect beyond our wildest dreams. It only takes the desire, will, and some action.
Do you agree with us about how we kill goals?
Did any of these things surprise you?
Do you have a story you’d like to share about an experience you or a friend have had with achieving or not achieving a goal?
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