With the emphasis that is placed on goals today we could well risk feeling inadequate and a total failure unless we can toss out three lofty aspirations about our goals at the drop of a hat. One example of the self-flagellation is the annual ritual of the New Year resolution. We know from experience that most often, the noble and lofty goals that we talk about at the turn of the year are often a fading memory before the month of January is over.
Goal setting is an important part of enjoying a successful, meaningful and fulfilling career and life experience. The emphasis is on enjoying the process. For so many today goals have become a source of endless stress, frustration and disappointment.
What are goals really about?
One factor that can be overlooked is an appreciation of the true purpose of a goal. A valuable perspective on the real purpose of a goal proposes that the goal is less about the object or outcome itself and far more about the person that emerges in its achievement through the growth and development that happens though the process of achieving it.
In other cases, there is a lack of emotional connection and buy in to the goal. Pain and pleasure drive our behaviours. We change habitual behaviours when there is enough painassociated to remaining in the status quo. That pain drives us to overcome inertia and begin to move away from the pain source by changing our behaviour. This is the away from motivation. However, when we move far enough so that the pain diminishes enough, the intensity of our change will diminish unless we associate massive pleasure to the outcome thus encouraging us to maintain the effort – this is towards motivation. Pain will get us moving, pleasure will keep us going until the goal is reached.
There is an adage which says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten”. Stated in the positive, this translates to, “Only change affects change”. Often goals are set and the old behaviour patterns remain with the approach being to increase the intensity. There’s an expression “You don’t walk east if you are looking for a sunset” – well if your heading east looking for a sunset, picking up the pace to a sprint won’t help. Where we are today reflects our past decisions and actions and to change direction requires new decisions, new actions, new behaviour patterns and habits that are aligned with our goals.
Unrealistic time frames
In the Tony Robbins world, “Goals are dreams with a deadline.” When setting goals many often overlook the need for establishing a specific and realistid timeframe for accomplishing the goal. Setting too short a timeline makes the goal unrealistic, too long reduces the urgency to act and without a specific timeline, the goal is nothing more than an aspiration that we would like someday.
Amongst the key focuses at Finish What You Start will be setting SMARTER goals, finding strong emotional drivers, identifying aligned behaviours and actions and creating a plan to consistently implement them.