At networking meetups, I like to ask people if they regularly set goals. Of course, it’s my business, but it’s also a great way to shift a mundane business conversation from small talk into something more meaningful. Every time I ask the question, I step back and listen. More often than not, I receive a new insight into how people approach getting what they want.
How to Overcome Roadblocks that Prevent Us from Setting Goals
My informal findings suggest that everyone has wants and desires, but most don’t follow any formal goal definition process and they don’t track their progress in a meaningful way. Instead, most follow the “focus and sheer will” method. People become inspired to want something new, and they either hold that vision steady until they get what they want or they eventually forget about it and go after another shiny object.
Absence of focus does not necessarily mean lack of desire, but it does lead to an unmet goal.
People don’t set goals for lots of reasons, but I find most of those reasons fall into 3 categories:
1) I have trouble defining goals
2) I set goals, but I don’t follow through
3) I have no confidence that my goals can be achieved
Do you have problems with any of these areas related to goal setting and follow through?
If you’re like most people, you’ll identify with at least one category, maybe you can relate to all 3?
Category 1: Trouble Defining Goals
I get it. It seems quite simple. You want something. That something is a goal, right? Well, in a broad sense, yes it is.
Our definition of a goal: A goal is an improved state you define for yourself, what you desire to achieve at the end of a specified period of time.
If your goal is too vague, you may find it hard to visualize what your life will be like when you achieve it, you may find it hard to break down your goal into accomplishments that help you track progress, and you may find it hard to stay motivated.
Be specific and define an action plan.
Category 2: No Follow Through
First off, be honest with yourself. After you’ve set that goal, if you find that you’ve stopped trying or dead-ended, ask yourself this simple question: Is this goal still important to me? If you find the answer is no, then stop beating yourself up for not achieving it. Somewhere along the line, you decided that other aspects of your life are more important. Acknowledge, let go and move on to goals that you do care about.
However, if the goal is still important, assess where you are and clarify your next steps. If you fell into the Category 1 trap and you did not clearly define your goal with an action plan, do that now. The action plan should have intermediate accomplishments with due dates, so you can celebrate your progress and stay motivated.
Category 3: No Confidence
I was chatting with a group of women at an entrepreneur meetup when I casually brought up the topic of goal setting for business. One woman admitted: “I was 9 months into my business before I believed that I could achieve my goals. At first, I was not charging enough to ever achieve what I wanted for my myself and my business. It wasn’t until I gained the confidence to charge what I was worth that achieving my business goals became possible.”
Your confidence level affects your ability to achieve your goals.
Then another woman added her own story: “When I started my business, I gave myself a year to get my business off the ground. Several months in, I realized that this buffer kept me from becoming successful, because I expected my success to come in the future. So, I started to tell myself that I want it now, not next year, and my business improved.”
Your frame of reference affects your ability to achieve your goals.
Yes, by definition, your goals shall be fully achieved in the near future, but get yourself into the proper mindset now.
Want to Learn How to Set Achievable Goals?
When you set achievable goals, you have a better chance of getting what you want.
Want more information about how to clearly define goals?
We are scheduling sessions of our new goal setting webinar in the next few weeks.
Let us know that you are interested, and we’ll send you an exclusive invite.