Goal Setting! It’s a wonderful thing. All you have to do is set a goal and now your life is on easy street. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
But wait a minute, I thought goal setting is all the rage? All I have to do is set a goal, everything becomes clear and all my next steps instantly appear. I guess that is possible, but you must avoid the biggest trap of goal setting. What about your big goals that haven’t happened yet? Most likely they will provide you with a very positive payoff and be good for all those around you. Is it just a cakewalk when you go after your goals or are there obstacles? You have probably already encountered obstacles or you would have everything you ever wanted.
What are these obstacles? Well, there is a huge variety of them. They can be physical, mental, and spiritual and they differ from person to person and from goal to goal. Knowing the specific details of the obstacles is nice, but what really matters is having the ability to consistently navigate around whatever might come up.
There are major areas where obstacles develop and the first area is not having a clear target or goal. If you have no clue as to what your target is, how can you possibly know if you hit it? How can you even start to plan a means to get there?
The second major area of breakdown is not having a clear plan or road map to follow. Your goal is doomed to remain in this dream state where you never take specific steps towards it.
The third major breakdown area is failing to track your progress. You have a great goal and a detailed plan, but you do not have a system in place to evaluate if your plan is working or if you are even following your plan. All plans require that you follow them in order to create any value and most likely they will also need course corrections. Once you start on your plan, you will discover new information that you didn’t know before and your plan will need to be updated.
Lastly, the final major area of breakdown is not having an outside means of accountability. Something that checks up on you to verify you are making progress towards your goal.
Now that we know the major areas where goal-setting breaks down, what is the biggest trap of goal setting? Simply put, it is not having a system in place that ensures you follow through on all the critical steps of goal setting. The good news is that once you set up your system, you can use it for all your goals.
First, your system needs to consistently remind you what your target/goal is. Many goals are abandoned because they were put off so many times, that thinking about them only reminds you of all the time that has been wasted.
Second, your system needs to track your progress. This enables you to make course corrections. Not only will it ensure you arrive at your goal, it also provides motivation by revealing all the progress you are making.
Finally, your system needs an OUTSIDE means of accountability. Something that checks up on you to make sure you have a clear target, you are following your plan, tracking your progress, and making the needed course corrections.
Avoid the biggest trap of goal setting! Develop a system that will guarantee you will follow through, no matter the goal, no matter the obstacle. Your goals are waiting and success is sure to be yours.