In my experience with both setting goals for myself and in helping others work through goal-setting, what I’ve observed is that most people fall into a few traps. Here is the truth about goal setting.
Goals that are difficult to achieve tend to increase performance than those that are not.
So, it stands to reason that the more difficult your goals are, the more productive results you will see. Except for one thing, human behavior constraints. We are all human and we have human limitations, some of which are hard to see without some form of help.
Here are some of the ways goals can help you:
Focus: Your goals will narrow your attention toward activities that move your closer to your desired outcomes and away from outcomes you do not desire. Goals are directional, they are like signposts or mile-markers along the road of your dreams.
Energy: Your goals have the ability to energize you toward better results. Bigger goals lead you toward increased effort while lower goals lead you toward lesser effort.
Resiliency: Your goals affect your pace and build your strength toward constraints. There is nothing that spurs you on like overcoming a difficulty.
I.Q.: To insure you overcome obstacles, you have to learn, which increases your overall knowledge. You also have to devise processes and strategies which help you achieve your goals. You have to figure some things out and solve some problems. This is very, very good for your growth and development.
E.Q.: You are going to learn a tremendous amount about how much your feelings influence and affect your outcomes. How well you manage your emotions and thoughts have a huge bearing on your results.
A.Q.: Your skills in goal setting increase as you work on it. You will constantly convert what you learn into what you can actually do.
Traps you face with your goals:
Setbacks: These are part of the process. There are going to be constraints and setbacks in every area of life, not just in your goals. Your goals teach you how to handle adversity and deal with setbacks. Your mindset is key, you may experience failure, but you are not a failure.
Low pain tolerance: Since we were little children, we have been taught that pain is bad. We have entire industries that produce products to alleviate pain. Our brains are wired with a fight/flight warning system. Flight signal means stop or run away. Fight signal means fight through and go forward. It’s very important to distinguish which is which and what to choose when adversity comes.
Obsessing: When we end up focusing on the results of our goals rather than the process that is improving us, we obsess. Our obsession is focusing on win/lose or good/bad. We fight off obsessing by reminding ourselves that setting goals as a habit is a long-term process, not something we are just doing for a short-term project. We improve in small increments over a lifetime, not huge bursts, so we can quit.
Your goals are travel guides on the road to your success.