Do you fall into the biggest trap of goal setting is believing that once you set your goal that things are going to be smooth sailing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
I think it’s normal that we want to believe that once we set a goal, everything becomes clear and all your next steps instantly appear. I believe for some that is totally possible but that’s not the norm when you haven’t achieved a particular goal before. And discovering the trap of goal setting can work in your favor.
What about your big goals that haven’t happened yet? Most likely they will provide you with a very positive pay off and be good for all those around you. Is it just a cake walk 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, 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 several areas where obstacles develop and one key area is not having a clear target or goal. If you don’t know 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? I mean sure, you could say I want to write a book, and you may have an idea about your book but odds are a few things may still be a little muddled such as what are you trying to achieve with your book?
Secondly without a clear goal you can’t create a plan or a road map to follow. Your goal is doomed to remain in this dream state where you never take specific steps towards it. Keeping with the example of writing a book, it’s easy to say to just sit down and write every day until it’s done – but there are also things such a s word count and how many chapters to consider and maybe even a deadline. You aren’t going to write a 50,000 word book in a day.
Which leads to the next point, having a plan helps you 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.
And a final note is that having accountability can help you get clarity and a plan a little bit faster as well as achieving your goal! Having someone in your back corner that checks up on you to verify you are making progress towards your goal is key – as well as calling you out on your excuses or knowing how to get to the next step.
So what exactly is the trap of goal setting? It’s having a system in place that helps you achieve your goal and you could replicate the system for any other goal you wish to achieve.
Your goal setting system should have
- Process to get clear on your goal
- A way to track your progress
- Accountability to help you get it done
Too many times goals get abandoned because you are too hard on your self for not already having done it or it’s not in the forefront of your daily activities. And not having a plan and a system to track your actions and progress hinders you from making any course corrections if needed. This ensure that you will achieve your goal but also helps you maintain motivation.
And there is no shame in having outside accountability to help you keep steady when you feel like calling it quits, helping you remove any excuses, hash out your next step and celebrate your successes!