Have you ever planned out your week by setting goals to eventually see those goals stall out or get derailed? If that sounds familiar to you then you may be part of the group that I like to call “Stalled Dreamers”. To be fully honest with you, I find myself in that group more often then I would like to be.
Many times It just seems that I start each month or week out with a list of clearly written goals that looks somewhat like a list of directions on how to bake a boxed cake mix. They seem simple, clear and obtainable but somewhere I find my goals end up as a half baked cake that is missing some key ingredients. On paper it should work but something gets missed or left out along the way.
The difficulty with setting and missing goals over and over again is that you can get “Goal Fatigued”. When your journal or notepad starts looking like the same list repeated over and over again with little result you can get discouraged. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should resign from goal setting just because we have failed or fallen short of meeting our own expectations. I just think there might be a better way of seeing our goals become reality.
To really understand what is happening to our well planned goals and why they may stall out, let’s look at the places most goal setters fail.
- They Set Too Many Goals. Have you ever listed everything you currently wanted to change or do in your life, to only find in the end that you made very little progress except for the list? This is common for most goal setters as they have to learn which goal or goals they should concentrate on first. They miss the power of finishing one goal and that slowly eats away at the excitement of making progress. I am really bad at this that as I find myself trying to do too many things at once. In fact I am trying to read two or three books at this very moment. If you add to that the issue that when I get bored with one goal, then I am going to bounce to another goal. The more I bounce, the less I finish.
- Their Goals Are Too Big. You have done it again, you have gone and set your sights on the goal of trying to climb Mt Everest once again. The last time you set this goal you spent hours researching it and even marked a date on your calendar. All that work just to wake up to the knowledge that you didn’t do it. But this time will be different! You are inspired and ready to focus one of the biggest things on your lifelong bucket list. While that is probably not you, are their goals you have set that are just a little extreme or hard? The problem that we all have in goal setting is that we want to set the goal on what inspires us the most. We do that when many times what we need to do is set simpler goals that can ultimately move us closer to those bigger goals. Everyone started working out after the movie “Rocky” came out in the Seventies, but only a few continued to live the dream of being in the shape that Rocky Balboa was in. Have the big goals in mind, but plan with smaller goals that will move you closer and closer to where you want to be. “Momentum is built by one small movement repeated over and over again”. Also “Little wins can really add up into big victories”.
- Their Goals Get Interrupted. Simply put this is what derails most of my personal goal setting ventures. Life is going to happen and what we do when life happens will really determine what we will eventually do with the plan we’ve made. The car breaks down and the next thing you know you have missed a week of workouts. You get the flu and now it’s been two weeks since you worked on writing your book. Clearly you must give room for the interruptions that are unavoidable and for those that really matter, like going to your daughter’s dance recital. But there are those interruptions, like looking at facebook every ten minutes or surfing the internet, that are not always necessary. You must decide which ones count and which ones don’t. Lastly if you want to get to your goal despite the interruptions you can’t or don’t want to avoid, then you must do something! Even if you only workout at home for fifteen minutes or write for only ten minutes in your book, the action will keep you from stalling out.
Happy Goal Setting
Coach Don Newman