It seems like we’re always in goal season. We’re constantly creating new goals for the year, months and even daily. I want to make sure you don’t make these common mistakes while creating your goals.
Most people create goals and then get disappointed when they don’t reach them. The biggest reason why they don’t hit the mark is because they are not setting goals the right kind of goals in the first place. I won’t let this happen to you!
First, check out this cool quote by Steve Pavlina:
“Setting a vague goal is like walking into a restaurant and saying,
“I’m hungry. I want food.”
You’ll stay hungry until you order something”
First, let’s get down to the basics real quick.
So what’s a goal?
Goal: a statement that clarifies precisely what you want to achieve.- Simple, yet powerful!
This next part is muy importante, Goals do 2 important things:
- Helps you visualize what you want
- Gets you excited about achieving it
Visualization & Excitement
If the end result of your goal is vague or fuzzy, you’re making it hard for your mind’s automatic planning systems to find ways to get what you want.
Here’s the deal, when you consciously decide to achieve your goal, your mind will automatically start finding ways to make it happen. So, let’s look at a fuzzy goal…
“I want to climb a mountain”
Let’s take “I want to climb a mountain” and make it into a goal! I’m using this example from my all time favorite business book by Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA. If you’re thinking about starting a business or you’re already in business, this is the BEST BUSINESS BOOK money can buy. Ok, moving on to the example…
I want to climb to the summit of Mount Everest before my 30th B-day and take a picture with my canon 7D camera to post on my wall of achievements!
A goal like this makes it super easier for my brain to simulate. So, given that Mount Everest is in Nepal, I’ll have to make travel arrangements, improve my climbing skills, find a guide, buy equipment and do some research!
***FYI-This is just an example, you will NOT catch me climbing anything!***
Put Your Goals to the test, are they:
- Positive. Your goal should be something you move toward with excitement. So a goal like “I don’t want to be fat anymore” doesn’t work. Stop the fat talk, it’s negative and it doesn’t get you excited about making a change.
- Immediate. Your goals should be things that you commit to working on right now. Not someday-maybe. If you’ve got goals like these, chuck ’em! Think, what are you willing to do this week to reach your goal?
- Concrete. Your goals should be achievable? So goals like “I want to be happy” are not achievable. How do you know when your done? Actually, you can choose to be happy right now. Try it!
- Specific. Your goal must define exactly how, when & where you’re going to achieve your goal. If your goal is fuzzy and vague, you’ll stay hungry like the quote above says.
- Under Your Control. This is huge. I see so many people making this mistake. A goal like losing 15 lb. isn’t a goal because you are not directly in control of your weight because it can fluctuate given certain conditions. Now, exercising 30 minutes a day or eating a specific amount of calories is more like a goal. You can control that!
Common Mistakes When Creating Goals
1. Creating Emotional Experiences
An emotional experience is a quality of your present state of being and changes over time. They sound like this:
“I want to be happy”
“I want to feel excited”
“I want to be successful”
If you want, you can feel happy, excited & successful right now. These are not achievements. How do you know when you’ve achieved happiness? You can be happy one minute and then pissed the next! See what I mean here?
Love emotional experiences like me? You can ask yourself how you want to feel, then create specific goals that support that feeling. This is exactly how I create my goals. I always start to imagine how I want to feel when I reach that achievement, then set goals to help me attain that feeling.
2. Developing Habits
Habits are regular actions that support us. They can be things you want to start doing, stop doing, or do more or less of. Habits are general things that you do on a daily basis, not goals. Here’s what habits would look like disguised as goals:
“I want to start exercising more”
“I want to start eating more healthy”
“I want to start flossing my teeth more often”
Again these aren’t goals because they’re not concrete and specific. How much is more? And how often is enough? Your goals must be measurable and easy to visualize so you can get excited about achieving them.
Well I hope you enjoyed the Golden Goal Laws! Remember, before you create a goal make sure it passes the test, I really want you to achieve all of your goals this year!
If you’re like me and love to share your goals with like-minded people,
Post Your Goals in the comments!
It always feels good when you put your intentions out there, it can be very empowering.