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goal-setting mistakes
You say you want to achieve this goal but consistently avoid taking action toward it. It’s a war in your head – to achieve or not to achieve it.

If you’re tired and almost convinced there is something wrong with you, relax. It may not be you.

Human mind is a complex machine. It is also the most beautiful one. Sometimes, our subconscious works in ways we cannot decipher. Therefore, it is so important to observe your inner values and needs in order to understand your behavior.

Related: Smart Goal Setting - Goals on Track

Understanding the ecology of a goal, among other things, helps with this. It simply means observing your goals and really evaluating whether they fall in alignment with your life, your core values, top needs and beliefs in the moment.

The goal you’ve set may not be the “right” one for you just yet which is one of the classic goal-setting mistakes.

So before you beat yourself up over it, let’s look at four ninja-questions that help you identify whether you should keep or kick your goal.

4 Questions You Must Ask to Identify Goal-Setting Mistakes

1. Does the Goal Align with My Core Values?

In other words, is your goal ecological for you? Take an example: Jenna wants to apply for a promotion. She has what it takes and even her manager has shown his support in her capabilities. Today, in a meeting, he approved Jenna’s decision.

Jenna is all set. She loves the thrill of a challenge. At home in the evening, she begins to answer some deep questions to prove she’s the right candidate. She makes a list of all her strengths. She is ready to go.

Next morning, she has a meeting with her manager again. They speak about the promotion when the manager briefly mentions: “But you do realize this new role will mandate you staying at work for a couple extra hours, at least in the beginning.”

Jenna is now in a dilemma. If she has to stay back at work until 8 pm, she misses her special time with her toddler. Each day after work she looks forward to picking Tim up from the day care and spending time with him.

So is the new role really the right thing for her? It’s a clash between achievement and family as two of her values.

She needs to ponder what’s more important to her at this time – if she can shell out a few extra hours and still obtain work-life balance, then great. If not, then this goal is not in alignment with her values and will cause more pain than a feeling of achievement.

(Here is a complete list of values to download)

2. What is the Impact of the Goal on Others?

In addition to gauging whether the goal is ecological for you, ask whether your goal is ecological for others, the society and the world.

If you achieve this goal, what effects will it have on others in your life? How will it impact your relationships, your team and organization? How will it impact the society as a whole?

If there are any negative impacts, then your goal is not congruent. Congruency happens when you walk your talk. As a congruent human being, you are in true alignment with what you preach. This is also one of the keys to being happy and fulfilled.

3. Is the Goal Within My Control?

Another reason you may not be achieving your goal could be this: It is not in your control entirely.

In Jenna’s case, if she went ahead with applying for the promotion, she may still not get there. Because the decision in this case is not entirely hers. She can do her best and wait for her management’s decision.

There is no point in banging your head against the wall if your goal is not 100% in your control. The idea, instead of feeling dejected, is to identify how to do your best and then draw a line where it gets beyond your control.

4. Is it Stated in Positive?

A goal should always be stated in the positive because your mind cannot process negatives. Most people know what they don’t want, and that’s the problem.

If you are stating your goals in negative, reframe them in a positive way for your mind to visualize it. For example, if I tell you “Don’t think of a blue tree,” you will think of a blue tree or draw a blank picture in your mind.

But if I be specific and ask you to “Think of a red tree,” that will be more easily achieved.

Humans are powerful visualizers. We see pictures easily. When you speak of a goal, you cannot create a negative image.

So if your goal is to “not eat too much cake during lunch break” what picture do you create when you think of it? You will see yourself eating a cake before your mind can negate it. But by then it’s too late.

Instead, say “eat an apple during lunch break”. What do you see now? You see yourself eating an apple!

Your Opinion

How are you going with your goals? Do these questions help? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Image by orangeacid.

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