January is the time most people think about their goals. Another time is September if you roll with the school year calendar. Any time marking a new beginning seems to work well for evaluating and setting goals. No matter what formula or style of goal setting you ascribe to, you may be sabotaging those goals and not even know it!
Publishing your goals
Have you ever heard that to accomplish your goals you need to announce them to the world? The theory is that by having a lot of people watching you, you will be accountable. However, this can backfire if you announce your goals on social media. Your brain receives immediate positive feedback as your friends “like”, “love” and “wow” what you posted. Then your brain feels like it has already accomplished the goal and moves on. It’s alright to be accountable to someone, just don’t make it the whole world.
Putting your goals in the negative
A lot of people have a goal to loose weight. Again, your brain steps and says, “wait!!! I must protect the body. Loosing weight can be bad if there is ever a famine. Just in case, I’ll sabotage this goal.” If you want to trick your brain, put the goal in the positive. I want to weigh such and such weight. This method is less scary to your brain and it accepts it better.
Another way you may be stating your goals in the negative is by saying things like, “I can’t eat carbs”. By simply changing the word “can’t” to the word “don’t” completely changes the ownership from someone else imposing this on you to you choosing what you do or don’t do. This give you a sense of power and ownership. Try it!
Putting a name on it
Children, teens and even adults are asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Immediately, some job title comes to mind. I want to challenge you to have a goal that is a description instead of a title or name. Perhaps you have a goal of a new job. Instead of saying I want to be a ____________, describe the job. I want to work only Monday through Friday. I want to use these skills. I want to do something that helps others live a better life. Get specific! I did this once and got the job I was looking for in spite of that fact that I didn’t even know that it existed!
Believing the latest goal setting teaching will work for everyone
People have been teaching goal setting for decades. It seems that everyone has an opinion on what must happen to achieve your goals. You have to dream big, or not. You have to focus on the big picture, or not. With thousands of self help books, there are just as many ways to set and achieve goals. Find what works best for you. Try a variety of things. Mix up parts from more than one teaching. When you find your best style, stick with it.
Failure to launch
I confess that I am a SciFi nerd! I love anything having to do with space. In order to get into space, there must be enough energy expended to actually have the space craft break free from gravity. In the beginning, it looks like nothing is happening. There is a lot of fire and smoke, but nothing seems to be moving. Then, the rocket slowly starts to move upward. Momentum takes over the craft breaks free of the earth and plunges into space.
Goals can be a lot like that. It looks like nothing is happening. There may be a lot of nothing going on when , in reality, there is a lot going on. Most people won’t even get to the fire and smoke stage. They get distracted with the building and planning and never even make it to the launch pad. Just start!!! Don’t let the lack of movement and all the flames scare you or make you want to quit. Keep at your goal long enough and it will start to happen.
So, as you set your next goal, make sure you aren’t sabotaging it. There will be enough other things trying to make you fail. Don’t let yourself be one of them! For more inspiration, head over to my FaceBook Page!