We all have dreams for a better future—from improving our health to taking up new hobbies, saving up for a big purchase, or traveling to new destinations. To turn those dreams into realities, we set goals. Unfortunately, most people struggle to set goals. There are several reasons for this, but high on that list is a person’s history with goals.
The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution 10 separate times without success. Maybe they lost steam or fell on their face, or maybe they just couldn’t get the goal off the ground and gave up before they really got going. No one wants a repeat of that—it’s a miserable position to be in!
Is the answer to become hopeless and never set another goal again? Of course not. It’s totally possible to break the cycle and keep history from repeating itself. That happens when you know how to create the right kind of goals. But how do you know if you’re on the right track?
When creating compelling goals, avoid these two actions:
- Setting comfortable goals. When we’re not sure how we’ll accomplish a goal, we tend to pull back. We mentally regroup, settle for less, and aim low instead. But for a goal to matter, it has to stretch us. That means it has to stand somewhere outside of our comfort zone. If you know exactly how you’ll attain the goal, you’re probably not reaching far enough. Staying comfortable leads to boredom and discontent. On the other hand, pursuing a difficult goal not only increases the likelihood of achieving it, the motivation and satisfaction goes up too. Playing it safe rarely reaps true rewards.
- Setting delusional goals. Sometimes setting a challenging-enough goal isn’t the problem. Rather, it’s that we’re setting goals that are impossible and fail to align with the rest of our priorities. Our goals should be risky, but not flat-out crazy. If they are, they’re risky in all the wrong ways. They won’t inspire us and, worse, they’ll position us for failure. Setting delusional goals can happen if we’re not honest with ourselves. Talking with a spouse or close friend can help us identify our blind spots. Other times, we can drift into delusion when we put too much on our plates. Having ambition is good. But being too ambitious at the cost of everything else can be a train wreck.
The key to successful goal achievement is to avoid setting comfortable goals and delusional goals. What you want to aim for is somewhere in the middle. That’s the sweet spot. Set goals that are squarely uncomfortable. You’ll know you’re there when you start feeling emotions we typically consider negative: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Because risky goals are a must, discomfort is a positive indicator here. When we stretch ourselves beyond our comfort, not only do we grow, but we experience the best things in life.
If you need help creating compelling goals, join our live event, Your Best Year Ever. With a method that is flexible, systematic, and proven, you’ll come away with powerful goals set and a plan in place to charge into the new year on a path to success. Register today and get the tools you need to build the life you want.