Personal goal setting is common to many; we all have goals which we would love to accomplish, but sometimes we often make common mistakes wherein which if we avoid making them, achieving our goals would be easier and we'd see greater success.
1. Making the Goal Too Vague
When a goal is too vague, we are not really sure of what it is we really want. When this happens, then it is much easier to loose motivation and interest in the goal, which could lead to us giving it up. What we should do is take ever ‘noun' found in our goal statement, break it down and add a timeline to it. Here is an example:
Vague Goal Statement: "I want to build houses"
Goal Broken Down: "I want to build five medium sized townhouses in Barbados in five years through my new real estate business"
As you can see, the two goal statements above contrast greatly; one is more detailed and focused than the other. The first one is open ended and anyone who reads it will have to make too many assumptions about what it is you really want to achieve. However, the second statement leaves little room for assumption and points directly to the goal at hand. Setting and achieving goals should be made focused and simple.
2. Expecting Everything To Go Your Way
I can't count the number of times I've made goals and expected everything to go my way. This happens sometimes because we may have (according to us) thoroughly gone through it, anticipated every obstacle that might pop up and are completely convinced that everything will go according to plan. However rarely does this ever happen, no matter how thorough we think we might have been. We need to just simply accept the fact, that in life, it is hard to accurately 100% of the time predict how things will go. Yes we should continue being thorough and detailed but we must always leave room for ‘wiggle' with the understanding that somethings might just go wrong. Do this and achieving your goals will be less stressful the next time.
3. Trying to Achieve Too Much At Once
It is okay to be ambitious, and like ants, sometimes we try to take on a lot on our shoulders. Life generally does this to us; we have bills, loans to pay back, commitments to keep, careers to build and the list goes on and on. But we should do ourselves a favor and take some of that load off and bite-size our goals. Take every goal that you have (both major and minor) and see where you can break it down even further into a smaller goal which you can manage efficiently. Using our previous goal example in #1, I'll show you how to do this:
Goal: "I want to build five medium sized townhouses in Arizona in five years through my new real estate business"
Goal Bite-Sized: "To build one medium sized townhouse in the PINAL County in Arizona in twelve months"
Above, we can see the goal has become more manageable. Instead of focusing on building the five townhouses we are now focused on just building one. This enables us to pool our resources in an efficient manner and increase the likelihood of us achieving our ultimate goal. After completing this goal we can then repeat the bite-sized process to build the other four. Achieving personal goals should never be cumbersome, but rather they should always be kept manageable and bite-sized.
4. Not Having an Awareness of your True Current Position
Knowing where you presently ‘stand' in relation to the goal you are trying to achieve is essential. However sometimes ambition can make us blind. Lets say for example I want to become an Economist but I've never done any economics or mathematics subjects before or even at College and I go and apply to do a Masters in Economics. If I were to expect to be accepted and given a place in the masters program then I would surely merit being called mad and crazy. This is because I'm being ambitious to achieve something that I clearly currently am not equipped with to achieve. It is not that I can't become an economist, the error is, is that I have ‘jumped the gun' and skipped a few steps which would have allowed me to be successful at being accepted into the masters program. What I should have done, knowing that I don't have what is required is to go and sign up for the economics and mathematics courses which I need. Too many times this happens to a lot of us in many areas of our personal lives as we set our goals. If you expect to achieve your goal, be sure to have an awareness of your true current position in relation to it.
5. Not Writing Goals Down
Although this is the simplest of them all, this error is made too often. Even worst, some of us do not think we need to write our goals down, but with the volume of information we require to process daily as we go about our busy routines, it is expected we would forget and over look certain aspects of our goals. Therefore we must always write our goals down, even the ones we do not think are ‘high priority.' This enables us to always have an over view of what it is we are setting out to achieve and it helps us to think clearly and accurately assess what steps are needed to be taken and the timeline in which we can expect to achieve our goal in. An important tip is to try to keep all your goals neatly in a folder or a book and write nothing else in it but your goals. Doing this will allow you to record any important comments in relation to your goal.