Problems vs. Solutions: setting goals

Are you tired of setting goals you don’t achieve? Are you worn out by missing the target for what you want most in life?

Goals are great when you set yourself up for success in achieving them. Otherwise, unmet goals leave you feeling discouraged and doubting your abilities to succeed.

Here’s a litmus test for vetting how to set and manage a goal:

Setting goals

  • Is it the right goal and is it your goal? Or have you taken on something you think you should do or that someone else wants for you?
  • Are you energized and motivated by the goal? If your goal doesn’t inspire you, it’s unlikely you’ll be motivated enough to take sustained action.
  • Is this the right time in your life for this goal? Do you have the time, space, resources, and wherewithal to make it happen? You want your goal to stretch but not break you, so avoid setting yourself up for failure by picking an unachievable goal.

Managing goals

  • Do you establish milestones and measure progress? These smaller steps let you know you’re on the right track, or if necessary, where and when to course correct.
  • How will you be accountable for achieving your goal? Accountability can come, in part, from external sources, such as sharing your goal and checking in with someone on a regular basis. However, avoid completely outsourcing accountability. At the end of the day, you’re the one responsible for and accountable to achieving your goal.
  • What support and resources do you need to achieve your goal? Equally important, how will you get the support and resources you need? Many stumble when it comes to goal achievement because they have a go-it-alone mentality that leaves them short of support. Don’t jeopardize your goal because you’re reluctant to ask for help.
  • What will you do when setbacks occur? Preparing in advance for the inevitable obstacles and missteps gives you the best chance of success. There’s rarely a straight line from setting a goal to achieving it. Rather than expect a flawless, linear journey, actively anticipate setbacks and pre-plan the response that will keep you on track.