Why don’t we set goals consistently?
Studies show that most people don’t set goals for two main reasons: they don’t know how, or they are afraid to fail. I’ve found this to be true at different stages of my career. Sometimes I’ve set goals and not hit them, and then spent a period of time not setting them because of how it felt to not accomplish what I set out to hit. But what I have learned is that just in setting a goal and going after it, I inevitably end up further than if I hadn’t set any to begin with, and usually with way more knowledge.
Why we are afraid:
I think judgment is the culprit of why we are afraid to set goals. We are afraid to fail, for fear of judgment from ourselves. We are afraid of judgment from others, for daring to want more than we have.
Self-judgment comes from unrealistic expectations. Instead of being proud of ourselves for giving the best that we can towards something, we beat up on ourselves for not getting the result, for not being perfect.
Judgment from others affects us because we are afraid to be different. There’s a stigma around being “different.” It’s better to fit in. It’s safe. But a very small percentage of people are what we would consider successful. Research says only 3% of adults percent of people actually write down goals that they’ve put thought into. But ironically, as recent as 2015, only 6% of people in America make over a 6 figure income. Roughly 10% of people own their own business. If the minority of people have all these things, why would I want to be like the majority? I once heard, “if you want what most people don’t have, you have to do what most people don’t do.”
So at Coast, we set goals.
How do we do it?
I’ve listed below a simple way of setting goals that was taught to me by my mentors.
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Your goal should be clear and specific.
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?
Where is it located?
Which resources or limits are involved?
It's important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
How will I know when it is accomplished?
Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible.
This step is about looking at the resources you currently have, things you’ve already achieved, and asking if the goal you are currently setting seems realistic based on all factors involved.
Your goals need an end date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. I teach this at my company, and my hope is that more and more people go after the things they want. Doing something is better than doing nothing. And the only way we can have an amazing life, both personally and professionally, is if we are unafraid to try, even if we fail. And failure is only failure if we give up. So hopefully this encourages you, gives you a “how to,” and you accomplish all that you want.
-Written by Nicole, President at Coast Inc. You can learn more about her here.