Goals – The Good and the Bad

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Here we are again – the time when everyone talks about goals. How does this make you feel? Are you on track, caught up in the goal-setting motion, writing it all down and preparing for the great things to come?

I think the idea of setting goals is a good idea, but only if you do it right!

For most of you, goal setting is the equivalent of putting your dreams and wishes onto paper and hoping for the best. But most of you are setting the wrong goals. You get swept along with the mainstream idea of being wealthy, running a successful company, having the perfect job, relationship. You get told that you can achieve anything if you put the effort in and believe strongly enough that you can make it.

The goal setters and the go-setters

So how did it go last year? Did you set yourself goals? Did you achieve them or came anywhere near them?

A survey conducted by the Entrepreneur Magazine in the US shows that only 1% of all people who started with a goal in mind achieved their goal. Another 3% came near their goal, and the rest either gave up on it or found other reasons not to reach or pursue their goal during the year. Most stopped thinking about their goals within six weeks of setting them.

Why is that?

All goals require some form of long-term action from your side. It requires continuous energy and motivation. And that’s where you will fail most of the time. You have great intentions, but that’s where it stops.

To set the right goals, several points are essential:

  • Your goals must be based on your current situation. There is no point in setting a goal to become a millionaire if you can’t pay your rent and never saved anything in your life.
  • Your goals must be actionable and believable. You need to be able to do the actions required to achieve your set goals, and you need to believe that you can do this long-term.
  • Your goals must answer the question of why. Setting any goal without knowing why you want this is useless. You need to be clear about the reasons you want to achieve something.
  • Your goals must be personal. You are the one who has to put the action in. Not your business, your boss or your partner, but you are the one to make it happen.

If I can advise you on goal setting I would say the following:

Become very clear why you want something

This process alone will separate your real goals from your nice-to-have goals.
Don’t worry about the time. It is never too late to become clear about your reasons.
Start small with things you can achieve. Achieving them builds trust in yourself and allows you to set bigger goals over time. Make yourself accountable to someone. It’s much harder to lie to others than yourself.

As a coach, I speak to my clients a lot about goals. How to set them, plan them and the action needed to make them happen.

What’s your goal?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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