Do you Know that This is the Only Way to Set the Right Goals?

Chances are, you will never achieve those goals you have already set. You surely know a lot about how to act in order to live accordant to the commitments you make. However, you may missed the main principle: it doesn’t matter how hard you try. If your goals were set by the wrong rules they become unachievable.

The secret knowledge resides in simple truth: one can neither control nor predict the flow of life. You never know what will happen tomorrow with you or with anyone or anything. There are so many things you don’t control: weather, financial market condition, actions of other people and sometimes even your own thoughts.

It goes without question that we have to make plans even though we realise that we are rarely going to follow them exactly for the reason mentioned above.

You plan to spend your evening with family, but you’ve got more work than you expected. You plan to go play golf — but heavy rain is not aware of it. Life flows by its own rules.

Goals are different. We want to achieve the exact same goals we set, aren’t we? Otherwise there is no sense in them. Good news is that with goals we have much better choice, than with plans: goals are completely our own to set. Yet we constantly make one and the same mistake: we pick goals that depend on things we have no control over.

Here is an example. You want to get to a better fit and start running. Of course you want to set yourself a goal to track your progress and celebrate your success.

You go ahead and promise yourself that you will do everything you need to be able to run a half-marathon after a month of trainign. Once you tell your friends about it, they congratulate you and reassure you that you will make it.

But no, you won’t. You just made a terrible mistake.

Let us see what is wrong here.

Here is a CHECKLIST with what characterises goals of the right type:

  • It Helps you to track your progress
  • Allows you to fix your results
  • Helps you to celebrate you success
  • Be achievable should you do everything right
  • Therefore focuses on progress, not on result

Try our half-marathon-in-a-month goal against this checklist. Are you able to check every point? Hint: no, you are not.

Now let us look at slightly modified version of our initial goal.

This time we will plan to run for at least 15 minutes every morning before breakfast. When we feel we are ready for more we will add to our training time some extra minutes.

Now we can perfectly track our progress in different ways (count days without skipping our training, count distance we are able to cover in one run or count running time), therefore we keep score of the results.

We can celebrate our success and not only once.

We fully control our ability to achieve our goal. Even if we caught a cold — it is not our fault so there is no one to blame, as soon as we get better we continue our everyday training.

Setting wrong goals is terrible because it leads to frustration, lack of motivation and stress. It is not surprising, because we have no control over wrong goals so we are so depressed when things goes wrong. And they will.

To avoid frustration it is always better to remember that in the world concerned only about results to achieve success you’ve got to set goals targeted on the process.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
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