9 Personal Failings That Can Cost You Your Goal — Part 1

If you’re pursuing a great goal, you have realized — if you have not yet, you will soon realize — that the road towards your destination can be quite challenging. Many obstacles, pitfalls, and stumbling blocks stand in your way and are threatening to take you out before you reach your goal.

Although these “external” challenges are real and may get the best of you, in most cases, it’s your personal failings that end up costing you your goal. Personal failings are things you have complete control on but that, for whatever reason, you fail to get a handle on.

Personal failings have to do with you, not someone or something else. The good news is that this also means you hold the power to address them. In fact, you can take measures to prevent these failings from tripping you and from putting the success of your goal in jeopardy.

In this series of articles, I cover 9 of these personal failings that, if left unaddressed, will cost you your goal. By avoiding these 9 personal failings, you accelerate your journey toward your goal.

Most likely, you’re not equally susceptible to these failings. In fact, you might be strong in all but one of these. However, that one failing alone can slow down your progress and significantly delay — if not compromise — the achievement of your goal. Therefore, it’s crucial that you pay close attention to all; you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

Personal Failing 1: Fuzziness — Lack of Clarity

If you don’t define your destination clearly, you’ll drive a long time but won’t know when you’ve arrived. Likewise, if you don’t define your goal clearly, you can work a long time but never know when you’ve reached your destination.

A fuzzy target is hard to hit. If you aspire to hit the bull’s-eye, you must see it as clearly as possible. The clearer the better.

The first personal failing people make when pursuing a goal is they don’t define their goal clearly: they lack clarity. They set on the journey without really knowing where they’re heading.

They speak in vague terms, which often don’t mean much. For example, they’ll set a goal saying, “My goal is to be rich”. But what does “be rich” mean exactly? Does it mean making 1 million dollars a year? Or would $200 000 suffice? Or does it mean having $250 000 in a bank account? Nobody knows; it’s unclear.

The term “be rich” means different things to different people. What matters is what it means to the goal setter. Hence, it’s the goal setter’s responsibility to define the goal clearly.

Vague goals are hard — if not, impossible — to track. For starters, as mentioned, you don’t know when you’ve arrived. Then, in the absence of a clear destination, you don’t know how close or how far you are from it. How can you measure your progress if the end goal isn’t clearly defined? Furthermore, vague goals prevent you from setting meaningful sub-goals, which are useful checkpoints that help you make sure you’re on the right path.

If to consider yourself as “rich”, your goal is to make $200 000 per year, say, in 3 years, that is much clearer than simply stating, “I want to be rich.” The mark $200 000 per year in 3 years makes it easy to evaluate when you’ve reached your goal; all we need to do is look at your income statements three years from now and see if your income adds up to $200 000. Also, if you’re currently making $75 000 per year, you can easily set sub-goals that make it easy to track your progress and make sure you’re going in the right direction (and adjust when required). For instance, you might aim to reach $105 000 in the first year and $145 000 in the second year and $200 000 in your third year.

A lack of clarity (fuzziness) is a personal failing that can cost you your goal. Before you set on your journey, make sure you have a clear idea of where you’re going.

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