Goal Setting: Myths and Misunderstanding

 How many times have you heard this?  Setting goals are the gateway to success. Everybody who’s anybody regularly sets goals. Make sure you make S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) If you dream it you can do it!

 Goal setting as a discipline is by no means a new wave in the self-help department. Gurus like Stephen Covey and Zig Ziglar have been preaching the importance of goal setting for decades. It’s been bred into the hearts of many well to do students, professionals, and entrepreneurs seeking to improve their circumstances. But as I have attempted to apply these principles in my life, I found them to be lacking. I felt like I wasn’t getting entire picture of how success in life actually comes about. I would set goals, start strong, and gradually dwindle off, ending in nothingness or a far cry from what my original goal was.  It never really seemed to be as easy as they made it out to be.  Why? Was I missing something?

Myth 1: Setting goals are the key to achievement

Truth: Setting goals are a facet of achievement

What are goals...really? They are a simple statement of intent, nothing more. Think about it. “I will make three sales this week”, or “I will learn SQL by the end of the year”. Simple statements of “this is where I want to be”. Those are good and very important, but many people have actually achieved something by just setting a goal?  So what the “mystery”? What is the missing link between goal setting and achievement? One word. Action. It’s simple. You have to DO to achieve. Goals by themselves are worthless. They are nothing but hot air. Everyone has goals. “I want to be stronger”, “I want to lose weight”, “I want to learn Photoshop”.  Formal or not, everyone wants SOMETHING. Not everyone is willing to take action for that something. Want to learn a skill? When is the last time you turned off The Bachelor and applied yourself? Want tobecome a better cook? How much time have you been spending teaching yourself?  
It’s hard, possibly not that much fun, and requires effort outside of your normal comfort zone. Can you see why not everyone takes that step?  

Myth 2: Setting goals and taking action is the key to success

Truth: Good goals combined with disciplined consistent action might lead to success

Setting Goals is easy. Taking action once is easy. Consistent action is hard.  Ask any entrepreneur. Success is bred in the ditches. It's found in the hours slogging away. It’s surrounded by failure and found in the things people don't like to do. It’s difficult, trying, and usually comes after a series of hard fought battles. You know this. Look at your own life. Does anything worth having ever come easily? For the most part, it does not.  So give it a shot. Set time on your calendar then stick to it for an extended period of time. Commit to doing work toward your goal (AND ONLY YOUR GOAL) during that time. And prepare.  Prepare to be fierce and prepare to fight. Stuff is going to pop up and try and steal your time. You’ll remember you need that thing at the store. Friends will call and want to catch a game. Denise will want to come over and talk about her new BF Darren. Don’t. Don’t give in. It can wait. Be resilient. Fight for it. Defend that time like it is your child. And if you fail (which you will) don’t get down on yourself and whine – get up and get moving!

Test me. Start small. Set an hour on your calendar each day to work toward something. Learn Photoshop. Become an expert at excel. Start that side gig. Let it gain steam. It will be hard the first week. It will probably be hard the second week. Then, you’ll start gaining ground. You’ll want to give up. But don’t. Like I said, this thing is a fight.  

Get going.