By now, the dreams and hopes for a new world in the new year have been extinguished for most. That’s a bit somber, and I hope it’s enough to make you want to start a fight with me.
You see, if that puts a fire in your belly, it may be enough for you to make something of this year after all!
It’s almost like we expect that simply changing the calendar will bring about all these wonderful new opportunities. So we sit and wait and expect, only to be disappointed. And now, three days into 2010, the shiny new year has lost its luster for most, and tomorrow–OH NO! The first Monday!–things will seem quite the same as they did at the end of 2009.
Here are seven reason why we fail when setting and achieving goals:
1) Procrastination/Fear of Failure
Procrastination and fear have a lot in common. Call them brothers or sisters or cousins. They have the same root. We put off things we are afraid of. Going to the dentist, hitting the track and sometimes, we’re even afraid of our own success. Life would change if we’re successful…not sure you’d like that, eh? No sense setting a goal for something you’d rather not do anyway…maybe next year.
2) Lack of Hope or Self-Confidence
I bet even Zig Ziglar had a few bad days a few decades ago! We’ve all had bad days. Hope is a powerful thing…perhaps the most powerful of things. It’s the basis of faith, and it’s prowess has been displayed in every arena of life, from politics to medicine to sports and beyond. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you believe in and achieve your goals?
3) Don’t Know How
I learned a long time ago that ignorance is not the same as stupidity. Stupid is not illegal, but it’s not likely to change. Ignorance…well, there’s a cure for that! See that little injection of hope spring up?
4) Not Written Down
What’s of incalculable value yet worthless at the same time? Intentions. Good or bad, they lead to nothing if no action is taken. Writing something down makes them real. Tangible. Shareable. And if a goal is shared…so much more can happen! See #7!
5) Not Specific and Measurable
Vague goals are barely goals at all. I want to lose weight isn’t a good goal. Is one pound enough? One ounce? To what purpose do you want to lose weight? Health, looks, better fitting clothes? A good goal is specific and measurable enough that anyone who sees it knows what success looks like.
6) No Personal Ownership
You can’t set goals for someone else, and you can’t let someone else set your goals for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t need help along the way (see #7). It simply means that whatever you want to achieve, you need to own it. Own the success, own the failure. Either way it’s yours. Own nothing and you’ve already failed.
7) No Deadlines or Accountability
Deadlines are a forcing function. Drawing a line in the sand will motivate most, though it will scare some away (and they aren’t the accomplishing type anyway). Going it alone is almost certain to leave you short of accomplishing any goals with signifigance. We all love the “do-it-yourself” stories…except when you dig into the story, you realize most of those DIY-champions had a lot of help along the way.
Tomorrow, the laws of successful goal setting. You don’t want to miss it!
Need some help discovering, documenting or achieving your goals? Join Victor Encinas and myself for our goals seminar starting January 13th. Just go to http://www.GoalVictory.com for details and to register. (BTW, the 10% discount has been extended through Jan 10th!)