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Why Not Set Goals?

Why Not Set Goals?
 

Do your company or law firm leaders have clearly defined written goals? Research shows that those people who actually sit down and write out their goals not only end up achieving them, but have higher incomes and ratings for overall success and life satisfaction.

There are four main reasons people don’t set clear goals and write them out. Many people say they can’t be bothered to take the time to sit and write them out, preferring to keep them in their heads. But no one is really that busy, as it only takes a few minutes. The real reasons are probably deeper, involving the fact that if they are kept in “the head,” it is easy to change, revise and ignore them. This avoids accountability issues and facing failure. Looking further into the psychological reasons, we find the following four factors:

1. First, most people don’t realize the importance of goals. If you grow up in a home where no one has goals or you socialize with a group where goals are neither discussed nor valued, you can very easily reach adulthood without knowing that your ability to set and achieve goals will have more of an effect on your life than any other skill. Look around you. How many of your friends or family members are clear and committed to their goals? Successful people are all committed to action plans. They set goals out in writing and follow them.

2. They don’t know how to set goals. Some people confuse goals with wishes and fantasies. They think in terms of “having a lot of money,” “getting a great job,” “having a nice family,” “getting fit,” without breaking these wishes down into their component parts and the action steps it would take.

These aren’t goals but wishes and fantasies common to everyone. A goal is different. It is clear, specific and measurable. You know when you have achieved it or not.

3. They have a fear of failure. If goals aren’t written down, we can change them to match what is actually achieved without having to face any feelings of failure. Furthermore, many people make the mistake of setting goals that are easily attained in order to avoid failing. This is a form of unconscious self-sabotage. They end up going through life functioning at sub-optimal levels rather than at the level they are truly capable.

4. They have a fear of rejection. The fourth reason people don’t set clear, written goals, is that they fear they will be seen by others as ridiculous if they fail. They don’t want to face criticism be seen as not capable or worthy. This is one reason to keep goals confidential when you begin to start out with goal setting, other than sharing with your coach, mentor or a trusted peer.

The best way to get support for your goals is from a coach. Friends and family members may be helpful, or not. A professionally trained coach is an expert at helping you to achieve what you want. He or she can also help you with the goal setting process to ensure that your goals are aligned with your values.

Choosing and planning your goals is hard work. It takes time and commitment. The rewards, however, are great. By aligning your head with your heart you will set meaningful, attainable goals that will help you make progress toward what you truly value in your life.

Working with a seasoned executive coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating leadership assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i and CPI 260 can help you become a leader who develops and achieves significant goals. You can become a better leader who models emotional intelligence, and who inspires people to become happily engaged with the strategy and vision of your organization.

                             © Copyright 2010 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Box 471525 San Francisco, California 94147-1525
Tel: 415-546-1252
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
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