Why goal setting is not all it’s cracked up to be.

So you’ve got something you want to achieve.  You should set a goal and focus on it 100%, right? Wrong. There’s a better way to achieve things.

Common wisdom suggests you have to have a clear goal. The goal should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.  You need to focus on that goal 100% in order to reach it.

I’m not convinced.

Having a goal is great. In theory. People set goals every single day. But the truth is many people fall short in achieving their goals. So I’m thinking, if setting goals is the be all and end all, then why are so many people falling short?

Here’s the reason why.

Having a goal is one thing. Doing what it takes to achieve that goal, the process, is another. When you set a goal, and you put all your focus on achieving that goal, then the end result is all you have in mind. You’re not focusing on what it takes to get there.

Unless you concentrate on the process, the incremental steps you need to complete in order to make progress towards the end result, then it’s highly likely you’ll fall short.

Let’s look at some examples

·         You want to run a 10km fun run. Your goal is getting to the end of the race and completing it successfully. The process is what you do in training each week to build your fitness gradually.

·         You run a business. Your goal is to acquire 10 new customers. The process is doing consistent marketing each day to tell people your business exists.

·         You want to write a book. The goal is having the finished product in your hand to sell to the public. The process is in ensuring you write a chapter each week.

What would happen if you completely ignored the process and only focused on the goal? It’s highly likely that you wouldn’t get there would you? But here’s the interesting part. What if you completely ignored the goal and simply focused on the process. Do you think you’d get there?

Yes, I think you most likely would!

Focusing on the process required to achieve your goal, ensures that you build the habits to ensure that you do what it takes to get to the end result. So yes you need to have the end goal in mind but your focus actually needs to be on the process it’s going to take to achieve the goal, not on the goal itself.

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