Why are goals so intimidating?
This is a question I often ask myself. There is a lot of literature, management gyan, videos and even inspirational stuff out there dealing with this. The last I checked, I have quite a few bookmarks and saved links here, there, everywhere which I have tucked away for reference (and which I keep going back to). Yet, the anxiety of setting and achieveing goals has never left my side all these years. The problem is not so much in doubting my ability to achieve them as it is in selecting them. This stems from two basic considerations:
a) I don’t live and operate alone, devoid of responsibilities, drawing me in different directions and demanding equal thought, action and energy. There are other people and their goals whose lives are intertwined with me and mine – family and clients.
b) I don’t like defining myself as only this or that. My biggest replusion is being straight jacketed and falling victim to habit and routine. The prospect of doing and experiencing the same things all my life makes me feel suffocated. (Could be a personality disorder and I won’t deviate much.)
I am no expert, but I am taking the liberty of sharing a few points (seived from all the knowledge available) that I find have worked in my journey so far. These have been particularly helpful when the doubts have come striking (many and counting). Basics really, but they have repeatedly proved their worth in my varied efforts. Finding balance is never an easy task. Where do you begin and where do you stop?
So if you are anything like me, these might resonate.
- Make goals “SMART” – SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT/REALISTIC and TIME BASED. It helps in all phases: where to start, what course to follow and how to know that they have been achieved.
- Share your goals with people who could matter as much as you – FAMILY, COACH, BUDDIES who have similar goals or have achieved similar goals. Their active support will make the process easier, more pleasant and open, and help ensure success better through higher compliance.
- Don’t hesitate to REACH OUT. Successful people are usually happy to help with what they have learnt through their own life lessons. There might be valuable learnings to help your process. DON’T WASTE TIME REINVENTING THE WHEEL. This would be especially useful in drafting your action plan.
- Analyze, Edit, Reset, Tweak based on evolving reality and progress. BE FIRM YET FLEXIBLE. Not everything is always in your hands. DON’T GIVE UP. Find a way that works. Something always does.
- It’s perfectly okay to be consumed with doubts along the way. You are human. Give yourself chances. Don’t underestimate your intent and capabilities. YOU ARE CAPABLE OF A LOT MORE THAN YOU THINK. Doubts don’t make you a lesser mortal. Hang on to that thought, have faith and continue with the effort.
- Remember the bottom line. THE GOAL IS ALWAYS THE GOAL. Everything else should work around it, for it and towards it.
- Be ready to lose some. There will be people who may not be as happy for you as you would like or had thought. LET GO. It’s always unpleasant business, but reminding yourself that the ones who count will always stand by you, is important. For your wellbeing, success and peace of mind. Respect the ones who do. It may be rough sailing even with them occassionally, but value them and keep them close.