With all the self-help and personal development resources that are out there, people are deciding to set goals on their own. They might be income goals, fitness goals, business goals, relationship goals, etc. However, when people start falling short of their goals, they start to give up. For example, you might have a goal of running a 5K in less than twenty minutes. Six months later, you’re still running 5Ks above twenty minutes. So, what can you do about this?
I used to tie my goals to results, and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration. I wanted to earn specific salary numbers or look a certain way. I wanted to perform at a certain level in sports or achieve certain test scores. However, it got to the point when I realized that it just wasn't worth stressing over.
I believe that it is a mistake to set a specific outcome as a goal. The truth is, you have minimal control over your actual results. What you do have control over is how much effort you exert, how much time you spend, and who you reach out to for help. Instead of setting a specific outcome as your goal, I recommend setting the work that you put in as your goal. In other words, don’t tie your goals to outcomes.
For example, if you have a goal of getting in shape, set a goal of working out at least four times a week using a mix of endurance and strength training. At the same time, set a goal to eat healthy during weekdays. Instead of constantly weighing yourself and measuring your waistline, focus on enjoying the exercise and figuring out different recipes. In other words, focus on the journey. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish by just focusing on your efforts and not being distracted that you’re not achieving your gains quickly enough.
If you are trying to grow your career, set a goal of putting in 110% effort every single day. Set a goal of networking with people around you at least once a month and keeping in touch with the people you meet. Set a goal of cultivating a potential mentor so you can have someone to ask for advice. As a result, you’ll no longer be focused on why you haven’t gotten that promotion or raise yet. You’ll be focused on continually improving yourself, and before you know it, you’ll have accomplished more than you could have imagined.
If you have a goal of becoming wealthy, set a goal of saving and investing a certain percentage of your income. Be sure to stick to that goal for the long run. Better yet, make it automatic so a certain portion of your paycheck gets deposited to your investment account without you having to do anything. As a result, you’ll no longer be frustrated that your portfolio isn’t up to a certain level and you’ll be doing everything in your power to build your wealth.
Although you have no control over your actual results, you have control over the work you put in and the habits you create. As long as you are putting in the effort to accomplish your dreams, you will maximize your chances of success. Therefore, I highly recommend that you set what you can 100% control as your goal. Your ability to achieve your goals is primarily mental. By cultivating the right mindset, you’ll maximize your chances of success. I’m not saying you can’t hope for or visualize specific outcomes at the same time, but the key is to set your goals appropriately.
Professional Development and Personal Finance Blog