Advice abounds when it comes to setting goals. You’ve probably been told a million times to make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-driven and Time-bound). Yet year after year, you either don’t bother setting goals or you lose track of your resolutions by about February. What are some of the barriers that might be keeping you from goal attainment?

You don’t want to be accountable. You may set nonspecific goals (or none at all) if you fear being held accountable. You think that you can stay beneath the radar and won’t be held to task. Sorry. The days of just going through the motions are long gone, and every person needs to know where they’re going and how they’ll get there. Otherwise, why pay you? There will be someone else just waiting to step into your shoes.

You set goals too high. Challenging goals are necessary to activate our motivation for achievement. It’s been said that you should aim for the stars. However, if you find that you lose momentum quickly or never achieve your milestones, you may need to become a more realistic goal-setter. Dream big, but do not set the bar so high that you cannot be successful. If you consistently set unrealistically high goals, face the fact that you are not setting goals at all. You’re really aiming at nothing, so there’s no hitting it.

You set goals too low. Maybe you’re setting low, attainable goals because you fear the consequences of failure. Even if your boss demands 100% goal success, you can always set a separate set of personal goals that don’t get reported in your annual review. To boost success, share them with a trusted person, who can be your sounding board, cheerleader and guide. When you succeed, take pride in and celebrate your achievements, knowing that you stretched yourself past your comfort zone. If possible, report these achievements to your boss,

Your goals don’t align with a worthwhile purpose. If your objectives and targets don’t motivate you, it may be that your work doesn’t fit with what is really important to you. Your goals should help you get out of bed in the morning and fuel you through the challenges that inevitably come. If your goals don’t fire you up, consider a move to a different type of position – one that gets your juices flowing and lines up with what really matters.

It takes time to develop goals that matter and give your life meaning and motivation. Don’t shortchange the thinking part of the process. Devote some time to journaling about what you want out of life, personally and professionally. You’ll then be in a stronger position to establish goals that you will accomplish.

(Stay tuned to our next blog for more ways to overcome barriers to goal attainment – just in time for those New Year’s resolutions!)


Need some goals guidance? Contact Humanergy!

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