How Goal Setting Made Me Broke And What I Do Instead
Is goal setting actually dangerous for achievement? How goal setting ended up making me broke (after showing early promise) and what I do now instead that works 10x better…
If you are into personal development, or positive thinking, or productivity, or business development, you've probably heard a lot of people talking about goals, there are tons of quotes regarding how important it is to have a goal and how you need a goal, otherwise you're not aiming for anything in your life.
How I started with goals…
When I started getting into personal development, I discovered the importance of setting goals and then I started to set goals for my life in several areas, like income goals, lifestyle goals, and so on. Initially I achieved a lot of goals and did it really quickly, so that was really cool.
I remember I set a goal to travel to Europe and within a few months I went and traveled to Europe. I set a goal to increase my income and then guess what? My income went up. But then with the time I started to fail. I started to not achieve my goals and in fact I just had a big failure, the worst failure of my life came. And this came after that period of goal setting and positive thinking.
But why is that? Why did that happen and why does that happen when we set goals.?
Here's what I discovered: When we set goals we are hoping for things, we want things. For instance, you might want a million dollars, but the moment you realized you don't have a million dollars this starts to cause anxiety, because what happens is we're expecting things to be a certain way, but they’re not a certain way and oftentimes our expectations are not met.
Main problems with goals setting…
The biggest problems are stress and anxiety. When you start to encounter failures you will start facing stress and anxiety, not everyone have the enough strength and fortitude to be able to push through difficulty. That was what happened with me when I set my first big goals.
At the beginning I was achieving a lot of goals, I had a successful business, I increased my income, but then what do you do when you start to fail? You set a goal for a million dollars, and then you find that debt is accumulating, you find that your projects are failing, your expectations are being crushed and everything you hoped for is being destroyed.
So what do you do then? The problem is that the anxiety and stress are not strong enough to push you through these problems. And then you start having the fear of failure and the uncertainty. This ends up causing procrastination and avoidance. That's what happened to me ultimately, I just started to procrastinate and as I was trying to find the answer, that caused over planning and perfectionism, what ultimately caused less achievement. This was harmful for me personally and my business.
Focus on ACTION to achieve anything…
If we look at what is the formula for success, we know it's action, consistent and persistent action. Winston Churchill said that success is going from failure to failure without a loss of optimism. So we have to keep pushing and keep trying, because we know that's the key for success. But then we focus on setting goals that caused us to be anxious and cause us to be worried, because we don’t really know if this is going to work. So here's the alternative: focus on action.
That’s the key I discovered. If you want massive achievement, if you want to achieve much faster, better, more enjoyable, what you have to do is to shift focus from goals to action. You start focusing on the process rather than the destination.
Goals are only important for measuring…
Goals are important, but they are only critical for measuring. You still have to set goals, objectives and targets, and you review them and your progress. So, in general the process of goal setting is very important, but the difference is that you shouldn't be goal setting when you're performing the action.
One of the things in personal development that a lot of people is saying is to focus on your goals, because that's what will motivate you. But I've found that not to be true and instead I focus on what's important to me and the process to get it. So, think deeply about your goals, and put your efforts on the process to achieve them. Find what causes you to be passionate and strong, and that energy will drive you to achieve anything.