I Hate Setting Goals
By Paul Hegarty
I am going to be honest with you. I hate setting goals. I have never been very good at keeping them. In actual fact I am good at setting goals but terrible at carrying them out. I am also a hypocrite. I have told many people that they need to set goals to find myself doing the opposite.
Allow me tell you something else that is true. You must fail in order to succeed. Every success is given birth by failure. Some of the best inventions came after many attempts at success - that failed. So let's start by saying that failure is a part of success. You must fail, which brings me to this point. You have to know what does not work in order to know what will work. I must find out what is wrong with the goals that I am setting. I must find out what does not work for me when setting goals.
Put failure in perspective. I am not saying that failure as a whole brings success. What I am saying is that if something fails it is relative to the overall success of any given desired result. So now one can determine that action "A did not work, so we can discount "A in relation to success in this particular project.
You see goals can be painful. Goals force you to face your actual circumstances as they are and then require you to make a commitment to making things better. Nobody wants to know what is wrong they just want to be told what to do to make it right. So I see in myself that I fail in executing the goals that I set. Then I ask myself why? I notice that you can say things like I want to earn $5000 a month. This is very nice - but I do not like what I have to do in order to achieve it - or worst still I write down what I need to do, agree on it, but in the back of my mind there is a sense of disbelief. Then there is the point when I realize that it is not practical given the circumstances that I am in at the present time. One might say in order to earn $5000 I need to learn new techniques then apply them, once applied I need to test and fix what does not work. The problem with this is time. If I have a job how many hours can I allocate to this and then how will I have time to have a life, have a little fun. So I see there are problems. I begin to see why my desire to get a certain result may fail, or rather will fail based on my current status.
The common thread here is the element of failure in terms of the way I am setting goals. This leads to the following, nobody wants to fail. We are thought that failure is bad. That is why so few succeed because so many do not want to fail. I can tell you what I realized in myself. When things go wrong I loose all motivation and this leads to poor execution. Then when setting new goals there is a subconscious disbelief to achieving success purely due to the fact that I failed so often. But what I never did is see that failure is the key to success. You see we hear in all the movies that failure is not an option, but that is just romantic theory because things will go wrong. I myself did not handle failure very well. I just wanted someone to tell me what works. However life is not like that. There is also the element of laziness. "Are you telling me after doing all this I might fail? Why bother even starting then"? So you may realize that your passion for what you are doing is shallow, or that you really do not have a big picture. Or that you really do not like what you are doing. Or that you just want the glory, the image or the money.
Let me tell you that nobody can set goals for you. Nobody knows there situation better than you do. This is like those poor folks who join get quick rich schemes. The problem is not the system but the fact that the person engaging in it, may not have the resources, time or dedication to execute the plan all the way to success.
So you see you must be frightfully honest and open to failure, and then you must be prepared to thrash it out in extreme detail. Once that is done I can tell you that success is the only option.