I bet you have heard this phrase, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” And a lot of gurus, self-help experts, and books encourage us to set goals.
It is true that goal setting is a powerful technique that can help you achieve what you want in life, but many people underplay some of the rules, making them fail to achieve their goals.
If you are serious to achieve your goals, below are the 7 goal setting rules you must follow. Those who underplay these rules will end up failing at their goals…
1. Setting goals base on other people’s desire
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to setting their goals.
After they attended a seminar or a workshop, they got inspired and they wanted to get rich and become like the speaker or the guru. Hence, they set their goals to become so.
Another common example is students who are influenced by others to major in courses and subjects that are not what they really want.
Our parents and friends can influence our decisions. When you mix around with people who smoke, you will eventually smoke too.
Therefore, if your parents want you to become an engineer or a lawyer, eventually, you may buy into the idea and make the decision to practice law in school.
My father is a construction contractor. I was influenced by him from a young age. And I thought I wanted to be like him, so I ended up studying civil engineering in school.
After graduated, I worked in the construction industry for just a couple of months. After that, I decided that it is not what I wanted and ended up becoming a real estate negotiator.
Today, I’m a full-time internet marketer and a blogger. What I do right now has nothing to do with the construction industry.
Thus, ask yourself, are your goals what you really want? Or are you setting goals because of someone else?
If your goals are not what you really want to achieve and you set them base on other people’s desires, you will find them extremely challenging. You will never really want to achieve them because those are not the goals that you truly want to achieve.
2. Setting goals that don’t align with your core values
Do your goals align with your core values? Here’s a classic example.
Imagine your goal is to earn an additional income. And you decided to join an insurance agency to sell policies part-time. But you hate selling since your childhood because your parents got cheated by the salesman before.
Hence, deep inside your heart, you don’t like selling and you believe that all salesmen are the same, they just want to make a quick buck out of you.
If this is happening to you, there is no way you can build a successful career out of the insurance industry.
This is because your core values don’t align with your goal.
When you try to approach your friends and sell them the insurance policy, deep inside you will reject the idea. You are self-sabotaging your own goal.
On the outside, you want to create a career out of selling, but deep inside your heart, you keep telling yourself that selling is what you like to do because you don’t want to cheat people.
So, what’s the solution?
There are only 2 ways to solve this problem.
First, you quit your insurance career and don’t talk about selling anymore. Second, you change your core value to believe that to succeed in life, you need to sell something, regardless of whether it is an idea, the insurance policy, or whatever.
You must change your core value to align with your goal in order to move forward.
Why do you think that most people are shy about selling when they first started? Well, it is because their core value doesn’t align with selling. They either don’t like selling or think that selling is not the right way to go.
It happened to me when I first started my career as a real estate negotiator. I don’t really dare to call up clients and tell people that my job is selling properties.
After my core value changed, my career took off. The same when I started my internet marketing career.
When people asked me what I did for a living, it is difficult to tell them that I’m a blogger. They will be surprised and asked me more questions like how much money do I make.
Therefore, change your core values and so that they align with your goals.
Learn the right way to set your goals so that you can achieve them easily. Follow my suggestions here.
3. Setting goals that are not exciting to you
Do you feel excited when you think or talk about your goals? Most people don’t. And this is why they fail.
This is one of the most common goal-setting rules that most people ignore. They set goals that are not excited to them.
If your goals are not exciting to you, you will never feel motivated to achieve them. You will procrastinate and refuse to act on them.
And it has a lot to do with your passion. If you hate writing, guess what will happen if you set a goal to become a writer?
Well, you will find it extremely difficult to write. You will find that no matter how hard you try, it is challenging to write quality articles because you don’t like writing.
Unless you develop a passion for it, you will never be excited about your goal.
This is why we don’t just talk about goal setting, we need to have an empowering vision that encourages and supports us when we needed.
Your goals are just a target to hit. What truly drives you is the passion and the emotions behind your vision.
4. Setting goals that are not challenging enough
Another factor you need to consider is if your goals challenging enough?
If you set a goal that is too easy to achieve, you will never feel the motivation to achieve it. After all, it is too easy to do and you don’t think it is worthy to go for it.
At the same time, if your goal is too difficult to achieve that it is out of your current ability, you will sabotage yourself and don’t do it too.
Read my previous article, Goldilocks Principle: How to Raise Your Motivation and Focus, and you will understand why you need to set a goal that is not too easy and not overly difficult to achieve.
You want to set a goal that is “just nice” to achieve. You don’t want to make it too easy to achieve nor too difficult to hit.
Think about it, if you are working a job earning $3,000 a month, do you think that setting a goal to earn an additional $30 a month is going to be exciting enough? Will you want to jump out of your bed each morning to work for it?
I don’t think so.
On the contrary, if you set an unrealistic goal that is too difficult to achieve, say to earn a million dollars by the end of the year, consider your current ability, you will fail at this goal. And you know that.
So, deep in your subconscious mind, you will sabotage your own action. You will procrastinate and fail at your goal.
This is why you should follow the Goldilocks’ Principle and set goals that are challenging enough to motivate you.
5. Setting goals that are unrealistic and out of your reach
As I have mentioned above, when you set a goal that is too far out of your reach, you will feel dejected and inferior, which eventually will make you fail at your goals.
Here’s a great principle from Tony Robbins:
“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
When setting an unrealistic goal, you are setting yourself up to fail. And when you fail, you will feel down and lose confidence. It puts you in the downward spiral.
On the other hand, if you set a realistic goal that you can reach, you will feel in control. You know you can achieve your goal if you work for it.
It gives you hope and raises your confidence. The more you take action, the more progress you make, and the more results you produce. It puts you in the upward spiral and creates the momentum to push you forward.
This is why your goals must be realistic.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t set unrealistic goals. You can, but there are a couple of things you need to understand before you do so. Read this article below:
6. Setting goals that are too vague and not actionable
Another commonly understate goal-setting rule is that most people set goals that are too vague and not actionable.
When your goals are vague, you are not giving clear instructions to your mind as to what to do. You are setting yourself up to fail.
The more specific you are with your goals, the better your execution.
When you are specific with what you want, your mind knows what to do. You are giving crystal clear instructions to your mind telling it exactly what kind of results you want to have.
One more thing, try to make your goals actionable. If your goals are not actionable, at least make your daily tasks actionable.
For example, don’t just say that your goal is to build a successful blog. Building a successful blog is not an actionable goal.
How do you plan to act on the goal? How do you build it? You can’t.
You are giving your mind an ambiguous picture of what you want it to do.
Therefore, create specific action plans for your goals. So, what are the action steps you need to take to build a successful blog?
- Write and publish quality articles every weekday.
- Write and submit guest articles to other blogs on Monday.
- Create a YouTube channel and publish short videos every Thursday.
- Create 10 images for Pinterest and Facebook and schedule them on Tuesday.
Consider the above tasks. They are specific and actionable. They are tasks that you can execute.
This is what I mean when I say that you need to create an action plan that is specific and your tasks must be actionable.
7. Setting too many goals and fail to focus
How many goals do you have? Successful people are clear about their goals. When you ask them what they want to achieve out of their business or life, they can give you a specific answer without much thinking.
When you have too many goals, you will spread yourself too thin.
Instead, set just a few important goals and focus all your energy and time on those important goals.
You don’t need to have 100 goals to work on. You just need to be specific and aim for just a few goals that are important to you.
While it is a good idea to have 100 goals ideas, but when it comes to achieving them, you must focus on the vital few.
In this article, How to Stay Focused on Your Goals, I shared a strategy used by Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor.
It was a piece of advice given from Buffett to his personal pilot where he suggested his pilot write down 25 goals in life. After that, Buffett asked his pilot to choose the top 5 goals and focus on them.
How about the other 20 goals? Do you keep them in mind? No, according to Buffett, those 20 goals should become the “avoid at all cost” list.
Meaning, you want to put all your attention and focus on just the top 5 goals in your life, all others are just distractions and you should avoid them at all costs.
Do you get that?
Don’t set too many goals. You just need to have a few vital goals if you really want to achieve them.
In fact, you just need to have one goal. Find out what is the most important goal for you right now, and put all of your effort, time, and energy on it.
Ask yourself what’s the one goal that will impact your life the most and bring you the most positive change if you accomplish it.
And that’s your MIG – Most Important Goal.
Just focus 100% on that goal.
Turn Your Goals into Reality
Now that you understand the rules you must follow and where most people get it wrong when they set their goals. Don’t repeat these mistakes.
Setting and achieving your goals should be something fun, exciting, and a process that grows and improves you. And this is why I created the Goal Setting Formula.
I strongly encourage you to learn from the masterclass and acquire the necessary skill you need to turn your goals into reality.