Common Goal Setting Mistakes
The following seven goal setting mistakes could doom your goal setting efforts to failure.
Lack of Commitment to the Goal: This common obstacle to reaching goals can result when someone assigns the goal but the person to whom it’s assigned doesn’t inwardly accept it. This often happens in work situations when a manager sets a goal for an employee but fails to show a connection between the goal and the employee’s professional growth.
Another cause of lack of commitment to a goal stems from goals that aren’t directly assigned, but are strongly implied. Spouses and parents are often sources of suggested goals which are accepted out of loyalty or guilt but aren’t intrinsically motivating.
Non-specific Goal: A vague goal will often defy goal achievement simply because the vagueness undermines even the best intentions to reach the objective. An example of a vague goal might be stated as “improve your effectiveness,” or “strive to get along better with your peers.” Though these are worthy achievements, they are too vague to be motivating, providing no clear end result.
Immeasurable Goal: The examples above can also fall into this trap of unmeasurable goals. Though there may be ways to measure getting along better with peers, if no means of measuring that relationship is in place the goal is meaningless.
Other Common Mistakes in Setting Goals and Objectives
Uninspiring Goal: Most of the goal setting mistakes described so far will also result in an uninspiring goal. A goal can also be uninspiring simply because of failure to connect goal achievement with something meaningful and important. Connecting goals to life purpose and meaningful life visions provides inspiration and energy.
Objectives Too Challenging: The degree of challenge is extremely important to successful goal and objective achievement. A goal that is too challenging will tend to overwhelm even the most ardent goal setter. A person unable to visualize the completed goal will quickly lose the energy and inspiration to work toward achieving it.
Goals Too Easy: A goal that is trivial is just as problematic as one that is too challenging. Rather than jumping in to complete a trivial goal, a person may tend to put it off knowing the goal is so easy that it can be done at anytime and with little effort.
Vague Time-frame: A time frame for goal achievement that is vague or non-existent can result in putting off working toward the goal indefinitely as other more pressing issues arise. The time frame for completing a goal can also result in the goal being too easy or too challenging.
Setting Realistic and Reachable Goals
Goal setting is an integral step in personal and professional growth. Avoiding these common mistakes in goal and objective setting will make personal and professional growth more likely.
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