In light of this week of the rather strange tradition of “New Year’s Resolution” (something I’ve never really understood), I thought I would write a little about why goal setting shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Ambition and aspiration are great. Everyone needs goals. The problems comes when we under- or over-estimate our capabilities and other demands on our resources. To what do I elude? Knowing when what you want to achieve is too much, or when you’ve picked a task that is too easy.
In choosing an easy-to-achieve goal, we might think that we are setting ourselves a standard which precludes us from disappointment. In fact, it is quite the opposite. If you reach the finish line of a marathon, only to admit that it was actually a quarter mile, would you still tell everyone your ran a marathon? No. The same goes for other goals you want to achieve. Let me be clear on this – Not everything you set out to achieve is a goal. Sometimes, it is a step to the real goal. The celebration should be reserved for the real end goal, not completion of each step on the path.
When setting yourself a goal that is too difficult, or too optimistic, you st yourself up for disappointment. IF you know it’s too much of a stretch for you to run the marathon, then set your goal of the half-marathon. If you can’t run, choose a different goal! Why set yourself a goal you simply cannot achieve?
What I am saying is this: Before you can set yourself realistic and achievable goals, you need to first take a look at yourself, your life and the other things which you will have taking time, energy and other resources away from being able to commit to those goals. Otherwise you will either be unhappy with your lack of success, or feel that you could have done better. Throwing in the towel is too easy to do when all hope seems lost, simply because you didn’t take the time to assess your options first.