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Creating Goals: Goal-Setting Strategies for Leaders

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2. They don’t know how to set goals. Some people confuse goals with wishes and fantasies. They think in terms of “having a lot of money,” “getting a great job,” “having a nice family,” “getting fit,” without breaking these wishes down into their component parts and the action steps it would take.

These aren’t goals but wishes and fantasies common to everyone. A goal is different. It is clear, specific and measurable. You know when you have achieved it or not.

3. They have a fear of failure. If goals aren’t written down, we can change them to match what is actually achieved without having to face any feelings of failure. Furthermore, many people make the mistake of setting goals that are easily attained in order to avoid failing. This is a form of unconscious self-sabotage. They end up going through life functioning at sub-optimal levels rather than at the level they are truly capable.

4. They have a fear of rejection. The fourth reason people don’t set clear, written goals, is that they fear they will be seen by others as ridiculous if they fail. They don’t want to face criticism be seen as not capable or worthy. This is one reason to keep goals confidential when you begin to start out with goal setting, other than sharing with your coach, mentor or a trusted peer.

3 Reasons Your Goals May Not Work

Knowing the barriers to successful goal-setting, you are ready to learn how to set goals that will help you succeed and find the satisfaction you deserve. You may already have in mind three important goals for yourself that you’ve been wanting to achieve for a while. Go ahead and write them down now; save them for review later. Before you can set effective goals, however, you need to consider the three elements listed below:

There are three main reasons why your goals may fail to inspire and motivate change.

1. The goal isn’t valued enough—you haven’t committed your mind and heart. It doesn’t align with your values. It may be something someone else thinks you should do, or, it may compete with other values you find more important.

2. Your goal isn’t specific—it’s too broad and overwhelming. While “getting fit” is admirable, it really isn’t a goal—rather the outcome of attaining the more specific goals of working out regularly, doing sports and eating less junk food.

3. Your goal isn’t supported—you don’t have a coach or mentor to cheer you on in your little successes, or to help you come back after a setback.

Each of these elements must be carefully considered in creating goals that you can achieve. Once you have aligned your goals with your true identity, values and life purpose, you will find them easier to accomplish. The energy will flow, because the goals are an expression of your true self. Then, when you have written down your goals in a specific, clear, measurable way that is time-framed, the small steps along the way will become evident. This also keeps the energy flowing, and helps you to remain focused on the goal.

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