Do you set goals? If you fall short of them, how do you react? We should think of them not as ends to themselves, but more like lights on an airplane landing strip. In this post, I want to encourage you to reflect on how you review whether you achieved those goals or not.
The way I see it, there are three main parts to goal setting. How we set them, how we strive towards them and how we review them. I think we’re quite familiar with the first two and there are plenty of strategies on the Internet that focus on them. However, what is missing from many of these articles is the thinking process we should have when we achieve them or not. It can be very easy to feel disappointed if we don’t reach our target, and setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based) certainly help. However, it’s inevitable that we’ll fall short of our goals, even if we invest time in accurately setting them. If we miss our target, we shouldn’t be disheartened or feel like a failure. We should critically and unemotionally, analyse why we didn’t achieve that goal and take corrective action. We need to understand that setting goals and striving toward them is an iterative process and whether we achieve them or not, we are still on our way to where we want to be and we can learn even from the lack of success. If we have achieved the goal, then definitely give yourself a pat on the back but your focus should swiftly move on to the next goal, the next landing strip light.
Setting and striving for goals is very much like going on a road trip. You’ll set yourself an end destination but you’ll want to stop off at various places along the way. If we happen to miss our turn off, all is not lost, we have still inched closer to the ultimate destination but we do need to get back on the right path. Next time you fail to achieve a goal, think:
- Why didn’t I achieve it
- What are the corrective steps
And don’t ruminate on any subjective feelings.
Let me know your thoughts or share if you liked it!