Why Your #Goals Aren't Getting You Anywhere
At some point between college graduation and my first real job I realized that I’d been going about achieving success the wrong way. How is it that I had all of these things checked off of my goal list and yet still felt like I’d achieved nothing? On paper I was winning, but realistically I felt unfulfilled. In the weeks leading up to graduation, I remember watching my peers grow excited at the approaching milestone and personally feeling like a diploma in the mail would suffice. I could do without the ceremonies and really only took part in them for my family. I spent four years floundering around trying to figure out who I was and what I was after within the confines of the definition of success that I’d always been taught.
What I wish I knew about success then that I’ve finally learned now is this:
Chase things that matter to you and your bottom line.
Coming up with goals is easy. You can literally sit down right now and, in the next ten minutes, come out with a list of things that you want to accomplish. The picture those things align to create could very well look successful by some standard and your list would probably include things that, on a surface level, you think you want.
The real issue comes when it’s time to actually accomplish those goals. That’s when everything tends to unravel. Weeks turn to months. Months turn to years and that checkbox next to the goal on your list remains empty. Or worse, you get the thing and it feels like nothing -- just another line through a list of to-dos.
The real reason why your goals aren’t getting you anywhere, literally or just emotionally, is because you lack strategy. In the game of goals, strategy is the one thing that you need to win.
In the game of goals, strategy is the one thing that you need to win.
I’ve had 12345 different drafts of my list of goals, and at some point even tried to list 100 different things that would be cool to say I did. What was missing was alignment. How did those things align with my passions? Did any of them?
Strategy makes the difference.
Setting strategic goals means first figuring out your end game. For me that means making women feel whole, like the truest version of themselves, by inspiring them to live on purpose both inside and outside of the home. Everything I pursue has to come down to that mission. That’s my end game.
Of course, there’s always room for bucket list items, but ultimately the question isn’t what; the question is why. When you figure out why you are then it is easy to figure out what you’re doing. That’s strategic goal setting.
Ready to nail down your life’s vision? Here’s a little help.
Along the way, I’ve uncovered three main things that have been a deterrent to me when it comes to setting and achieving intentional goals. These things, when paired with a lack of vision, are the kiss of death.
You’re Doing Too Much
Whenever you're focused on too many things at once, the quality always goes down.
Multi-tasking has its place, but there comes a time when you start working against yourself. I used to put my ability to multi-task on a pedestal until I realized that being able to do a handful of things very well works better that being a jack of all trades and master of none.
Focusing on too many things at once is a sign that you lack clarity of vision. It’s when everything starts to sound good and suddenly your cup runneth over will a bunch of ideas and no results.
Focusing on too many things at once is a sign that you lack clarity of vision.
The solution is to choose a few high priority, time-sensitive goals to work on at a time. Once those are checked off of the list move on to the next ones. You’ll gain momentum along the way.
You Lack Discipline
You'll have to chip away at your goals consistently until you make it. This is where discipline comes in. Discipline is learning how to stay consistent no matter what.
Discipline is learning how to stay consistent no matter what.
When your why is fuzzy it’s easy to fall off. The passion that it takes to do the work when the work doesn’t feel good is fueled by a purposeful vision. Narrow down your why and use it as fuel when you’re feeling uninspired.
Your Goals Are Too Broad
Breaking down your goals into actionable steps is the key to making them a reality. When your end goal overall isn’t specific neither are the goals you set for yourself along the way. The first step of my goal setting strategy is always figuring out the parts that create the sum total. What will I need to accomplish my vision? I break that down. Then, I break that down. Then, I break that down. Everyday you should be taking small steps to manifesting your vision because your vision is the sum-total of small actions taken daily and consistently.
Your vision is the sum-total of small actions taken daily and consistently.
In order to get to a place where the goals I was pursuing actually mattered, I had to figure out what fulfilled me. Now, I filter every possibility through the lens of the legacy I am creating. If it don’t apply let it fly.
Narrowing down your vision isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Try the Write the Vision Guide to get clear on your vision so you can spend time on the things that matter.