In a recent writers’ group meeting, we discussed goal setting.
One writer said: “Goal setting isn’t for me. Life’s too stressful now. What’s the point of goals when so much is changing?” Many agreed.
I agreed too. It’s easy to feel burned out by goals; you can set a goal, then your life derails. Within a week, your goal seems like a fantasy.
A veteran author had a different point of view. She said that whenever we set a goal, life throws up obstacles. “Change is always hard,” she said. “For many people, the global pandemic has brought too many changes—but I believe in goal setting anyway. You need to avoid the big trap”.
Goal setting: what’s the trap?
A Forbes article puts it like this:
… you have to decide on is what you want to have, not how you’re going to get it…
…the super successful do not take road blocks as finalities. They… continually strategize how they are going to achieve (a goal), even when their efforts are thwarted and things don’t work out.
When you set a goal, do you assume you know how you’ll achieve the goal?
Most of our group (including me) agreed that we were. When things didn’t go as we planned, the obstacles seemed insurmountable, so we gave up our goal.
When you’re setting goals, expect the unexpected
Early in 2020, one writer in our group accepted a new job. It meant relocating to a different state. Her husband had to quit his current job, but he was sure he’d find another job quickly.
Then the global pandemic hit. They’d just bought a house; her husband was let go from his new job.
She said that for several weeks, she wanted to sell the house, quit her job, and return “home.” She wanted her family—her parents and siblings. She tried to convince her husband that they’d made a huge mistake.
However, her husband found a job he could do from home. He convinced her to accept that even though life had changed—they’d achieved their goal of great jobs and a wonderful home.
“I learned that things will always go wrong,” the writer said. “But you can face the obstacles and achieve your goals—I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.”
So that’s the secret to avoiding the goal-setting trap: be patient, and find ways around the obstacles.
You can do it.
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