3 Reasons Why Traditional Goal Setting Doesn’t and Will Never Work

By: Robert Thomson

3 Reasons Why Traditional Goal Setting Doesn’t and Will Never Work
From goal setting to actual goal Getting.
There are many traditional ways to set goals:
- People write them down
- People tell others about their goals
- Read them everyday
- Don’t tell others keep goals to yourself
- You name it
There are lots of ways to set goals if you really think about it. However it is absolutely unimportant how you set your goals. Because of 3 major flaws that usually may prevent any goal achievement.

Those 3 factors are:
1. Insincerity – People set their goals insincerely. They do it halfheartedly. They let other people, peers, family members set goals for them. They do New Year’s resolutions. Set goals for themselves that they aren’t really committed to (Quit smoking, lose some weight) or commit to that are undermined by a lack of integrity and no matter how hard they try to achieve them. It will always be sabotaged at some point, where the mind is just going to give up and stop doing it all together. Or even if you achieve insincere goal a person will not feel happy about achieving it, because he hasn’t set it for himself willingly to begin with. These goals include taking over family business, promising your wife to cut the lawn every Friday. After setting goal like this you will soon accidentally forget to do it once, because you never sincerely committed to it in first place.
2. Imprecise goals – 90% of mistakes in world happen due to a poor communication between human beings. Accidents, miscommunication, arguments, happen due to a lack of precise instructions or inability from one side to give or from other to receive instruction.
How many times have you thought you gave someone proper instructions, later to find out s(he) did it completely different and only then you realized you could have told him/her differently more precisely.
For example: you ask your friend to bring you a toolbox with tools and he does. But when you see it, it is completely different toolbox from the one you wanted. You thought your friend will realize, since you’re working to fix plumbing pipe you will need a proper tools to do it. However s(he) didn’t know you were working on pipes and brought you set of tools to work on wooden cabinets. And if you gave more detailed instructions to begin with it someone wouldn’t have to go back to the garage to get another toolbox. Not very important when such a trivial thing happens, but when you set important or even lifetime goals imprecisely, it might be a crucial undermining factor in its achievement.
Goal setting cannot be vague. Nor it cannot be micro managed. You have to be somewhat precise but don’t get too detailed about its achievement. A mind is a creative mechanism that might surprise you along the way by coming up with ways to get you to your goal in ways you would never expect. For instance if you want a new house and set goal to have a new house in 5 years. You leave too much room for imagination. It may come up with a solution to get your old house burned and get you into a new one as a result. What you want to do is give it precise set of instructions: I want a house in 5 years as a result of working on my business doing so and so. Then you let mind be creative in growing and nurturing your business so it can provide money to get you a new house that you want.
Micromanaging is also something to watch out for: you don’t want to say. I want to have a house in 5 years. I will work 8 hours a day on my cardboard business. “I will sell so many boxes by the end of 4 years. That will give me so many dollars in profit and on this and this day I will go and buy a house. “This might lead you to failure too, because your success mechanism inside you will be restricted because of its creativity and will undermine success. You simply cannot predict things to this kind of detail and there really isn’t any point in doing so. Keep even moderation in moderation. Don’t be too vague or too detailed.
3. Incongruence - number one, most important reason why some goals will not or to that matter cannot even be achieved when people set them. They are totally incongruent with who a person is.
If we take a very social, gregarious human being, who can’t live without others, who enjoys, likes to work only in a social company surrounded by dozens of other employees, who drives on stories, gossip, sharing their emotions and feelings and s(he) sets goal for her/himself to become proficient in computer programming, which means spend hours on the computer by yourself sit and work out different algorithms, etc. It will more than likely not happen.
Or one opposite side if you take a shy, introverted individual who at the social party acts like a wall flower, finds meeting new friends strange and awkward. So no matter how many appointments he will make to improve his sales process or how many people he actually presents too. It will be not too long when he gives up and drops the whole thing all together.
This phenomenon happens due to complete mismatch of goal and of a person who needs to achieve the kind of goal. In other words goal must be congruent with what kind of person achieves the desired goal.
For example, say you want to be promoted to an executive level in a firm or a corporation. Therefore you have to find out what kind of person gets that kind of job?
Say, you want to get promoted to a management position in your company from being a janitorial staff. You might consider things like what kind of person does it take to be in management? How does that person dress, keep their posture, how do they talk, what kind of vocabulary do they have? How they think, how does he treat others, what kind of responsibilities do they have?
In human terms you want to first create: “TO BE” rather than to get or to do goals.
Reality is, if you look at most of the populations goals, 90% of them will be “to get” goals and 10% “to do” goals and nowhere on the list will there be a “To Be” goals, which are most important to begin with.
Therefore first and most important task is to change who you are, so you are congruent with the goals you set. Here are few questions to help you along the way:
- What kind of person successfully achieves these goals? ( list few characteristics: punctual, well disciplined, nice posture, fit, eloquent)
- How do I match up to that kind of individual (assess yourself and list comparable traits: I’m usually late, I’m pretty well disciplined, I’m a walking question mark, my vocabulary is decent, but I do need improvement in my expression, etc.)
When you self assess, you can see where you need to make improvements to match the desired outcome in specific areas. Only when you know where you are at, you can figure out which way you will take to get to your goals.
Other things to note are really general. People fail to reach goals because they make little mistakes and they feel like failures. Which later prevents them from doing anything altogether.
Important thing here to note is that humans are designed to fail, make mistakes and correct them along the way until they achieve their targets successfully. Sometimes people get caught up by taking little failures too personally and attaching it to their own self image, furthermore preventing themselves to even go out and try new endeavors or achieving new and exciting goals. That soon starts to tie in with fears and other psychological barriers and locks person into a rut, from which it makes it harder to get out even if you try hard.
Important thing to understand here is that success is always founded with failure. You cannot succeed if you don’t fail. Because if you don’t fail. That means you don’t even try. And if you don’t try and do something, nothing happens. Get out there; make mistakes, as couple of my mentors say: make mistakes, make them fast! Get humiliated and in reality, there are only so many ways to get it wrong soon you will inevitably learn to succeed and become success! Best of luck!
Ed Kubi

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