With the timely pressure that we place upon ourselves in the New Year when declaring our resolutions and charting our goals, many people often fall short of attaining their goals or honoring these resolutions. Sure, there are many reasons why we may not reach our goals but before we point our finger at things like lack of execution, resources, skills or effective time management, we need to first look at the source of the problem; that is, the goal itself. In other words, are you sure you’re setting the right goals for yourself?
Sure, our goals are supposed to resemble and support that which we want to bring into in our life or career, yet many times, people set goals around what they think they want, what they think they need or what they think they should be doing.
Several years ago, I introduced the difference between priorities and goals and the importance of aligning the two when setting the right goals. Here is the full definition and an example to make sure that you’re setting the best goals for you.
Priorities vs. Goals- What’s the Difference?
Priorities: What is most important and meaningful in your life today (activities, values, beliefs, lifestyle, principles, standards, hobbies, integrity, etc.) that you are not willing to compromise or sacrifice in pursuit of something else (such as a goal).
Goals: A future based anticipated expectation, possibility, measurable end result or experience that you are working towards creating, achieving or bringing to fruition that has not yet been realized in the present.
*Present Focused vs. Future Focused
*What Is Happening vs. What Will/May Be
*In The Present vs. In The Future
Here’s an Example:
John had a goal of being a top producer in his company. As such, he looked at the other top producers and the activities they engage in which make them successful. The top salespeople are working twelve hour days, sometimes even seven days a week. Thinking, “It worked for them, so I guess I should do that too,” he decided to give up a chunk of his family/personal time and other enjoyable activities/hobbies in his quest to become financially successful.
Although John’s priority was spending time with his family, he didn’t understand why he felt miserable and encountered resistance while attempting to achieve this goal.
Once he created a personal strategy and a routine for achieving his own bigger goals that supported his lifestyle and priorities without having to sacrifice what matters most to him, he was able to reach his goals with less effort and enjoyed the process even more.
Here’s The Key Point:
If you are encountering resistance while attempting to reach certain goals or performing certain tasks, chances are it’s either something you really don’t want to be doing, an old goal that may not serve you anymore (a “should“) or you are operating from someone else’s agenda (also a should)! The bottom line is, these goals don’t support your priorities and you’ll continue to feel “off” or out of your integrity throughout your pursuit of these misaligned goals.