Reasons why your goals can go wrong

Goal setting can go wrong for number of reasons. Before setting up goals, it’s better to look at some of these reasons.

We always end up setting outcome goals instead of performance goals. For instance, you might set a goal of achieving 80% in your exam. This is an outcome goal. Instead you need to set a goal, which is performance oriented. For example, trying your best to achieve 80%. The outcome may often not be in your hands, but our performance most definitely is. Fail to achieve goals for reasons outside your control can be very dispiriting and may lead to loss of enthusiasm and feelings of failure.

Goals can be unrealistically high. When a goal is perceived to be unreachable, no effort will be made to achieve it. Set realistic goals. For example, if an average student sets a goal of achieving 90%, it is very unlikely that he will be able to achieve this goal.

Conversely, goal can be set so low that you feel no challenge in achieving it, making the goal a waste of time. Always set goals that are challenging. For instance, many students aim to get only passing marks, when in fact, they have the capacity of doing much better.

At times, goals can be so vague that they are useless: It is difficult to know whether vague goals have been achieved. If achievement cannot be measured, then your self-confidence will not benefit from goal setting, nor can you observe progress towards a greater goal. Therefore, set precise quantitative goal. A common example is “doing better” in the exam. We must specify or define what the child means by “doing better”. Why do you think most schools have four exams in a year? One reason is to help the students know where they stand, so that they can set goals accordingly as well as measure their achievement.

Goal setting can be unsystematic. Here goals will be forgotten, achievement of goals will not be measured and feedback will not occur into new goals. The major benefits of goal settings have been lost. Be organized and regular in the way that you use goal setting.

Setting too many unprioritized goals can lead to feeling of overload. Remember, we all deserve time to relax and enjoy. Go one step at a time and set the next goal only after the first have been achieved.

By avoiding these problems and setting goals effectively, you can achieve and maintain strong forward momentum.