Every time the earth completes its revolution, we celebrate with fireworks, loud noises and greetings from our friends and loved ones. We welcome another chapter, as we poetically say. We change calendars, we try to change outlooks, we want to be better.
We make resolutions.
But after a few days, we are back to our old selves, feeling defeated. Soon, we give up on our goals.
Why is this so? What’s wrong with wanting to be “physically fit” or “be more productive” or “be more financially stable?”
There’s nothing wrong. Whatever our resolutions are, they are all good. However, your goals might lack the following:
It is not written
If you are serious in achieving your goals, write it down.
“A goal that is not in writing is like cigarette smoke: It drifts away and disappears. It is vague and insubstantial. It has no force, effect, or power. But a written goal becomes something that you can see, touch, read, and modify if necessary.”Brian Tracy
An unwritten goal is just a wish. There is power in writing down your thoughts on paper. Putting your thoughts into paper (or digital notebooks) gives us visual reminders that we have a plan that needs completion, a destination to go to, and a purpose to fulfill. Written goals motivates and energizes.
Failure to write your goals down – no matter how simple or silly, elaborate or impossible it looks like, only means that you are not sold out with your goals to begin with; that it doesn’t matter to you if you achieve it or not.
If your goals are not yet in paper, write it down – NOW.
It is not about YOU (but about others)
Sometimes we make goals because we are triggered with what we see in others, especially in social media. We see our friends travelling, we put luxurious travel in our bucket list. We see them getting married, we pursue #RelationshipGoals as if our life depends on it. We see them as if they “have it all figured out”, we jump into whatever wagon they are into.
Be reminded that not everything we see in social media is real. As Craig Groeschel puts it, “We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.”
Don’t chart your life based on what you see in others. Chart your life the way God wants it to be. You are born original. Don’t settle with being a copy. Make sure that your goals in life are not measured and pressured by what society dictates, but what you really want to achieve and God’s purpose for you.
Evaluate your goals. Is it really what you want, or a goal fueled by the desire to be like others?
It is not SMART enough
Probably you have heard it before. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. In case this is the first time you have encountered this acronym, here it goes:
S – Your goals should be clear and highly-specific. Don’t leave gray areas. You don’t say “I want to save”, save how much? “I want to save 50k”
M – You need to be able to accurately track your progress. So if you want to save 50k, because of its monetary value, you can easily measure if you are anywhere near your goal.
A – Your goals must not be impossible. Unless you are a multi-millionaire or is getting married to one, don’t aim for 15 Billion in just a few months. Make sure your goals are attainable according to your context.
R – Your goals must benefit you or those whom you care directly. Is saving 50k relevant to you? I believe so. Otherwise, make sure it is.
T – Your goals must be within a time frame. Deadline makes a goal manageable. It keeps you focused and motivated. They say goals are dreams with deadlines. So if you want to save 50k, do it within six months? One year?
Having SMART goals is a smart move. Without a clear, quantifiable goal, achieving success would be challenging. SMART goals doesn’t complicate your goals. It fine tunes it so it becomes more meaningful. To follow through on our example:
“In six months time(T), I should be able to save Php 50k(S, M) from my salary and side hustles(A) that I can use for computer upgrade(R).”
Are your goals SMART enough? If not, do the necessary tweaks.
It is not followed through
Organizations evaluate their goals periodically to make sure that their objectives are met and necessary adjustments are implemented. There’s an obvious reason for this: “you can’t expect what you don’t inspect”.
You must revisit your goals from time to time. Monitor your progress. If you’re distracted, get back on track. If you feel lost, reorient yourself. The reason why most resolutions don’t make it until the following month is because they lack follow through.
If along the way you see yourself “swallowing more than what you can chew”, don’t dump your goals at once. Consider breaking it down into smaller chunks. Perhaps your goals became too overwhelming because of circumstances beyond your control, then adjust your goals to suit your current realities.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”Jimmy Dean
Are you following through with your goals?
It is not birthed with commitment
Half-baked commitments is paradoxical. When you say you commit to something, you must work for it, fight for it, and make sure it happens – come what may. Commitment speaks volume about ourselves: how serious are we? How persistent are we? Can we really deliver?
No matter how awesome or carefully crafted our goals are, without committing to it, they are useless. Year after year, countless resolutions never make it until December because of one culprit – failure to commit. But those who are committed enough to persevere are richly rewarded.
“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”Jeffrey Gitomer
Focus on the finish line. Reach towards the prize. Commit to your goals 100% – no exceptions. Don’t let complacency or unjustified excuses get the best of you. If your goals are important to you, fight for it.
Are you ready and willing to commit to your goals?
It is not communicated well
When goals are communicated to others, it produces two results:
First: you become accountable to people you shared your goals with. It motivates you to work hard because people are waiting and expecting you to fulfill it. When you communicate your goals to others, it pushes you to do your best because you know all eyes are on you.
Second: you gained yourself cheerleaders and detractors. Both are useful because they will help you see areas of your goals that you might not notice yourself. You just have to be careful with their insights.
Communicating your goals doesn’t mean you broadcast everything for public consumption. Just select a trusted few and some relatives. Their inputs, positive or negative will help you refine your goals until it is fully realized.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
Don’t keep your goals to yourself. Allow some trusted people to check up on you, help you, cheer you up and celebrate with you whenever you reach milestones on your goals.
Do you have trusted few to share your goals with?
It is not prayed for
Perhaps you have made all the things mentioned above, but still your goals aren’t doing you any good. You still feel lost and confused. You wander around your goals, clueless. I have a suggestion: pray for your goals.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Let the Lord guide your steps. Perhaps you’ve been very meticulous with your plans (or the opposite, very lax and complacent) that you forget that God leads and guides. Consider this verse:
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
We can make all plans all we want, and monitor our progress all year round, but when our plans and goals are not in alignment with the Lord, we will struggle. We need to acknowledge that at the end of the day, it is not always about us. Let Him direct your paths. Include Him in your goal-setting. Let Him help you in achieving your dreams. He is your enabler, and He is rooting for you!
Have you prayed for your goals yet?
There you have it! Seven reasons why your goals are not doing you any good. Should you have some additions to this list, feel free to comment down below.
Together, let’s reach our goals!