Why Goal Setting Sucks and How to Love It | Enrollment Masters

Why Goal Setting Sucks and How to Love It

Why does goal setting suck for so many people?

You may or may not be one of those people. Personally, I’ve experienced a lot of resistance to setting goals. It seems like the entrepreneurs I see who are doing phenomenally set specific goals and then achieve those goals. In contrast, those who aren't successful sometimes set goals but then they stop after a few failures. What is it that makes some people get goals instead of just setting them? And what makes other people quit and give up on goal setting?

Definitions Matter

Every word in your vocabulary means something specific to you and you alone. You could have a 100 people in a room and ask what love is and every person's definition would be different. You could ask what the word goal means, and while you may hear some similarity, ultimately all of the answers will vary. Our interpretation of words is what determines the successes or failures we have. Read that last sentence again.

Sometimes our definition of a word changes over time. For example, my definition of the word ‘goal’ has changed. In high school, I loved goals. I would set physical goals, work towards them, and get them. It was fun and exciting. Then, as I became an entrepreneur, I would set goals in areas of achievement - enrollments, income, etc. As I fell short of my goals, I took on negative definitions around goal setting. ‘Goal’ started to mean an expectation of someone else because I would set a goal my wife or coach wanted me to achieve - it wasn’t something from my heart. I didn’t realize it at the time but subconsciously and emotionally ‘goal’ meant something I was compelled to do based on someone else’s expectations. Another definition was that a goal is something to work really hard on and fall short so that you can set another goal - that was the pattern I was experiencing so it became part of my definition. I also started to define it as a way for me to fail so that I could rely on God. I would pray really hard and wouldn't get my goal. I had to get super spiritual and then finally, I would connect. So in my mind, I set myself up for failure by that definition. If I set a goal and I wasn't deeply spiritually in tune, I would fail and fail and fail. It caused an addictive cycle where I needed to fail at a goal in order to come close to God because it was the only time that I would feel fully present. Every one of us has experiences like this that influence our definitions.

What’s your definition?

When you hear the word ‘goal,’ what are your definitions? What emotions come up? Do you love setting goals? Do you set goals and achieve them every time? Do they facilitate growth and great experiences? Or are they a burden, frustration, or other negative connotation? You may have a mixture of positive and negative. As we learn and understand our definitions, we can then choose to redefine. Take some time to really dive into this and understand what your definitions are around goal setting.

Redefining the definition

There are two key parts to this …

  1. Redefine goals. Write down all of your negative definitions of 'goal'. Then, write down your new definitions of 'goal'. If you want to take it to the next level, post your old and new definitions on our Facebook group. I will give you feedback and will even teach you the next tool to use in redefining goals. 
  2. Change your paradigm. Instead of setting goals, create a fun list. This is the same thing as setting a goal but instead of feeling like you have to do it or it's hard, you shift to set goals that are fun to achieve. What would be totally incredibly amazing? Set that as a goal. You shouldn't feel pressure or like it's a burden to achieve it. You should feel excited to achieve your goals - so set exciting things. As you do this, even if you don't hit your goal, you will have fun along the way. It changes the way you think about and perceive goal setting.

Take some time to ponder what your definitions really are, specifically for goals and goal setting. Redefine them by choosing new definitions and creating a fun list. Goal setting doesn't have to suck. Use your new definitions and perspective to start loving it!

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