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Why setting GOALS that SCARE you is important!

Why set a goal you can easily achieve? For years I have practiced the habit of writing down goals and I would often achieve them (which is great), but upon reflection I realize that none of these goals were far out of the realm of possibility. Meaning, I was pretty sure I could achieve all of them.



Starting a business and walking away from my 9-5 job was definitely something I wanted to do for a while but I didn’t really start pursuing it and making it a goal until the pandemic. While covid adversely affected many people, I also believe that it caused many people to push out of their comfort zone and start to pursue other passions…including entrepreneurship.


I finally made the goal to leave my 9-5, but how, was the question. I asked myself, “What am I passionate about, do well, and can replace my income?” I then made the decision to start my private psychotherapy practice, RoP Mental Health Services. Although my previous position offered a good salary, benefits, vacation, and fairly good job security, I knew it wasn’t for me.


Setting goals that scare you pushes you out of your comfort zone.


There are very few people who write down their goals, and fewer still who write audacious ones. Goals that scare them. Setting goals that take you out of your comfort zone creates uncertainty, but even if you don’t achieve the goal you’ll definitely be closer to where you want to be and you will learn valuable information for goal setting in the future.


Setting non-specific goals without a timeline is setting yourself up for failure.


Let me explain...

For example, If your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 60 days, instead of simply losing weight in 2023, then the effort and sacrifice you would need to invest to achieve the goal would be greater than if you hadn't set a goal that would push you.


Did you know that identifying and defining your emotions attached to the goal is one of the best ways to set and follow through with goals?


There is a reason for the goals that people have and there is an emotion tied to it. Feelings and emotions are a driving force that will motivate us to set and achieve goals.


In the book “A Theory of Goal Setting & Task Performance” by Edwin Locke, there are five goal-setting principles that can help improve your chances of success:

  1. Clarity

  2. Challenge

  3. Commitment

  4. Feedback

  5. Task Complexity

Let's take a quick look at each.


Clarity

Generic or broad goals are more difficult to commit to, so clarity helps to eliminate that confusion. Having clarity means that there is no grey area in what you want to achieve. You know exactly what you want and you are clear about how you want to get there.


Challenge

Each success you achieve builds a winners mindset. Next time you’re setting goals be sure to set at least one that makes you uncomfortable. I can guarantee that you will see growth if you challenge yourself and make the sacrifices.


Commitment

Just like a relationship, your goals need your full commitment. If you don’t wholeheartedly commit to your goal, you are less likely to achieve it.


Feedback

It also helps to have an accountability partner that provides feedback. This enables you to pivot or adjust your plan once you know what’s working and what isn’t.

Task Complexity

Task complexity is the final principle in achieving specific goals. You’ve got to get detailed to see your goals come to fruition.



Through utilization of Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback, and Task Complexity we can set better and more specific goals, leading to more emotional, personal, and professional satisfaction in our lives.


Thank you for reading my blog and please comment below. I’d love to hear your goal setting strategies and answer any questions you may have.


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