Setbacks with Goal Setting Theory

07 Jan 2018 26

We all have felt those surges of power. For a few moments, we feel as if we are inspired. The energy associated with moment is spontaneous. We try to achieve impossible using that energy. As if it is not coming back!


What happens is that we end up exhausting ourselves. The energy goes out. There we are, again back at where we started from. Have you ever thought why this happens?


This happens because of zero goals. We didn’t plan anything. This includes the spontaneous energetic moment we encounter.


Often when we fail to achieve the big pile of work which is overdue, we feel embarrassed. That funny feeling in stomach, we all go through feeling that. What we don’t understand most often is that spontaneous energy is not solution. It may help time to time. In long run, only the proper goal setting will do the trick.


I will give you my example. Although I am still in my early twenties, I have found several habits which always helped me. While some impeded my progress, I became aware of my own defective behaviors. I realized a few things. Whether it is something we want done at the end of day, or it is something long term, we all want to achieve that. Achieving the goals no matter how small can be a journey. No matter if it is that of a day, or it is of a few years, journey is journey.


How is a journey travelled? Consider a small option like walking a few kilometers. How do you travel? You keep walking. Albeit slowly, you just keep walking.


Now imagine running in small sprints. You are only sprinting with your fullest strength. Small walk is not really an option. You must keep sprinting even if it is end of you.



Goal 2



Will the distance be ever travelled? Will it be covered by the approach you are using?


The simple answer is no. This approach of only sprinting is only going to cost you stamina and whole lot of time. It would have been better if you started earlier or just kept walking.


This was a real life example. It is common sense that such a thing is not possible. Ask yourself this then. Is working within short spontaneous spans of time enough for goals? Much like emergency sprinting, will you achieve your goals? Will you cover the distance you always wanted to cover?


It is a surprise how people usually ignore the real life examples. Often the greatest set back is not the unrealistic goal, it is rather our approach. I am going to mention a few tips which I picked up from teachers and successful peers. I realized that the problem was never the apparent issue. It was our own approach to it. The greatest setbacks I found are listed below.


1. Lack of Focus:

So what does it mean by lack of focus? Well, suppose you plan a big party. At the same time, make plans to get that office work done before the party starts. Other than this party, you remember that you also had to get the plumber fix that leaking roof. It will surely mess you up.


What you will do in the end is procrastinate. This will build up a lot of stress levels. This is one of the problems with our goal setting theory. When we focus on goal setting, we should focus on one thing at one time. Having too many things will easily overwhelm us. Give a break to that goals list. It will never be fulfilled that way. Instead, try setting one goal at one time. Not only this will give you enough practice to actually achieve goals, it will also relieve you from being overwhelmed.


2. Focus on Failures:

Our tendency of focusing on failures depends on many things. It depends on our ability to handle stress. It also depends on our way of thinking.


Consider this example. Ben set a goal to follow. He wanted to increase the earnings from his work. As a state agent, it depended on his personal dealings with customer. Ben thought for the moment the things he had to overcome. First was his anxiety. The second was his behavior. He couldn’t stand the voracious dealers and customers.


The more he focused on issues to overcome, the more confidence he lost. In the end of the day, he was burdened with list of things he was lacking. Overcoming them seemed like forever.


Ben read somewhere to focus on positive things while keeping negative things in check. Instead of thinking that he lacked confidence, he thought of ways he could be confident. Instead of focusing on anxiety, he thought of ways to be calm.


Ben started achieving his goal of increasing his pay. He didn’t even try overcoming his defects. He in fact overcame them by developing their counter parts. Two couldn’t stay in the same person.


What is it you learned from Ben?


When we focus on failures, we find it easy to do so. We find it easy to focus on what we lack. We often forget that cultivating what we need is empowering. Nothing is going to become better if you keep thinking how your current situation is lacking good. Find ways. You have the wonderful abilities as a human.






3. Failure to Learn:


A philosopher said once, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”


Let’s say you have attitude of never giving up. You try to achieve something big. You fail the first time. It is no big issue. You try again. You fail.


You try many times and still fail. Now is time to review yourself and your ways. Is your approach flawed? Is the goal even possible? Are you sure you aren’t aiming too high?

It is the attitude to learn and grow which is one of most important factors in goal setting. When we fail to learn, we are setting ourselves for another failure.

goal setting theory

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Awais Ali Shah

Awais Ali Shah

An artist at heart, I use my writing skills to fuel my passion for creative expression. The blogs I write always deliver my personal touch for the topic. Other than a passionate blogger, I am also a creative fiction writer.

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