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Last Updated on January 19, 2021

How To Set The Right Goal: 7 Goal Setting Mistakes To Avoid

How To Set The Right Goal: 7 Goal Setting Mistakes To Avoid

Life is all about moving forward with our goals and achieving more in our lives. Wanting to better ourselves brings aspirations, dreams and takes us down paths to accomplishment.

Discovering what we want to do in life can be an exciting prospect and we naturally become eager to start setting our goals and planning on how we can achieve them. But there are some fundamental mistakes that many people make when setting goals and, if we’re not aware of these, they can bring a lot of challenges, frustrations and disappointments.

Here are 7 goal setting mistakes to be aware of:

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1. Too Narrow In Our Thinking

For some of us, when setting goals, we focus a lot on what we want rather than why we want it. Thinking in this way limits our imagination and keeps us from realising what we really want. For example, if you set your sights on a particular job for purely the purpose of power, influence over others or the ability to effect changes then you are losing sight of the position itself and what it can bring to you personally. Focusing on the growth aspect of your goals will allow more flexibility in the adjustment of them. In other words, you are putting less emphasis on a specific, narrowed aspect of the job and cultivating the positive reasons why the job will be beneficial to you and your growth.

2. Pursuing Extrinsic Instead Of Intrinsic Goals

This is linked to our narrowed thoughts. One of the biggest goal setting mistakes we make is going after goals that are ultimately governed by external influences rather than from within. Sometimes a goal can be about validation rather than our true happiness and this usually points to our need to feed deep-rooted issues rather than for the good of ourselves.

Any goal that is focused on social status, the aim of getting rich or recognition will take away your true purpose and enjoyment of the end goal. Make sure your goal is intrinsically motivated and solely for the satisfaction of your own personal development.

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3. Believing Our Goal Will Bring Us Happiness

I know what you’re thinking – of course my goal will make me happy! The problem with goals, as discussed before, can be our reasons behind them. Sometimes we go after goals believing that we’ll achieve happiness once we accomplish them and while this can be true, it really depends on whether or not you’re pinning all your happiness on your goal.

It’s a big myth that thinking our goal will be what brings us ultimate happiness. While this can be true, it is usually short lived if we’re not fundamentally happy in the first place. We need to achieve happiness within and not pin it all on our goals. In other words, make sure your goal will make you happier not to achieve happiness in itself.

4. Setting Too Many Goals

Understanding that we have limitations is important and the danger with too many goals is that it can lead to quantity rather than quality. Focusing on one goal or a selection of quality goals is much more manageable and meaningful than going after too many. It’s important to understand that quality goals are usually ones that develop ourselves and move us forward in a positive way while quantity goals are more focused on quick, meaningless achievements that don’t necessarily fulfil our needs and have little impact.

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5. Setting Goals Without Strategies And The Correct Mindset

Setting goals can help us get what we want but to achieve the goals we need to have a good strategy in place as well as a good mindset. A positive and successful mindset is the crux of any good goal-setting strategy. After all, our actions rely heavily on our perspective and ways of looking at the world.

A good strategy will account for any pitfalls or potential challenges that come your way. These can easily trip you up and cause you to give up altogether so it’s important to plan thoroughly and create small and achievable steps.

6. Setting Goals Too Low

When we have limited beliefs surrounding our goals, we can have a tendency to set our goals too low. This is usually because we underestimate our abilities or resources either because of past experience or limited information. If you think of a goal and don’t truly believe you can achieve it, then the tendency is to lower your standards. This is tempting but won’t get you what you truly want. Make sure that you realise all your resources and work on your self-esteem to recognise your true potential.

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7. Unrealistic Expectations

One of the main goal setting mistakes we make is creating unrealistic expectations. This doesn’t means biting off more than we can chew in terms of our abilities but the way in which we set our goals. For example, not giving yourself enough time to achieve your goal can lead to a sense of failure and can make you give up altogether. Be kind to yourself, eliminate unneeded pressure and give yourself realistic time limits – account for any challenges along the way. Just because a goal takes a year doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Try not to fall into the trap of impatience when it comes to your goals as it only leads to goals that ultimately can’t be achieved.

Featured photo credit: startupstockphotos.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

If you could do one thing to transform your life, I would highly recommend it be to find something you’re passionate about, and do it for a living. Learning how to find your passion may not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s well worth the effort.

If you dread going to your job, find yourself constantly lacking motivation, or find what you’re doing dull and repetitive, you need to start looking for a new job.

Staying in your current job will not only continue to leave you feeling stuck and make you unhappy, but you are not realizing your full potential in life.

Imagine this instead:

You get up early, jumping out of bed, excited to go to work. You might put in more hours than the average person, but it doesn’t seem difficult to you, because your work hours just zoom right by.

You are often in that state of mind, often referred to as “flow,” where you can lose track of the world and time, losing yourself in the task at hand. Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job” but a passion that leads to a fulfilling life.

If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like a pipe dream to you. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, such a thing will never be possible.

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However, if you dare to ask “how do I find my passion,” imagine the possibilities, and actually search for what you love, it is not only a possibility, but a probability.

How do you go about learning how to find your passion in life? Here are some suggestions:

1. Is There Something You Already Love Doing?

Do you have a hobby or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility for a job?

Whether it’s reading comic books, collecting something, or creating or building, there is probably a way you could do it for a living. Open a comic book shop, or create a comic book site online.

If there’s already something you love doing, you’re ahead of the game. Now you just need to research the possibilities of making money from it.

2. Find out What You Spend Hours Reading About

For myself, when I get passionate about something, I’ll read about it for hours on end. I’ll buy books and magazines. I’ll spend days on the Internet finding out more.

There may be a few possibilities here for you, and all of them are possible career paths. Don’t close your mind to these topics. Look into them until you feel your heart is content, and this will help you get started as you learn how to find your passion.

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3. Brainstorm

If nothing comes to mind right away as you’re asking how to find my passion, get out a sheet of paper and start writing down ideas[1]. This doesn’t need to be an organized list. It can simply be a paper full of random notes or even doodles. All of this will eventually come in handy later.

Look around your house, on your computer, or on your bookshelf for inspiration, and write down whatever comes to mind. There are no bad ideas at this stage.

4. Ask Around

There are likely people you admire in life, and there are things about them that you would like to replicate in yourself. Go to them if possible, and pick their brain. See how they landed where they currently are and whether they feel they’ve discovered their passion.

The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of learning how to find your passion in the long run. This may mean that you spend time talking to friends and family, coworkers, or even acquaintances in your free time.

5. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet

If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities.

If you can do your passion as a side job and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need.

6. Give It a Try First

It’s best to actually test your new idea before jumping into it as a career as you’re wondering how to find your passion. Do it as a hobby or side job at first, so that you can see if it’s really your true calling.

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You may be passionate about it for a few days, but where the rubber meets the road is whether you’re passionate about it for at least a few months.

If you pass this test, you have probably found it.

7. Do as Much Research as Possible

Know as much about your passion as possible. If this has been a passion for a while, you may have already been doing this. At any rate, do even more research. Read every website possible on the topic, and buy the best books available.

Find other people, either in your area or on the Internet, who do what you want to do for a living, and quiz them about the profession.

How much do they make, and what training and education did they need? What skills are necessary, and how did they get their start? What recommendations do they have?

Often, you’ll find that people are more than willing to give advice.

8. Practice, and Practice, and Practice Some More

If you’re getting close to learning how to find your passion, don’t go into it with amateur skill level. If you want to make money—to be a professional—you need to have professional skills.

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Get very good at your future career, and you will make money at it. Practice for hours on end and learn how to focus; if it’s something you love, the practice should be something you want to do.

9. Never Quit Trying

It’s possible that you won’t be able to find your passion at first. However, if you give up after a few days, you’re sure to fail. Keep trying, for months on end if necessary, and you’ll find it eventually.

Perhaps you thought you found your passion but discovered several months on that it wasn’t for you. Start over again and find a new passion. There may be more than one passion in your lifetime, so explore all the possibilities.

Have you found your passion but haven’t been successful making a living at it? Keep trying, and try again until you succeed. Success doesn’t come easy, so giving up early is a sure way to fail.

If you need a little help, the Make It Happen Handbook can provide you with a solid action plan to help you turn your passion in your career. Check out the handbook and start to live your passion!

The Bottom Line

Don’t forget that all of this will be a lot of work, but it will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Put in the time to learn how to find your passion, and you will find that your days are more fulfilling and produce more happiness and well-being in the long-term.

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Featured photo credit: Dewet Willemse via unsplash.com

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