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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:

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

Can’t wait to set your goals but are clueless about what to do first? Lifehack Goal Setting System can give you the insights!

What is that?

A hearty system that makes every small progress counts.

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How would it help?

For every goal you add, you will receive practical and useful articles that guide you through the process and achieve remarkable outcomes.

What’s better than embarking on your goal setting journey by keeping yourself healthy first?

Check the following six goals and subscribe the ones you need!

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 July 15, 2020

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

“Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

1. Recognize the Red Flags

Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

Red flags can include:

  • They always put themselves first.
  • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
  • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
  • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
  • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
  • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
  • You are the villain; they are the victim.
  • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
  • They may engage in abuse.

2. Set Boundaries

There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

3. Invest in Yourself

You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

More Tips on Letting Go of Toxic People

Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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