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Important Things Most People Overlook When Setting Goals And Why They End Up Dissatisfied

Important Things Most People Overlook When Setting Goals And Why They End Up Dissatisfied

One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting goals is to desire things based on their impulses. It’s like a child being distracted by something shiny. Soon enough a shinier thing will come along and before you know it the novelty has worn off. That is why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. You get swept up in the moment. Everyone is drinking champagne and at midnight, when the fireworks are blazing in the night sky, idealistic new beginnings appear on the horizon. Through your bleary eyed haze, all those new goals feel undeniably attainable.

Even if you manage to achieve some of those ill planned goals, the satisfaction you anticipated does not fulfill your perceived desire. You wonder if it was worth starting the new health regime, looking for a new career or committing to that course to improve yourself. The recurrent thought that people have is ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

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Here are Five things to consider when you are setting goals, to avoid sabotaging your own success.

1. Explore your own needs

Establish goals based on your own desires, not external influences or the need to please others. Ask yourself what you truly want and what will make you happy. Think about your motivation and try different things. Let your own personal experiences inform your decisions and don’t be afraid to push your own boundaries. You should also consider the short, medium and long term impact that a particular goal will have on your life. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to be healthier, make more money, travel to a place you’ve never been, explore a creative outlet? These aren’t easy questions to answer and deserve your time and attention. Take time to formulate your goals. It’s your life.

2. Consider Authority Bias

Authority Bias refers to the way in which we can be influenced by people we look up to and make their goals our own. Decisions are subconsciously informed by experiences and the authority figures in our lives. It begins at home with parents, extending to peers and teachers in our formative years and then developing further through mentors and experts such as bosses or idols throughout adulthood. Research your desires and goals and broaden your horizons. Ask questions and seek answers from unpredictable sources. You don’t need wealth to live a full and independent life, just a broadened mind. Seize every opportunity and seek out new experiences. Find your individuality and revel in the things that make you unique. You can still find commonality with others and look up to those you admire while still retaining your own distinct qualities.

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3. Avoid the Sunk-Cost Fallacy

Often we fall into the trap of thinking that we have wasted previous investment of time and money into a particular goal and so feel obliged to finish what we started. You can change your mind. All learning is valuable and anything you have invested into achieving a goal is worthwhile. It is all part of the process, even if it has shown you that you are on the wrong path. Try to be aware of the bigger picture, while at the same time focusing on the immediate decisions you make and living each moment as it comes. When you aim for happiness and satisfaction as the end result of each goal, the journey you take to get there is just a detail. The end will justify the means.

4. Goals vs strategies

Work out the difference between what you want and how you will get it. CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage, Peter Winick says,

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“Strategy is an exercise in problem solving…….Goals that support the strategy are critical, but goals do not solve problems. Goals are a measure of progress. Goals support the strategy.” Strategy Is Not the Same as Goal Setting, Thought Leadership Leverage.

The steps and decisions required to move you forward can be broken down into smaller and more attainable goals; all culminating and contributing to the ultimate goal you have set for yourself, but they are not goals in themselves. Strategies are the choices you make, the tiny bites you take to get you to your destination.

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5. Self belief and determination

Setting goals can seem daunting and sometimes we set goals that are so unattainable, just a shiny dangling carrot, that we have already set ourselves up to fail before we’ve even begun. Self sabotage, creating limitations, looking for obstacles and making excuses prevent us from achieving our goals. The flaw is not only in the goal, it taints the strategy. When you set realistic goals and are true to your own desires, the choices you make happen naturally and easily. Having self belief and learning to trust your instinct will ensure you make the right choices to take you closer to achieving your goals. Stop comparing yourself to others and keep your eyes on the prize.

Helpful Guide

Having a goal without good strategies cannot help you achieve what you want. However, with Lifehack Goal Setting System, in which every small progress counts, you can efficiently attain the best result of your desire. For every goal you add, you will receive practical and useful articles that guide you through the process and achieve remarkable outcomes.

To start with, you can try these health goals:

Featured photo credit: forastateofhappiness.com via forastateofhappiness.com

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Diane Koopman

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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