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Published on April 22, 2020

17 Things To Avoid In Order To Reach Your Goals

17 Things To Avoid In Order To Reach Your Goals

There are many things, both internal and external, that can stand in the way when you try to reach your goals. While you may not have control over the external factors, your ability to overcome personal habits that can stand in the way of reaching your goals is essential if you will overcome other stumbling blocks outside of yourself.

The following are highlights of some unfavorable attitudes and behaviors that you need to avoid in other to reach your goals. It also includes suggestions on what you should be doing instead to reach your goals.

1. Procrastination

One of the ways to kill your drive towards achieving your goals is when you form the habit of shifting what you can do now until a later time or day. This happens to most of us. You can begin to slip off the timelines of your goals if you don’t take the bull by the horn and do what needs to be done. The first thing you need to avoid to reach your goals is procrastination because it’s a killer of dreams.

Suggestion: Set aside distractions such as social media and TV. Also, practice doing the hard and important things first. Brian Tracy suggests that “if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, most important task,” and persist to finish it before you move on to something else[1]. You need to activate the power of self-discipline to boost your productivity in order to accomplish your goals.

2. Pessimism

Sarah Dessen says[2]:

If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.

Pessimists are people who think about impossibility rather than possibilities or are more concerned about threats rather than opportunities.

A pessimist believes no matter what you do, the worst would eventually happen. However, to reach your goals, you need a high level of optimism. By being optimistic, you will find the energy to give the goals your best because you expect things to turn out well.

Suggestion: Resist negative thoughts. If you have found out some things can’t be done or are difficult to come by, spend extra time to find how they can be done. Where there is a will, there will always be a way.

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3. Complacency

To be complacent is to be in a situation where you do not see the need to do something substantial about your current situation. In complacency, your life revolves around a routine, and you are not learning or doing anything to challenge yourself or try something new.

One of the reasons people become complacent is the fear of failure or fear of what other people might think[3]. Perhaps you’ve been accused of being over-ambitious with your goals, which makes you want to tread softly; this can lead to complacency.

Suggestion: Never mind what people say about you; many are going nowhere, so work at your own pace. Don’t get stuck in a routine. Try something new consistently that can help you achieve your goals.

4. Imitating Others

Another thing to avoid is imitating others. Some people admire what others are doing, and they try to do the same without doing their own homework. While you can learn from what someone else is doing, you can’t succeed by just copying them.

Suggestion: If you admire what someone else is doing, try to learn about the source of their motivation. Then, if you desire to follow a similar direction, think about unique ways you can go about yours in a way that will work best for you.

5. Oversized Goals

Setting oversized goals is setting goals you do not need or goals that require a set of skills, experience, and resources you don’t have at the moment. You don’t have to run yourself to a burn out because of your goals. While it is okay to set stretch goals, working your butt off and achieving nothing at the end of the day can be demoralizing.

Suggestion: You can set big goals but also map out realistic plans to achieve the goals rather than just planning to “work hard” to achieve the goals. Otherwise, set the goals you can achieve within your capacity.

6. Self-Limiting Beliefs

Many times, we think we are not good enough or we don’t have the required experience to attain certain goals. In many cases, these thoughts are not true. They do not represent who we are; they are just thoughts based on low self-esteem.

Suggestion: Try to place what you are thinking side by side with what you have achieved over the years. Many times, when you take the time to write out your accomplishments, you will find out that you are more intelligent and have more abilities than you thought.

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7. Lack of Drive

Reaching your goals requires that you have sustained inspiration, tenacity, and drive to pull through the obstacles and challenges you face. Without those, your goals can become inactive, or you can become overwhelmed and abandon your goals.

Suggestion: Find every way to stay inspired and motivated in order to generate drive towards accomplishing your goals.

8. Lack of Consistency

Your goals will require some daily, weekly, monthly or periodic commitments to achieve them. It might be reading some chapters of a book weekly, exercising for some minutes every day, saving some amount of money monthly, etc. All these will require consistency, and missing out on your planned routines will bring a setback to your goals.

Suggestion: Make a plan and determine to follow your action plans strictly and consistently.

This article can help you learn how to stay consistent to achieve your goals.

9. Unclear Objectives

When the objectives of your goals are not clearly set, it is hard to reach them because there are no clear-cut yardsticks to measure your goals performance. While your goal is the end result you want to achieve, your goal objectives are the specific and measurable actions you have to take to achieve your goals.

Suggestion: Set clear objectives for your goals.

10. Pursuing the Wrong Goals

Some goals are not meant for you. You can know if you are chasing after the wrong goals when your goals are not aligned with who you are and you’re doing it because you don’t know what else to do. It’s also a clue if it doesn’t take much effort to achieve the goals you’ve set or if you’re not even sure whether you have achieved them or not.

Suggestion: Think properly before setting your goals and make sure they align with what you really want and have the ability to do.

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11. Quitting Easily

Goals are meant to be challenging. If your goals aren’t challenging you, it means they are not worth it. You will never be able to achieve your goals if you are the type that quits easily. The challenges are there to stretch you to think and work harder.

Suggestion: When setting your goals, think ahead about the possible difficulties that you might encounter. Then, have a plan on how you intend to work around them.

12. Taking Shortcuts

Taking shortcuts will not help you to achieve your goals. For example, the concept of weight loss has to do with “negative energy balance.” This means that weight loss will most likely happen when the amount of calories that you need is lesser than the ones you are taking in or retaining. This is why weight loss comes through exercise and proper diet.

I instead of exercising and dieting, you resolve to be taking “slimming teas” and other substances to “burn fat,” you might end up damaging your health rather than losing weight.

Suggestion: Be sure to follow due process on your goals. The results will be more accurate, reliable, and long-lasting.

13. Taking on Too Much

When you have too many things to do at one time, you won’t have the required attention for each of them, and this will make it difficult to achieve anything substantial.

Suggestion: Prioritize your goals and focus on one thing at a time.

14. Lack of Collaboration

Some goals might require that you collaborate with someone else. It might be your spouse, colleague at work, or business partner. Failure to do this or ask for help from someone can lead to not reaching your goals.

Suggestion: Look for partners in progress with whom you can work together to achieve your goals

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15. Poor Communication

Communication is essential to achieving your goals. Les Brown stated that “your ability to communicate is an important tool in the pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers.” Poor communication leads to poor results

Suggestion: Learn to communicate and be honest about your goals.

If you need help working on your communication skills, this article may be able to help.

16. Overconfidence

Sometimes, overconfidence can cost you your goals. If you think you have all you need to achieve your goals and you don’t embrace learning new things or ask for help when you need it, you are not doing things right.

Suggestion: Learn all you can about your goals and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

17. Limited Understanding of Requirements

If you have a limited understanding of what it takes to achieve your goal, you might become overwhelmed when the reality stares you in the face. This might lead to abandoning your goal.

Suggestion: Know what it takes to achieve your goals and only proceed when you’ve carefully figured out how you will meet the requirements.

Bottom Line

Try your best to ensure that you are not the enemy of your own progress. Be self-disciplined, believe in yourself, and put in your best toward achieving your goals. Watch out for hindrances, and do not hesitate to get help if you need to.

Featured photo credit: Dan DeAlmeida via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Brian Tracy: Eat That Frog
[2] Goodreads: Lock and Key Quotes
[3] Ryan Estis: Why Do We Become Complacent, Comfortable and Bored?

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on June 3, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

More on Constructive Feedback

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

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