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5 Types of People Who Suck at Setting Goals: Which One Are You?

5 Types of People Who Suck at Setting Goals: Which One Are You?

Given up already on your New Year’s Goals? Or maybe you didn’t bother this year?

What is it that makes goal-setting work for some and not others?

There are many reasons why people fail to achieve their goals, but look below and you might be amazed to find there is a solution to your personal goal-setting failure.

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    Type A: Non-Committal Attitude

    In my experience, the number one reason for failure is that you haven’t really committed to the change in the first place. The age old New Year’s Resolution: “This year I’m going to get fit” will be heard far and wide, but if you really commit to the goal you need to ask yourself how you are going to do it.

    Solution: Clarity is needed to encourage commitment. If you really want to get fit, think it through—decide on the type of exercise you plan to do, and decide what days of the week and at what time you will do it. Having this all decided in advance makes it more difficult to make excuses. Tell people who support you what you intend to do, and even consider finding yourself an accountability buddy who will check up on you and encourage you to keep going.

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    Type B: Aversion to Planning

    Many people don’t like to be seen as planners. They see planners as being stifled and boring, and assume that routines and schedules are not for them. I know this because for many years I fought against routine: I was too young and too cool to plan anything; spontaneity was my best friend. What I found many years later was that by planning, I could achieve more—by planning, I could get things done and leave time to be more creative and spontaneous.

    Solution: Set a goal and plan out how you are going to achieve it. Start small: if you want to write a book, plan and schedule the first chapter. When you achieve this first milestone, you will see how easy it was to do so and then plan the next chapter. Plan regular small steps in your calendar and you will be amazed at how much more you will achieve in life.

    Type C: Non-Believer

    Most of you will be familiar with the Henry Ford quote “If you think you can or think you can’t you are probably right.” This holds true with goals: if you set a goal and deep down don’t believe you can actually achieve it, don’t waste your time.

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    Solution: Only set goals you believe you can achieve. What can you do if you don’t believe in your own power to achieve any of your goals? Positive affirmations can help you to achieve your goals, so try to make all your thoughts positive and supportive. Mohammad Ali proclaimed “I am the Greatest” long before he actually believed it.  Monitor your thoughts, when they are negative try and replace them with a positive one.

    Type D: Easily Led

    Then there are those who look to others for affirmation, but instead they get discouragement. “Don’t go for a run—come for a beer instead, it’s way more fun.” Well, it’s more fun for your friend, who won’t feel guilty that they are not exercising when you are. So many people unwittingly try to sabotage your success, and they often do so because if you improve, they’ll be forced to focus on their own stagnation. They will try to drag you back to their level at every opportunity.

    Solution: Hang out with people who support you. If that’s not possible, if you have a sibling or spouse who discourages your goals and dreams, start to recognize when it happens and remain committed to your goal. When you start to recognize that other people are preventing you from living your life, you will stop allowing it to happen.

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    Type E: All or Nothing

    I’ve met many of the “all or nothing” type in my time—they want it all, and they want it now. If it won’t happen tomorrow there is no point in doing it !

    Solution: Reality check—nothing happens immediately. Learn to set smaller goals that give you more instant gratification along with your larger goals, so you can have the best of both worlds.

    Awareness is the key factor when it comes to making changes. By understanding yourself and your excuses you will be better able to make decisions which will serve you and get you a step closer to achieving your goals this year.

    Featured photo credit:  Mountains landscape. Young woman walking a trail in a green mountains. via Shutterstock

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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