What Happens after we set a Goal?

Goal Setting feels great, doesn’t it?  When we set new goals, we’re right in that moment of vision and inspiration.  What typically happens after that, however, does not always transpire the way we planned it.

There are several common outcomes, which I have playfully named and outlined below:

  1. Bench Warmer.  The goal sits on the shelf (or the bench)…and collects dust. We avoid it or procrastinate it in any way possible.
  2. Fast Starter.  We get out of the gate quickly and enthusiastically, only to see our drive (towards the goal) decline over time, until finally it fizzles out.
  3. Breeze Through.  “Crushed it!” Not only do you achieve the goal, but you blow it out of the water.  This wasn’t even close.  And it didn’t even require significant effort.  Just a moment – was this a setup for an easy victory?
  4. (Self?) Sabotage.  Everything is going great, and you’re right on track to get it done.  You wanted to win the race, and you’re winning by a mile.  Then, at the last minute, all of a sudden, something happens, and you abort the mission.  A “more important” priority came up – an exciting new opportunity, or maybe just a new distraction.  Somehow, you lost total motivation in an instant, whether or not the sabotage was self-imposed or brought about by an external situation.
  5. NFLOE = Not For Lack Of Effort.  You hustled and put in significant energy, and fought all the way to the finish.  The effort was there, but the results did not come through as specified by the goal (i.e. “Win a championship” or “Lose 25 pounds.”)  It just wasn’t enough.
  6. Right On Point.  You charted out a plan, and followed through.  You nailed it!
  7. Latency Effect.  For Outcomes 5 & 6 above, there is something interesting that can happen after the goal deadline expires.  After you put the result in the books – as a “success” or “failure”, something happens, and the outcome changes.  All of a sudden, that promotion that you worked so hard for, comes through!  Or conversely, your nice achievement, after initial success, falls apart.

As you go about a new round of annual contemplation, on your life and how it progressed (or not) along the desired path in 2012, consider bucketing your goals into these 7 Outcome categories.  See any patterns?  Keep this in mind when mapping your 2013 goals.

 

 

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