By Sherry Brantley
In the first of this 4-part mini-series, we were able to tackle one of the common mistakes most people make when setting their goals which was becoming paralyzed with fear from focusing on the thought of your goals being ‘Too Big.’ This section of the article will focus on the second mistake most people make.
As we can all attest, people have become accustomed to ‘multi-tasking’ and unfortunately, have carried that mentality to their goal-setting regimen. This causes many people to attempt to focus on too many projects at once, while not doing any of them with any modicum of success. Therefore, the second common mistake most people make when setting their goals, is focusing on trying to achieve ‘Too Many’ goals at once. In reality, we are able to truly focus on one to two major things at a time—for a short or ‘temporary’ period of time. However, when we try to give all of our energy and efforts to a vast array of projects over an extended period of time, we become the proverbial ‘Jack of all trades—and master of none.’ Hence our goals begin to slip away one by one.
We have all either witnessed this with others, or…we’ve been guilty of committing this error in our own lives. You know the scenario: It’s the end of the year and the beginning of a New Year. Everyone’s excited and enthusiastic about really sticking with their New Year’s resolution. Someone runs up to you and exclaims: “Sherry, I’m going to go back to school, finish my degree, join a gym, lose weight and find my soul-mate—all within the next 90 days!” Well, I certainly do not have to tell you that the bulk of the New Year’s resolutions never make it past the third week, of the first month of the New Year. Before January ends, the resolutions have petered out, people realize they can’t maintain such a frenetic pace of all of their lofty New Year plans without suffering physically, mentally and depending on some of their goals, even financially, and they begin to lose hope, see themselves as failures and losers, begin to beat themselves up mentally for their shortcomings and resign themselves to wait another entire year before repeating the same routine. Never mind that there are still eleven more months of the year that can be utilized and mapped out for success. Their focus was on it being a ‘New year and a new ‘me,’ and once the year has begun with little or no success, they feel that ship has left the harbor and sailed; and now they’ll have to wait until the ringing in of another New Year.
An easy fix to avoid this common mistake that most people make when setting their goals is to reflect on what you’d really like to achieve for the entire year—and then, piggy-backing from the first rule covered in this series, the ‘Too Big’ error, divide your goals into quarterly goals. This means choosing only two or three of your goals to focus on at a time, rather than all of the goals you’ve mapped out for the entire year. This allows you to establish reasonable and feasible time-frames within each of the four quarterly 90-day periods to complete each of your goals, without becoming too stressed out or having feelings of being overwhelmed with it all. This technique also works in conjunction for your ‘bigger goals,’ as remember from the first part of this series, the bigger goals get divided into ‘bite-sized chews,’ so that you’re not biting off more than you can chew at one time.
Imagine now, setting the stage to focus on just a few goals and giving them your undivided attention for 90-days. You’ll be surprised and somewhat amazed at what focusing your attention on these specific goals will do for you, and you’ll soon see that you’re reaching milestones that initially, you had not been able to complete before, and you’re less stressed and more excited about maintaining your pace. A great technique to add to this ‘Too Many’ error is to focus on ‘like’ goals so that you’re not expending energy trying to focus on ‘competing goals’ and you’re now completing tasks in one goal set that overlaps into the other. For example; if your goal is to eat healthily and to lose weight, these would be two that are worked on in the same quarterly period. As you begin to consciously choose your foods and incorporate a regimen of ‘moving your body more,’ and since your goals now go hand in hand, you’re able to give your attention to these two goals without feeling it’s too much of a stretch (no pun intended) to do so. Likewise, if your goal is to plan to go to a specific destination for your next vacation and you also want to increase your savings or your expendable income, then working on these two financial goals together in the same quarterly period will have you experience success with both goals within that same time-frame. Therefore looking at your goals and ‘grouping like goals’ together, allows you to focus your attention properly on moving forward in two separate areas of your goals while achieving them
both at the same time!
The mantra to remember the ‘Too Many’ rule is: Too many goals leaves to feelings of despair—Heading in too many directions keeps you going nowhere!
Sherry Brantley is the author of the Amazon bestseller, ‘STEPP-Start To Exercise Personal Power-How To Create Positive Change In Your Life!’ She is a dynamic leader and trainer, known as the ‘From Goal-Setting to Goal-GETTING’ coach! Sherry developed the STEPP program to assist people to make positive choices in their lives effecting positive change, by tapping into and utilizing their Personal Power while respecting and accepting the Personal Power of others. Long on to www.sherrybrantley.com or www.steppbook.com. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 877-243-7043. Read her blog at starttoexercisepersonalpower.blogspot.com.
**This is a 4-part mini-series entitled: ‘The Top-4 Common Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Goals,’ which also includes simple, easy-to-implement techniques so that you’re no longer languishing in the ‘wishing’ stage—and can move forward to the ‘my goals are already existing stage’ allowing you to finally go beyond being a goal-setter to a goal-GETTER! We’ll focus on each of the ‘4-Common Mistakes’ individually, with techniques to help you recognize them so that you’re able to avoid these common pitfalls.
Printed in the September 4, 2016 - September 17, 2016 edition