Rethinking the Way We Set Goals

Part of being successful is picking the right goals for yourself. Setting yourself up for success is a major aspect of gaining satisfaction in your career and in your family life. Often though, we set ourselves up for failure by having goals that simply cannot be accomplished. Not only does setting impossible goals guarantee failure, it blocks us from many of the valuable lessons that might otherwise be gleaned from failure.

Noah St. John is a coach and communications expert who believes that there are some goals that many people aspire to, often unconsciously, that undercut their ability to achieve success and to gain satisfaction. Some of these problem goals that St. John identifies are listed below. See if any of them remind you of someone you know.

Trying to make everyone happy.

Most people understand that this is something that just is not a realistic goal. However, whether it is due to our desire to be liked or a genuine benevolent nature, many people try to be everything to everyone. We can absolutely influence the happiness of others, but there is no way that we can make other people happy. Remember that ultimately we are all responsible for our own happiness.

Requiring success in every endeavor.

Succeeding feels great. So much so that we feel that we must do it all the time. But failure is part of life, and often teaches us the most important lessons. One of the most important of those lessons is that failure is not something to be afraid of. Letting go of the need to succeed in every undertaking frees us to take the risks necessary to make lasting positive changes in our lives.

“I must achieve my goals by the time I turn…”

There is no fixed timeframe in which your lifelong ambitions need to be fulfilled. Not having achieved your life’s passion by the age of 30 does not mean that it is a lost cause. Setting benchmarks for yourself is important and healthy; however, abandoning your goals because they have not been satisfied within an arbitrary or unrealistic timeline is not productive and can be damaging to long-term happiness.