Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Perils of Setting Goals

In a recent NYT article, Experts’ Advice to the Goal-Oriented: Don’t Overdo It, the author, Alina Tugend, highlights the dangers of casually setting goals without examining yourself, the process, and the goal itself.  Some goals are too overly focused, she says, and leave out important elements.  Some goals are overwhelming, and require all your effort, leaving no room for the other things you want in your life.  And some goals are too preposterous and lead easily to cheating.

That's why goal setting all by yourself can be a dangerous thing -- it's easy to lose perspective.  In my recent Make it Happen Now! class, each participant arrived on the scene with a goal in mind.  We worked together -- sometimes as a whole class, and sometimes just in pairs -- to make sure everyone's goal was viable.  That it was reasonable.  That it was only one goal (and not multiple ones).  And then we worked together to come up with actionable steps each participant could take to move that goal forward.

One participant said, "I couldn't think of a better way to start the new year than taking [this] class and getting my goals crystallized through [Kate's] methodical and proven process."  And that's what it's all about -- put your goals through a process.  Examine not only what you get when you reach a goal, but also what you get if you don't reach it.  Look at what you give up if you reach your goal.  It's counter intuitive, but doing this kind of work means you won't be blindsided by these surprises down the road.

There's still a chance to take Make it Happen Now! this year on Sunday, January 27th.  Find more information and register here.

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