Goal setting: some real hard questions

One of the main reasons why the Goal setting exercise is difficult is that we do not give importance to the thought process of goal setting. Let us look at some questions that we should be really asking:

  1. are our goals really OUR goals or goals laid down by society? for e.g. do you really want to travel abroad for a vacation or is it peer pressure? If it is peer pressure, it means YOU do not have a buy in on that at all, so there is no commitment to that goal. Such goals add pressure, not pleasure.
  2. If nobody else even noticed this ‘achievement’ of mine, how would I feel? If you are doing something to ‘please’ others, it is obvious that people must see and admire. If nobody were to notice or have an opinion on this, how would you feel? Would you still go ahead with the plan or will you drop it?
  3. If your NET WORTH were printed on your forehead, would you behave differently? People spend more to show off than for a genuine need. So if everybody could see that your real net worth is Rs. 23 lakhs, will you stop behaving like how you are behaving? will your house change? will your car change?
  4. For many of us SUCCESS is as scary as FAILURE: Are you sure that ‘fear of success’ or ‘fear of failure’ is not holding you back in your goals? Fear that you might get new friends, new colleagues, your wife may not be willing to relocate (that is what you are telling yourself, it may not be true). If yes, then the goal is just written there to please your inner self, but the wholehearted support to the goal is lacking.
  5. If nobody’s feelings got hurt what would you do? Will you write your autobiography? It is important to overcome this fear of hurting others. For all you know that person may not care a damn about what you think or do.
  6. If I was not trying to be ‘practical’ would I do things differently? One girl working in a bank could not get herself to sell life insurance, she opted out of her bank. She started her own mutual fund distribution business and she is doing very well currently.
  7. What will happen if the goal is not achieved, achieved say 80%, a completely different but happy goal is reached, the pursuit to this goal fails completely, …Ask yourself how important is this goal? surely you will survive, right? then do not kill yourself with this goal. Nice to have, yes, but you will not die if it did not happen.

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