I’m happy to introduce the first guest post offered here at LearnThis.ca!  It’s on a subject I love (Goal Setting) and from another great blogger in this personal development community. Enjoy…

This guest post was written by Nathalie Lussier, who writes about wealth and personal development as Billionaire Woman .  You can also follow her on Twitter .

Goal Setting Pitfalls

Danger In all of the self-help books and seminars out there, we are always taught how to set a goal. It needs to be measurable, it needs to have a due date, and it should make you stretch. But what happens if we start setting goals that don’t work for us? Could a bad set of goals throw you off course, or worse cause you to lose interest?

Setting the wrong goal can cause or reinforce a fear of failure and also drop your confidence in making progress toward your goals. The same is true when tiny accomplishments add no meaning, they feel empty and make you feel like an underachiever. The right goal is one that will energize you, rather than strike fear in your heart. The right goal will also pique your curiosity enough to get you moving, and it won’t feel like you could reach it without trying.

The best way to think about goal setting for your personal or professional life is to think of your body’s muscles.

If you use your muscles the same way all the time, they will never grow. On the other hand, if you suddenly overextend your muscles, you risk hurting yourself. But you really do need to challenge them enough to make them grow.  The same is true about how you set your personal and professional goals.

Trying to Lose Weight Too Fast

For example: Jessica wants to lose weight using the info she read on http://www.buyphen375australia.net/, and she decides that setting a goal with a concrete number is the way to go. Concrete numbers really do work wonders. She decides that she wants to lose 100 pounds by the end of the month. Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight, will realize that this is a very unrealistic goal.

Although most people probably don’t set extreme goals like that, there exist equally unrealistic goals that are considered acceptable. Jessica might have decided that she would eat only cabbage for two weeks. Or that she would exercise five hours a day for the next week. While these may appear to be milder than her original goal, they are both self-defeating.

Trying To Earn More Too Fast

In another example: John decided that he wanted to make $100,000 in the next six months. He’s not quite sure how he’s going to do it. Maybe he’ll use a little bit of law of attraction mojo, and hopefully get lucky at the lottery or on horse betting. Again, unrealistic.

Now Johnny’s goal itself is not an unreasonable one, assuming he has the background for it. Depending on his circumstances, and whether he currently has a form of income that he can leverage. If Johnny already had a $100,000 per-year business, he could try to double his business.

Taking a Reasonable Approach to Goal Setting

Both Jessica and Johnny would benefit from taking a more realistic look at their current lifestyles. One step in proper goal setting is to stop to take stock of where we are. Without truthfully taking a good look at ourselves, we cannot pick the goal that will really get us to grow.  Certainly goals should allow you to stretch as a person and go outside your comfort zone. But goals should not be set so far away that you feel you cannot ever reach them.

The opposite situation could also take place. What if Jessica decided that she wanted to lose only 1 pound between now and next month? Or if Johnny decided that he wanted to make only one dollar between now and the next six months?  It happens that we pick goals that are too easy for us. We think an increase of 10% over last year is all we should aim for. We take the easy way out, so we don’t have to feel bad if we don’t reach our targets.  And at the same time, there isn’t enough satisfaction in that to keep the goal process motivating!

The trick is to be honest with ourselves, and to pick something that will challenge us, without destroying our motivation. You would never go to the gym and reach for the hundred pound weights on your first visit. Likewise, once a weight becomes too easy for you, you should move up to a heavier one.

Warning Signs To Watch Out For

The following is a list of warning signs that you should take note of when you reevaluate your goals.

— Resistance : Even though you chose this goal, you feel it’s not right for you. You don’t want to go through with it, and you feel overwhelmed or unhappy about it.

— Stress : Whenever you think about your goal, you get really stressed out. Maybe you can’t focus, or it feels like there is an annoying uneasy feeling at the back of your mind at all times.

— No action : You can’t get yourself to do anything towards your goal. You can’t even think about starting to take action, your goal just keeps you in this stuck frozen state.

— No belief : You don’t think it’s even possible to achieve your goal. Why bother if you’re not going to make any real progress?

— No motivation : If your goal is too hard or too easy, you might not feel like doing anything to get yourself moving towards it. You might get discouraged, or simply think that your goal is not important enough.

If you’ve ever set a goal that didn’t quite resonate with your current life experiences, you’ve probably recognized some of these warning signs showing up in your own life. Setting goals is just like anything else in life, it takes practice to pick the right goal to get you going.

Parting Words

Don’t be too hard on yourself if the goal that you made for your New Year’s resolutions didn’t work out. It’s always perfectly fine to reevaluate your goals, and there’s no better time than right now.

Nathalie Nathalie Lussier is passionate about success, and she blogs as Billionaire Woman to share her insights about personal transformation and money. You can Subscribe to her RSS for more personal development articles from the Billionaire Woman.

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