Three ways to not meet the goals for 2015

    About five years ago, an unpleasant pattern took shape in my life: I began to notice that the percentage of fulfilling “goals for a year” was decreasing year by year, and as a result reached a catastrophic mark in the region of 12%. At the same time, I had absolutely no sense of a failed year, so I began to suspect that something was wrong. As a result, he experimented with setting goals for several years, while studying theory and discussing with GKh . As a result, I was able to formulate ways of setting goals that maximize the likelihood of their failure - and I want to share this knowledge with you.

    Method 1. Set the goals of the result instead of the goals of the process.

    “Quitting smoking is very simple - you just need to stop getting a cigarette out of the pack and put it in your mouth” - whose quote, I don’t remember, but the idea is true.

    Most of the goals that we set for ourselves are somehow related to changing our behavior: stop smoking, start playing sports, stop spending the night at work and start spending more time with family and so on. Have you ever tried to quit smoking or lose weight by 10 kg? Did the formulation of these goals and the promise to yourself “this time hold them back” help you? If so, then you are an iron man with a huge supply of willpower. I want to console the rest: it is known that willpower is a limited resource, the chance to extend a large-scale task only on it is minimal, so you need to be more cunning.

    Let's look at the reason for quitting smoking. Firstly, you formulate the problem incorrectly! Throwing is pretty simple, the real challenge is not to start again. I’m not Mark Twain, but until the result was achieved, I quit at least forty times, and didn’t smoke from several hours to six months - so I know what I'm talking about. Someone may object that there is essentially no difference in wording; this is all a play on words. No, no and NO! Wording is important! You break down at times when your self-control is minimal, and you need to set a goal that works best at that moment. Without the participation of the brain, without the participation of logic, the goal should stop you at the very moment when you bring the lighter to a cigarette. You need to analyze where punctures occur in the movement towards your strategic goal, and say to your goal “I will not shoot cigarettes in the bar”, “fight with myself if I already took a cigarette”, “do not sit in smoking areas”, and etc. Remember, the problem is that a person does not translate “strategic” goals into “tactical” ones, especially if he is tired, he is ill, or he is drunk. Do this job for him! Set as a goal something that you really can do. Something where you have a moral choice between “good now, bad then” and “bad now and good then”, and you need help with this choice. A good goal can be such help!

    Another example. At six in the morning, your subconscious mind does not give a damn that your strategic task is to lose 10 kilograms. Your goal should tell you: “Three times a week I have to wake up on the alarm clock.” "I know that my body will be against it, I need to tolerate 5 minutes, and this will pass." The field when you got up, put on your sneakers and went outside, it’s almost impossible not to run your kilometers.

    These simple goals that you need to do regularly (every day, every week, every time your parents or ex-wife call), I call the goals of the process . The goals are distant, looking beautiful in plan, but not motivating in the moment (pass English to Intermediate, open your own business, get a salary increase) - the goals of the result .

    Serious changes requiring internal withdrawal occur only through the goals of the process. The goals of the result give the opposite effect - after setting you relax, and it begins to seem to you that "I have already done something." And this is a hoax. The more global and further the goal, the easier it is to skip a regular run (well, still catch up) or take a cigarette (today is your birthday, you can). Do not give yourself the opportunity to slip away from a goal by hiding behind its global nature. Set process goals for tasks requiring internal change!

    In addition to the foregoing, the goals of the result have another minus. If they are not executed, they demotivate. Imagine that you want to get a +1 level in English, for example from Intermediate to Upper Intermediate. And you set yourself the goal, which is precisely formulated - “get Upper Intermediate”. If you have not achieved this goal in nine months, then the remaining three it will not work for you for sure - because you know that it is already impossible to get a level in such a short time! Compare with the goal of “going to classes three times a week” - such a goal will be relevant even if you decide to return to it in December! Set process goals.

    Method 2. Fix goals on New Year holidays

    I assume that you already know that goals should be realistic. This usually means that the goals should not be too simple for them to be interesting to fulfill, but at the same time not be too complex - as a minimum criterion, you yourself must believe that you can achieve them.

    However, there is a sure way to turn a realistic goal into an unrealistic one and not even notice it. To do this, you need to set yourself several goals, each of which will be realistic in itself, but to achieve them together you need to be a superman or have a handwheel of time, like Hermione Granger. I know a person who, being a busy enough person, set himself the goals for 2014 to “spend more time with his family”, “get promoted at work” and “learn Italian”.

    Separately, these goals are quite realistic, but let's do a simple math problem. A person has 24 hours a day, of which 8 he sleeps (yes, I know that you sleep less, but it has been proven that an eight-hour sleep improves overall productivity). Remained 16. He spends another 9 hours at work, including breakfast and lunch, spends two on the road, an hour to get ready for work in the morning, and another hour to have dinner, go to the toilet and brush his teeth. Left three o'clock , and it's in an ideal 8-hour working day, and we have not yet considered the time for family, friends, and reading blogs before bedtime.

    On the one hand, three hours a working day is 15 hours a week, not counting weekends. On the other hand, it’s three hours a day.. To cram “more work”, “more to be with family” and “more to study” in these unfortunate three hours is an unrealistic task.

    Keep these three hours in mind, and admit that you cannot do everything. Do your homework, calculate how much time a week you need for your goals - and cut off all that is superfluous. It's a pity, but you are not omnipotent, extra hours will not be taken from anywhere. It is better to fulfill one goal than not fulfill three.

    Well and most importantly - consider the context. In Russia, people like to set goals for themselves during the New Year holidays, when you have a rest, are full of determination and are burning with the desire to change something. I have to grieve: the person who comes home from work on January 12 will look a little like a rested and full of energy you now. Three hours of a rested person, full of strength, differs from three hours of a person after work, in which the brain is already turned off, and the body ask for a bottle of beer, not an Italian textbook. I know that this is a sad fact, but admitting yourself to this, you will increase the chances of success.

    I convinced you that the goals must be set while in a state of "as close to combat"? However, there is also a problem - in this state the “crush” on positive changes is extremely small. Therefore, it is really better to formulate goals rested. But realistically assessing yourself and setting final goals for the year is already in reality. Therefore, I urge - do not write off write down your goals on January 9 and immediately upload them to Facebook, asking for likes. Let them rest, edit several times during the first month - and then declare them final.

    Method 3. Focus on fixing problems

    Many goals are set out of guilt. It can be manifested directly, for example, in the formulations “I eat too much, I need to start eating at 1500 Kcal per day” or “It's a shame to be a manager in a global corporation and not know English, I need to learn”. However, it can manifest itself even more sophisticatedly, through the prism of other people's desires - “My girl thinks I'm fat, I need to play sports regularly” or “I have already entered this institute and must finish the course.” All these formulations have one thing in common - they have no desire, one need. If you had two months to live, would you waste time on these goals?

    Ideally, all goals should go from “I want”, or at least most of them. It is very bad when all the goals go from “necessary”. Interestingly, this is not only found in people with low self-esteem - often people perceive the goal setting mechanism itself as a tool to force yourself to do something that you don’t want to do. It doesn’t work! I repeat once again: achieving such goals is a matter of willpower, and setting goals is not an amulet that magically increases this limit. You can work on this resource - read the book “Willpower. How to develop and strengthen ” , but don’t hope that just setting a goal you will have a strong motivation to do something unpleasant.

    Another common misconception, a variation of the previous one, is not to include goals that are pleasant to do, but include only those that are unpleasant. This is bad for two reasons: first, you miss out on “nice” goals in assessing whether you have enough time for everything written. Secondly, you deprive yourself of positive feedback by achieving success in “pleasant” goals, and focus on the negative when “unpleasant” ones are not fulfilled. Do not divide yourself into “here” and “there”, try to accept yourself as a whole and think integrally.

    Well, in general, correcting yourself is a rather bleak task, it is much better to improve yourself. I am not campaigning right now for positive psychology and the banal rewriting of the phrase “you need to stop drinking” to “I want to become a teetotaler,” all these manipulations do not work if you do not believe in them. However, if you find in your list a large number of items aimed at eradicating, abandoning or correcting something - most likely, something is wrong. Think about it: you have been working for the last several decades to become who you are - it’s rather naive to hope that you can radically change something in a year, especially if there are several such things. Therefore, if you have such goals, try to limit yourself to one.

    In conclusion: A dozen “bad tips” could have been written, but it seems to me that it's time to stop. Perhaps some of the above seemed strange, illogical, or aroused the feeling "but I usually do wrong." But if you read this post to the end, I suppose you yourself know that you have a problem with how you set goals. Maybe in 2015 you should try to do it not “as usual”?

    And of course - Happy New Year and success in achievements!

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