Are You Setting the Wrong Goals?None By Homaira Kabir
If New Year’s resolutions are anything to go by, we’re not particularly good at achieving our goals. Yet we continue to set them year after year, and many times in between. Why this desire to have goals? And why our general inability to achieve them?
The answer, in short, is that we’re human. We have a high intellectual capacity, and the ability to step into the future. Which is why setting lofty goals comes naturally to us. What doesn’t is the effort and focus it takes to plan and execute them, which is why goals can often remain unfulfilled dreams that eventually crumble.
The reality is that the brain is divided. Deep in its recesses lies a fear-based motivational system whose sole function is to avoid pain and approach pleasure. This system often takes over in the journey from visualization to completion. When we’re called to step out of our comfort zone, it scares us away with visualizations of a catastrophic outcome. When the going gets tough, it entices us with pleasures we’re trying to avoid—like the scrumptious double chocolate cake waiting to be consumed, even though our goal was to lose 10 pounds while training for a half-marathon. So we give in to its demands and often feel relieved in the moment. Until, of course, our capacity to think clearly finally catches up and reminds us of what we dearly wanted to achieve. Some of us are then shaken out of our momentary trance and get back on track. But most of us make a bad situation worse by beating down on ourselves, or doing more of what we shouldn’t be doing simply because we "failed," or convincing ourselves that the goal wasn’t worth pursuing in the first place.
If any of this sounds familiar, read on to discover the two-pronged approach that will help you set goals that are compelling, and build practices that propel you along the way.
Set Powerful Goals
Here are 3 que