How to Reconnect with the Benefits of Setting Goals (PART B)

Failure is a Perspective

Sometimes we go after big goals only to end up ‘falling short’. Setting goals and going after them not only allows us to experience novelty, achievement and the feeling of confidence, but it also allows us to strengthen our resiliency muscle. When we view goals, goal setting or goal getting as a methodology for success, we doom ourselves to only experience success if we ‘get it’. But, actually there is something of far greater value for us: the gift of perspective.

When we fall short, fail, screw up, don’t quite make it, there is an opportunity for us to re-frame the experience. To shift our paradigm, or mindset to “what’s the lesson?”. It is in this shifting of our perspective, that we start to reconstruct the very motivation behind setting goals and going after them. “I have failed over and over and over and over again, and that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan

Member Jennifer Reasoner; photo credit: Aidan Martin

Member Jennifer Reasoner; photo credit: Aidan Martin

Goal setting endurance

Have you ever set your mind to something before and over a period of time, committed almost all of your resources towards the performance or attainment of that ‘goal’?  Perhaps a running event, a sport season, a charity, a project, event or some cause? If you have, then you will immediately ‘get’ that having a clear and compelling goal naturally motivates us to take action. Somehow, life gets out of the way, as you make ‘it’ happen.  

The problem for most of us is that we see that type of behaviour and output as unsustainable. We anticipate the energy output and perceived results, and we might decide “it’s not quite worth it, even though it’s interesting”.

Over time, repeating this thought process can generate enough physical & mental evidence that the energy ‘just isn’t there’. Furthermore, we naturally pursue more control via more remuneration, responsibility and/or recognition. It’s part of the professional system and someone else decides for you. Meanwhile, our personal goals die. We might tell ourselves, “there simply isn’t enough time anymore”.

This is why we need to reset, reconsider and reconnect with the benefits of setting goals.

Setting goals requires you to ‘flick the switch’ and:

  • Establish reality instead of avoid it

  • Gain clarity, direction or desire about what’s next

  • Focus optimistically on a plan that would likely get you there   

Coach Joel Bouzaid; Photo credit: Aidan Martin

Coach Joel Bouzaid; Photo credit: Aidan Martin

We can pursue goals not just to improve the quality of our current and short term future, but we can start using the ‘goals framework’ as a learning and development tool. We literally start putting ourselves out there and risk failing. In the process, we are learning more about ourselves than ever before. We are becoming more aware of our strengths and we desensitize our relationship with other people’s opinions and expectations around success.

In summary:

  • Setting goals unlocks creativity, motivation and curiosity. It’s worth it, just to take 3-5 minutes and set them

  • Getting goals increases confidence, morale, focus and results. Action leads to success.  

  • Missing goals develops resiliency, perspective and deeper awareness about what matters most

It is my experience that the version of yourself that goes out there and sets, gets and misses goals, is the version of yourself that puts your best foot forward.   

For more information on Joel check out his website here.