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9 Greatest Misconceptions About Goals You Should Know About
Life and Style Daily
September 15, 2021
4 min

It is no secret that people with clearer goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than others who don’t have any. Setting goals drives you to take action, knowing where to go and how to get there.

However, many people have many misunderstood concepts about goals that prevent them from achieving success and happiness. Thus, we’re here to bust the nine greatest misconceptions about goals that may be holding you back from getting what you want in life.

1. Every goal has to have a strict deadline

Admit it. You get frustrated when you don’t meet your goal by the time you specified. Well, you shouldn’t be. After all, personal deadlines are just there to urge you to take action.

You make the rules. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t be afraid to reschedule your deadline. In doing so, you get to be more flexible and adaptable when things don’t go your way.

On top of that, you would save time you could’ve wasted dwelling on what you consider a failure. The more important thing to focus on is that you’re moving at a more efficient pace for you, and you have learned the lesson your experience brought you.

2. Writing your goals is not that important

Are you one of the people who believes that it’s enough that you remember your goals? According to a study by Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University, you’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down.

Writing down your goals gives you a sense of commitment, making them more concrete and real. Written goals are easier to track, and seeing them written on a piece of paper helps us build resolve around them. This makes it easier to be intentional with our future actions. It also motivates us to work harder towards our goals.

3. You don’t need to have specific goals

Say you want a house and set that as your goal. Is it a beach house, a condominium unit, or a basic two-storey in the city? Do you plan to live there as you build your own family, or do you want it for yourself? When do you plan to accomplish this goal?

Vague goals leave us with a lot of questions. It makes it harder to enumerate action items that are doable in the present.

Set well-defined goals that are a little narrow but feasible within the foreseeable future. That way, you get to track each step you take and determine significant accomplishments consciously.

It helps when you formulate goals that specifically tell you when you should do them. For example, “Do the laundry at 7:30 AM every Saturday” tells us exactly what we should do and when.

4. Your goals should always be S.M.A.R.T.

You’re probably familiar with the SMART acronym for goal setting: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound. While it’s great to have SMART goals, you should remember that they are not an absolute must, especially when you’re just starting out.

Simply writing down your goal is enough for your first step to achieving it. For example, you set your goal of learning a new language for self-development. By the time you’ve written and committed yourself to it, you would progress from picking what language you want to learn to reading about its basic grammar rules and ultimately enrolling for a class.

Your goals don’t always have to be SMART. It all boils down to your discipline in achieving them.

5. You don’t need to celebrate small achievements

We’re not saying that you should have a party every time you achieve a part of your goal. We’re just encouraging you to practice a healthy momentum so you can avoid burnouts. Know that you deserve a break after days of hard work.

Write down important milestones that all contribute to your long-term goals. When you hit a milestone, reflect on what you achieved as you celebrate. Afterwards, know how you could improve the steps you took in accomplishing it. This gives you a clearer mindset for the next milestone.

6. You should only set realistic goals

You decide what’s realistic and what’s not. You are allowed to dream big even when others see it as unfeasible. However, if you tend to blame yourself once you don’t reach these goals, we recommend settling for more realistic and attainable goals.

For example, you set a goal to read one book a week, and you were just able to finish three books in a month. If you feel like you failed, you should consider adjusting your goal.

But if you only look at how far you’ve come against where you were before working towards that goal, you would feel accomplished and ready to try again. This means this approach is for you.

The greatest thing about dreaming big is that even if you fail, you can still possibly end up in a place better than where your smaller goals would’ve taken you.

7. You have to reach all your goals

The problem with some people is that they get discouraged if they don’t strike through every item on their list of goals. To be honest, it’s perfectly fine even if you only reach even 50% of the goals you set. Don’t discard your progress.

Don’t stop there, and don’t treat yourself like a failure. That’s what will set you up to actually fail. Recognize your accomplishments and reevaluate the goals you didn’t meet. Set a new timeline. Rewrite them into simpler ones. The important thing is that you don’t stop.

8. Achieving your goals will make you happier

Achieving your goals doesn’t guarantee your happiness. It will give only you a temporary sense of accomplishment until you make your next set of goals.

But the truth is, it’s not the goals that make you happy. Since goals give you a sense of direction, it enables you to enjoy the present more freely. Knowing that we have a destination in life alleviates anxiety and helps with practicing gratitude and recognizing your sense of purpose.

9. Having goals will make you more successful

Having goals will not make you more successful. It is a powerful ingredient of many people’s successes, but it is never a guarantee. Goals give you a sense of direction, but without action, you are never going to get where you want to go.

Many people have huge goals and dreams but never reach them. Remember that having goals is just the first step of your whole journey. Partner them with perseverance and clever working strategies if you want to reap a good harvest.

Onto the next milestone

Now that you’ve got the nudge to stop believing in the myths we listed, you’re ready to write down your own goals and work towards them. Remember that success is a combination of perseverance, resilience, and adaptability. Keep on working towards your dreams. No one else would achieve them for you.

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