Why haven’t you set goals?

In my post Do you have a dream? I admitted that whilst believing goals are necessary for most of my adult life, I’ve been pretty poor at setting and using them. In one of my favourite books, A Touch of Greatness, Frank Tibolt describes goal setting as “the greatest of all success techniques“, but used by less than 10% of the population.

So why don’t people set goals:-

Not heard of them
Think they don’t need them
Want to live for the day
Think goals are stressful
Think it’s only for high fliers
No vision
Fear of failure
Don’t recognize the value
Not know how
Fear of success
Don’t feel worthy
Too busy
Don’t want to be answerable to anyone
Don’t know the benefit of goals
Need others approval

I think the main reasons can be summarized as “don’t know”. Most people don’t know how to set goals, or how important and powerful they can be. Added to that, others simply don’t know what they want.

In the past I’ve described how I had arrived at my current career position more by chance rather than good planning and goal setting. Am I just lucky or does goal setting only really work for some people? Does it suit people in target driven businesses or who are in selling? Does the reason many don’t use clear goals is because it hard in this day and age to formulate a clear vision of where you want to be in, say, five years time?

What has always put me off goal setting and doubt all the worthy authors I was reading, was the way the organizations I’ve worked for have basically abused goal setting. Annual performance reviews, or appraisals, were rounded off with the ritual of setting objectives (goals) for the year ahead. These were invariably generated by the manager, rather than employee. Worst of all, these goals were never looked at again until the following years review!

To be effective, goals have to be alive, things that inspire and drive you. Trying to force yourself to do goals you don’t want to do won’t work. Tibolt was convinced that

“the chief benefit of education is to help you find a worthy goal, vision or purpose in life, to give life meaning and to drive and draw you to success.”

Finding a “worth goal” shouldn’t be hard, but somehow we seem to make it so.

Randy Nichols February 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

– Randy Nichols.

Lin Burress February 19, 2008 at 12:03 am

Many people don’t achieve their goals because it never became a real priority for them.

I’ve always believed that “Whatever our priorities are, these are the things we will accomplish”.

If someone wants something bad enough, and really puts in the time, effort and determination, prioritized goals will be achieved and they’ll be looking for the next goal, and the next.

Lin Burress’s last blog post..Understanding Assertiveness: Getting The Respect You Deserve

Todd Morris February 19, 2008 at 8:26 am

I think you hit on the main reason why people don’t set goals near the middle of your post. Many of us (even those of us who should know better) are never really sure exactly what we want. It kind of hard to plot a course, when you’re destination isn’t clearly defined.


Todd Morris’s last blog post..Focus On What you Already Have, to Get More of What You Want

Kevin February 19, 2008 at 11:46 am

I agree with Todd’s comment – a key factor many people do not set goals is they don’t know what they want. They can easily describe what they don’t want though.

In my opinion, we need to spend some quiet time meditating or contemplating what we want in life – including what to give and what sort of legacy to leave. In doing this, it becomes clearer what our goals are and we can pursue them.

Kevin’s last blog post..Exercise – No More Excuses

Plumbing Course Andy February 27, 2008 at 7:36 am

Some people don’t set goals in their life because they are afraid to take the risk and they are afraid to fail. This kind of people are just contented of what they have in their lives. Goals serves as a motivation and it helps to have a better outlook in life.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: