Success is commonly defined by the accomplishment of specific goals. While goal setting is important, it is critical that the process involve reasonable and realistic expectations. Goals provide purpose, direction and can lead us to push personal limits to attain a level of unprecedented accomplishment. However, setting goals can be as confusing as Grand Central Station in the middle of the Holiday season! People who are successful at setting and achieving their goals have the innate ability to understand their own capabilities within the context of the desired result.
“Think Big” is the new buzz word being shared by industry thought leaders and influencers throughout social media. Buying into this concept with blind ambition can actually lead to failed attempts at success. The brightest professionals can get caught up in the competitive trap where the pressure to achieve at unrealistic levels drains them of their energy. In sheer exhaustion, they abandon the goals and are left feeling like they failed.
Lets take a moment to understand how we sometimes undermine our personal success by setting unrealistic goals. Often, we are our biggest critic. The self doubt which looms in our minds after unsuccessful attempts at goal-accomplishment can lead to negativity and internal stress. This in turn causes us to be our own worst enemy. The vicious cycle which ensues revolving around culpability and shame is the number one reason why people repeatedly fail at attempts to be successful.
Then how best to set realistic goals which elevate success? The answer does not need to come from abandoning big dreams. Instead it is imperative to take these dreams and break them down into incremental, achievable goals. As each smaller goal is accomplished be sure to take time and basque in the pride of the achievement, pride which comes from properly acknowledging the individual success. In this way, you are able to turn the vicious cycle into a virtuous cycle. Commit yourself daily to work both smarter and harder through personal improvement. Surrounding yourself by like minded individuals with similar aspirations, you are able to leverage the existing collaborative power.
You can optimize the probability of success by developing an action plan which outlines smaller steps over a specific but reasonable time-frame. Remain positive and avoid the perception that smaller steps equals lessened expectations. A strategy which involves having multiple smaller achievements under your belt is one that is scalable to accomplishing larger goals, which ultimately leads to the assurance that next year will be better than your last!