Many have goals, but only few are reaching them. Why?

Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, an expert in human behaviour and the author of “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” has attempted to suggest reasons why more people fail at reaching their goals.

Below are some of the reasons:

Aiming too high: This might sound strange to this generation of ‘much motivation and little result’. This generation has so much been told to shoot for the moon and even beyond. Though not a bad idea to shoot for the moon; shooting for the moon is only a worthwhile goal if you’re NASA.

According to Cuddy, the average person will probably find more success (and happiness) if they shoot for just down the block – at least at first. This makes a lot of sense. It makes absolutely no sense for a goal to be unrealistic.

Desire to skip the process: The smarter approach to achieving a goal is to learn to embrace the process. On its face value, that may seem counter-productive, like you’re taking your eyes off the prize. But Cuddy emphasises the power of using long-term thinking for short-term planning.

You won’t lose all the weight overnight, so your best option is to focus on making each day the best it can be. Chop up the big goal into a string of daily or weekly goals that are easier to accomplish.

“A lot of research is showing us that we do much better when we focus on incremental change; on little bits of improvement,” Cuddy says.

That’s how you go from a couch potato to a marathoner. You temporarily ignore the fact you need to run 26.2 miles several months from now, and focus only on running one mile today. And since that goal is much easier to achieve, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s complete.

In turn, that creates the extra motivation you need to move onto a second and third run, and, ultimately, the race itself.

“Eventually, on aggregate, you get there,” Cuddy says, adding: “You may not even realise it, until one day you turn around say ‘Wow, this thing is much easier for me now than it was a year ago’. ”

Focusing only on outcome: According to Cuddy, the biggest mistake a lot of people make in setting goals for themselves is that they focus only on the outcome, not the process. Goals can only be achieved if plans to achieve them are well planned.

Source: World Economic Forum

Author: Yemi Olarinre