For over ten years of my life I have helped people achieve their goals. Sometimes I have a feeling that I have read every possible book on goal setting and motivation, tried most goal setting techniques on myself, seen some people perform miracles of determination and creativity and heard others make every possible excuse there is about why they can not pursue their goals.
And while every person is unique and different, there are some traits of character and similarities that many of us share when it comes to setting and achieving our goals.
I have identified Six Main Types of Goal-setters. After you finish reading about them, take time to say in the comment section, which one you are!
1. Judgment Callers
Judgment callers are people who choose not to set goals, either because they do not know what they want or they are ok with the way things are. They prefer to use judgment calls instead, which usually means that they pick the most urgent task on their to-do list and go with that.
People like this live in constant stress and struggle: reality hits – they react, problem arises – they solve it, boss demands – they perform. And it is not that they lack intelligence, determination or ability.
They just cannot find their inner drive. There is no goal in sight that lights up a fire in them and makes them care enough to take proactive steps, rather than being pushed by other people or circumstances. The challenge is that even a tiny action of choosing a goal requires mental effort and a small amount of motivation.
If your family members tell you that this description sounds like you, I urge you to set aside some time and figure out what it is that you would want your life to be like in a year/5 years/10 years from now.
What inspires you? What makes you tick?
To us, regular mortals, is seems that these people are made of steel, as they possess an iron will and a laser-like focus. As soon as they select their goal, nothing can stop them from attaining it! While such determination is admirable, very often the easiest and smartest way of achieving something is to adjust the course of action and look for an open door, instead of bursting through walls to make an entrance.
While ‘terminators’ usually achieve most goals they set for themselves, at times their stubbornness and inflexibility back-fires and they spend too much time and energy chasing after the wrong things unable to accept defeat or let go.
Sufi’s are firm believers that everything that happens in life, happens for the better. They are focused on the spiritual part of their life and view material goals and “attachments” as a mere distraction from their true purpose.
If it sounds like you, then you probably believe that there is a reason why you are reading these words. And indeed, there is a reason. I (or the Universe through me) want to remind you that while there is nothing wrong with focusing on your spiritual growth and having infinite trust in the Higher Powers. At the same time it is important to remember that you are a Co-creator of your own destiny. YOU have to do your share of work, make things happen, persist even when you are facing difficulties, not passively wait for the Universe to make your dreams come true!
This is the category where most people often find themselves. Sprinters get easily fired up by a new goal and just as easily leave it unfinished in a few couple of weeks, when their enthusiasm dies down. I call people in this category “sprinters”, because they take a massive amount of action in the beginning, and quickly tire, unable to maintain the same level of motivation and productivity over a long period of time.
If this description sounds like you, remind yourself that the key to success is consistency. Do not waste all of your energy and enthusiasm on one big leap of action. Most worth-while goals can not be achieved in a week or two. They take time and require sustained effort and often lifestyle adjustments.
In some sense goal setting is similar to running a marathon. You have to prepare for it, gradually build up your strength and spend your energy and enthusiasm wisely. Do not aim for huge goals right away. Start small. Break your goal into the smaller objectives and concentrate of one step at a time.
Analytics believe that before they can start pursuing any kind of goal, they have to learn everything they possibly can about goal-setting, motivation, economical situation, future challenges, possible benefits, and so on.
Deep down they are perfectionists so they feel that unexplainable need to get it right the first time. They collect data, attend seminars, buy books about goal setting, evaluate, analyze, weigh the pros and cons and end up thinking themselves into analysis paralysis.
Perfectionism, no matter in what form, is always a cause of two effects: over-preparation and under-performance.
It is just like staring at a chess board, making moves in your head, calculating various combinations of possible contra-moves to find the best game plan. In theory you might win the game. In practice you have not even started playing.
Do not wait till you learn everything, or till conditions are just right. Take the first step, create momentum and then improve as you go.
There is a small group of people, who just get goal setting. They have clarity and certainty about what they do and they do not spread themselves too thin. They choose one goal and slowly, but surely work towards it. Sometimes they might even fail, but it does not stop them from trying again.
I spent a lot of time pondering on what it is that makes these people so special? And I believe that it is a correctly chosen goal that is aligned with passion and purpose. Goal getters love what they do, yet they continuously educate themselves and try to learn even from their failures and mistakes. But unlike ‘Analytics’ they implement what they learn quickly and adjust their plans accordingly.
If it sounds like you – congratulations! You are on the right track!