Do You Make This Mistake In Goal Setting?


No Great Thing Is Ever Created Suddenly

Epictetus revealed his deep understanding about life when he said, “No great thing is ever created suddenly.” Until I came across his words, I didn’t realize that it takes time to be great. Since then, I’ve learned how to set and achieve any goal I decide on. Before I stumbled upon this piece of wisdom, my goals would fizzle out. I was trying to achieve great things suddenly. By using a simple trick that I’m going to share with you, I learned to move from strength to strength, going from one completed goal to another. If you don’t set goals or set them only to fail at them, then this post is for you. A common mistake when setting goals is to focus on the ends alone and not the means.

Why I set Goals

I am passionate about my goals. My passion drives me forward to live the life of my dreams. I know what I want in life and I set goals to get me there. I know that each goal I achieve brings me in union with what I desire. I feel truly invigorated with each success!

Meeting a goal, no matter how big or small, strengthens my confidence and self-esteem. I enjoy these feelings and strive to receive them as often as possible.

Setting and achieving goals is a never-ending circle of positivity that fuels my passion even more. My passion encourages me to persevere over obstacles and it is replenished and increased with every goal I complete.

My passion enables my success. I use tools to ignite and refuel my passion on a daily basis, even when I face challenges that try to smother it.

My tools include affirmations to transform negative thoughts into positive ones, meditation to relax and rejuvenate my energy, and notes and pictures to inspire and remind me of my goals.

This universal law of physics applies to both my body and mind. Once I start an activity, it’s easy to maintain momentum. Knowing this, I can soar past obstacles in my path and remain focused on my tasks and goals.

Rethink Goal Setting

One reason why goal-setting may not have worked as advertised is because you set goals in the wrong way.

The wrong way is where you focus on what you want to be, do, or have.  While these goals do have some motivating strength, especially if you have a burning desire, they don’t have quite the same momentum as goals that make you better at what you love to do.

Let’s call the first type of goals as “object goals” and the second type as “process goals.”

 An Example from the World of Athletics

Suppose, you were an athlete, a sprint runner, and you wanted to set a goal in your field.  Here is what an object goal and a process goal would look like.

 Object goal:  I want to win a medal for running the fastest mile at the track meet.

 Process goals:  I want to be able to run a mile below four minutes. 

 The Difference that Makes a Difference

The first goal, the object goal, aims to give you the recognition and the rewards associated with your successful goal completion while the second goal, the process goal, aims to change you at a deeper level.

 The first goal will push you to trying to run faster during every training session.

 The second goal will push to continuously upgrading your fitness levels and training methods to make you a much better athlete.

 Most people set the object goals, but those who aspire for mastery set the process goals.

 A process goal is more intrinsic, deeper, and lasts longer.  And for this reason, it is more inspiring and helps you get more momentum.

While you do have a chance of succeeding with both goals, your chance of success increases exponentially with a process goal.  What’s more, a process goal will carry you to the next level beyond your achieved goal to ever higher levels of mastery.

With process goals, your chances of succeeding are higher because you are doing everything you can to take the right actions.

Additionally, they aren’t time or event-specific.  Even if you don’t achieve the goal by a certain time or at a certain event, you’ll still be on the road to personal development, mastery and goal achievement.

 3 Ways to Set Life-Changing Goals

First, identify what you want to achieve.  More money? Better health?  Improved relationships?

Second, commit to doing hard things.  Choose to prefer to do the things that will push you beyond your comfort zones.  It might be getting up earlier.  It might be studying in your field.  It might be learning new skills and practicing them.

Third, revise your personal story.  You are the way you are right now because of certain unconscious scripts.  Notice what’s working in your life and what’s not working in your life in relation to the goal.  Change your mental talk to affirm what’s working and re-frame what’s not working into its opposite.


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