When Goal Planning Goes Wrong
Goal setting can go wrong for a number of reasons:
Outcome goals can be set instead of performance goals.
When you plan the outcome of goals and fail to achieve them for reasons
beyond your control, you may find that you are disappointed. This can lead
to loss of enthusiasm and feelings of failure. Avoid this problem by always
setting performance goals you can handle..
Goals can be set unrealistically high. When a goal
is perceived to be unreachable, no effort will be made to achieve it. Set
realistic goals. Conversely goals can be set so low that you feel no challenge
in achieving the goal. You may feel in this case, that setting goals has
been a waste of time. Always set goals that are challenging.
Goals can be so vague that they are useless. It is
difficult to know whether vague goals have been achieved. If achievement
cannot be measured, then your self-confidence will not benefit from goal
setting, nor can you observe progress towards a greater goal. Set precise,
Goal setting can be unsystematic, sporadic and disorganized.
Here goals will be forgotten, achievement of goals will not be measured
and feedback will not occur in new goals. If this happens then the major
benefits of goal setting are lost. Be organized and regular in the way
that you use goal setting.
When too many unprioritized goals are set, you can
feel overwhelmed. Remember that you deserve time to relax and enjoy being
When goal setting goes wrong, not only are the benefits
lost, but the whole process of goal setting can fall into disrepute.
The 'Quantum Leap' Approach
By avoiding these problems, and setting goals effectively,
you can achieve and maintain strong forward momentum.
This is a dangerous technique that should be used
with care because - it is easy to disregard the whole process of goal-setting
when quantum leap goals are not met. Similarly if you are really not convinced
that a goal is attainable, you will not put effort into achieving it. Managers
using this approach should take care that they are not 'shot down' by someone
firmly requesting information on how a quantum leap goal should be achieved.
One approach to goal setting for yourself and other
people is the 'Quantum Leap' approach. This tries to force intense activity
by setting a goal that will need a 'quantum leap' in activity to be achieved.
Return to Mind Tools home page