Hello there.

Is it too late to welcome you to the New Year? I hope not. Anyway, I apologise for my tardiness and wish us a productive year.

Talking about productivity, I came across a tweet asking people to highlight what they’ve achieved in the first week of the year and it was just too much for me. You may have come across it too or in some other form from over-zealous people, please don’t be intimidated, and if need be, ignore them.

However, that doesn’t mean you should not intentionally work towards achieving success. One of the best ways to do this is by setting goals.

Lessons from the past

Last year, I learnt the hard way about the dangers of coasting along in life and not living intentionally. Life will dump you anywhere if you don’t chart the course of your destination or know where you’re going.

And you most likely won’t like where you find yourself and thus be constantly frustrated. But I’ve decided that for every mistake I made last year, I’ll rectify this year. I hope you can decide to do this too.

Why you need to set goals

I’ve never been one to think of setting goals, I mean, it’s for those people who want to build a zillion-dollar company and end world hunger in 32 days. Happy-go-luckies like me don’t need the stress (lol).

I’ve always believed writing your goals down would jinx it, and then you’d be disappointed. But I’ve discovered that not setting goals is the ultimate jinx. If you have nowhere in particular to be, anywhere can be your destination.

Setting goals helps you solidify the vague idea of success in your head and break into actionable steps the things you have to do to get where you want. Needless to say, it takes a lot of soul-searching. Click To Tweet

Setting goals helps you solidify the vague idea of success in your head and break into actionable steps the things you have to do to get where you want. Needless to say, it takes a lot of soul-searching.

This thing called fear

Now that I know why I need to set goals for myself, I―with motivation coursing through my veins―went about the adult-y business of writing my goals. Unfortunately, they were puny goals.

It turns out I was afraid of writing the actual goals I want to achieve because it would mean they no longer merely exist in my head; they are now in black and white, staring me in the face.

Worst of all, it means I can fail and I hate failing (even though I know that failing is the best way to get better at anything). In short, I was letting fear prevent me from having big, audacious goals.

Think big, no, bigger… even bigger

Now, the bigger your goals are and the harder it is to reach them, the more the likelihood of you achieving them.

Nassim Taleb, in his book, Antifragile, wrote that while some things get destroyed when exposed to too much stress, some other things, most notably humans, thrive and grow when exposed to stressors.

This means that it’s in your best interest to demand so much from yourself. You can reach it, even if it doesn’t look like it now. If you don’t stretch yourself, you won’t know what you’re capable of.

Set lofty goals for yourself because even if you don’t reach it, at least you’ll be one step closer.

Set lofty goals for yourself because even if you don’t reach it, at least you’ll be one step closer. Click To Tweet

Caution: illogical goals ahead!

That said, you need to be careful to avoid setting unrealistic goals for yourself in the name of “thinking big”. Wanting to be a university lecturer by the end of the year when you don’t even have a degree is not just unrealistic, but also illogical.

One of my favourite webtoons put it better when it says, “By making unrealistic resolutions, humans are setting themselves up for crushing disappointment and as soon as they fail, they will immediately fall back into their worst habits.

As much as you’re trying not to hold back with setting your goals, no do pass yourself.

As much as you’re trying not to hold back with setting your goals, no do pass yourself. Click To Tweet

Thank you so much for reading through and if you got a thing or two from this, please act on it. Your comments are also welcome. Please stay tuned to this space for more inspiration for self-development and productivity.

 

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