If You Want To Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus On Them

My sincere entreaty is that, at the end of this write-up, you would grasp what I am trying to communicate in terms of the caption. I know it may sound a bit gainsaying that, to achieve our goals, we need not focus on them. A year ago, I would have been in the same junction with you on this but after series of learning, relearning and the real-life experiences I have had concerning achieving my goals, it was clear that focusing on my goals was the reason I didn’t achieve any to the maximum.

I am the kind of person who likes to get things done or let me say getting set goals fulfilled. I like to focus and stay committed until it is done but in the reality of this, I have not attained most of what I had planned either as an individual or as a team with other team players. And my inability to meet my goals makes my life very uncomfortable just like any other person out there and I have been looking for the why and I think I have finally found the why.

Let me share two experiences with you which to me is like a case study to why focusing on my goals didn’t help me in achieving them, I realized after so many failures that my ability to stay focus on my goals were not winning me any grounds but was rather frustrating me. And the funny part was that I made the same mistakes over and over and end up becoming more depressed each time a commitment to a goal seems to be the very reason the goals were not achieved.

When I came to the university, I joined the theatre in our denomination and in my second year I was made the Spokenword Director. I was poised for work, just like any other leader would aspire to achieve more than what his predecessors achieved or even attain what they couldn’t; bring variety or do something different. So I set in with eyes on the prize, trying to rally the members and get them fully on board so that we can achieve together because my success in all that I had in mind depended on them. And I am the kind that if I accept I would do something, then I was really going to do it and do it very well.

At the end of the academic year, I failed or let me say we failed woefully even though the department was better than what was handed over to me. Commitment and member’s participation increased and we were dynamic in our ministrations but I was not satisfied since the goals we or I set couldn’t be achieved to the apex and we ended up achieving the things we didn’t plan to achieve I would say.

And even though I think I was not performing as I should, the department thinks I deserved another term so I was given another term to be the Spokenword Director during my third year and I wished I had said no, I didn’t wanted the second term but it was forced down on me and I couldn’t say no, so after days of considerations, I thought I could use the opportunity to redeem myself as a leader. In so doing, I raised my goals and increased the level of focus I gave it because I thought I didn’t do enough. I am still in my second term in office as the Spokenword Director and even as I have over the years accumulated experiences, including the idea of not focusing on our goals, personally, I still haven’t achieved as much as I or we as a department planned to achieve. This could be due to many other reasons apart from focusing on my dreams, and I know it is more than just focusing on my dreams, it involves a lot of other factors but I want to talk about the focusing aspect in this write-up.

The second experience also started in my second year at the university and that was when I joined Jennygh.com as a writer/blogger and later as a partner. We were a team of three, our boss and sponsor who is our lecturer and two team members including myself. We were ambitious on making Jennygh one of the biggest online news portal in Ghana and then trail to Africa in terms of entertainment, we set goals that will lead us to our destinations and yes, we were particular about our goals. Even though we did our best in many ways, we couldn’t achieve even half of what we planned. But were we focused on our goals, yes we were.

In these two stories I am trying to relate, you would realized that what we did was setting goals, we stopped there, we didn’t plan on how we are actually going to achieve these goals. What we failed to understand was that the final goals were not in our control and what was in our control was how we can go about these goals.

For example, as students we may have set goals concerning our end of semester results, we may have plan for 3 A’s for the semester. What we don’t know is that we don’t get to write A’s on our papers at the end of the semester, another person have the responsibility of doing that. What we can do is focus on our behaviors and not the goal of getting 3 A’s at the end of the semester.

If I had paid attention to my behavior after setting my goals as the Spokenword Director, the story would have been different but then I thought focusing on my goals alone was enough. I could have considered a number of things but I was hard on myself and the members and that was the focus, be on them to get the goals attained and did that worked out for and the team, no I didn’t and there are so many of you out there who faces the same problem just that you haven’t noticed yet.

One thing I realized about Jennygh too was that we had poor attitude towards work, something our boss always hits on, that to be consistent takes attitude. We can’t just jump to consistency; it takes the repetition of certain behaviors to get to consistency and not focusing on consistency itself. The trick is to focus on the acceptable behaviors that would lead us to consistency. And since this is a blog, it requires regular updating but we were poor at that, so even though our eyes were on getting the views, our attitude was saying otherwise and the final result was failure.

The same thing applies to our goals, to achieve the goals we need to cultivate attitudes or behaviors that would lead us to achieving them and just looking at achieving the goals alone cannot guarantee the goal’s attainment.

So after setting our goals we must know we can’t just wake up say, Oh I have achieved my goals with word of mouth without going through the process. We all know it doesn’t work like that. But after we have our goals on paper, which is one thing, the next thing is to sit down and create a ‘behavior’ that would accommodate the achievement of the goals.

And our behaviors or attitudes are something we can control, it doesn’t involve our lecturers, friends, parents, team members or partners. To achieve our goals requires the participation of other people and we know people can fail us as it happened many times in my case, but behavior on the other hand is something we can focus on and have control over and can control in other to achieve our goals.

Source: Modern Ghana

   

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