The New Years Game
Every year people do it, they set new years goals and resolutions.
Every year lots of people over estimate what they will do in the next 12 month but underestimate what they can do in the next 10 years. Do I think this is what they want?
Then why do they do it?
Let’s talk about some of the reasons why people may set goals that aren’t congruent with what they really want and how we (you) can interrupt their pattern. (I may mash a few buttons in the process)
Why Do We Do It?
Why do we set goals that we really don’t want to set?
I’ve found there’s a few reasons but first let’s ask why do we set goals in the first place.
We set goals because of:
- Our need to fit in (lose weight & make more money = so that we’re seen as more attractive)
- Our wanting to be excepted (Our need for connection, if we become more attractive we’ll be more liked and excepted)
- Our need to feel we’re moving forward in life.
Weird I know, right? (Ok, not really but bare with me)
We’re hard wired to want to fit in and to desire connection. And we’ll do almost anything to obtain them. (Including setting goals that aren’t congruent)
“Human beings consider any social intercourse, even if negative as better than none at all. This need for intimacy is why people engage in games. These become a substitute for genuine contact.”- Eric Berne, Author of ‘Games People Play‘
In short, games=drama.
Without a clear understanding of what drives us emotionally or a clear understanding of our hierarchy of values, we end up setting goals that aren’t really our goals.
What I believe is this. People set those unrealistic goals unknowingly that they will create strife in their lives. This strife gets them attention in some way when they don’t accomplish those goals. Their spouse, families or co-workers will give them negative feedback. Therefore they create situations that get them attention and social interaction regardless of the fact it’s negative.
It’s one reason why small children or young teens may misbehave (Ok even adults). They want attention and misbehaving is the only way they know how to get it. So why not set goals that aren’t congruent with what I really want and cause myself to get some attention. Any attention.
Sounds nuts I know, but it’s real for many people. It’s called a secondary payoff and lots of people aren’t aware of the fact their living it.
I feel there’s a 3rd reason why we set incongruent goals.
Because we think we should.
Anytime you begin using imperatives like you should, supposed to, need to, or aught to it’s a sign you’ve injected other peoples values system into your own. You’re force feeding yourself other peoples values and you’re attempting to live out your life through them.
Setting goals because you think you should is just as dangerous as setting the type of goals you think you should, like making more money or losing weight.
Ok, maybe you should do those things but if you’re not doing it for your reasons you’re going to lose that battle. If you can’t really see yourself doing the things it takes to make them happy you’ll never do it.
“You can never out perform your self image.“- Dan Kennedy
That’s a hard road to travel but people drive it everyday just because they don’t know any different. You’ve got to do it for your own emotional reasons otherwise you won’t.
Unless you’re doing something consciously and purposefully for your own emotional gain, you’ll never really do it with your whole heart and love the process or if you do you won’t feel fulfilled or accomplished when you do. You’ll be like, “You mean this is it?”
What To Do?
Many people are no more aware of their own hierarchy of values than they are of the meaning behind E=mc2. Sure, we’ve all heard of the equation and many can even tell you who came up with it, but we aren’t really clear of even just a simple understanding of it or what it means to us.
Identify your values in order to get ahead of the goals game. It really really helps.
Listen I’m just as guilty as any one else of setting news goals in the past and not getting past the 15 day mark with some of them.
However I asked myself:
“What must I believe about myself in order to substitute games I’m playing for real intimacy in my life?”
Let’s face it, we’re looking for some sense of intimacy in our lives when we accomplish our goals:
- Lose weight? Feel more attractive and get a hot mate
- Get more money? Help more people, have nice things, attract a hot mate
- Find a meaningful relationship? Um yeah, attract a hot mate
*Hot mate doesn’t only mean physically speaking either by the way 😉
I’ve made it my belief that you and I have special abilities that can and should be done better by us than by any other person. I believe that never before has there been any other person exactly like us, and there never will be again. If there had been or were going to be, there would be no need for you and I to be here.
Let’s Play The Game
So all of the above could be complete bullshit or for some people it could be a complete truth. This meant to get us to think more than anything and yes educate too. I really just wanted to bring light to the fact, why is goal setting such an issue for many people and how can we help raise awareness?
What’s your spin?
Does this make you think at all about how you’ll approach setting your goals for 2011?
Will you put some muscle into your goal setting by doing it purposefully or will you haphazardly set them?
Leave your comments below, I’m interested in hearing your feedback and how you set your goals and why you set them that way. Do you have a system around it?
Share this post on Twitter, Facebook or even email it to a friend. You never know who you’ll help (interrupt their pattern) by doing so. 🙂
It may also be that when we are trying out new stuff (rather than just setting the same goal again) that we can’t know what will happen. Unexpected stuff comes up.
For me, I want 2011 to be the year where I start earning income from my blog. I don’t know exactly how I will do this (I haven’t done it before) I can only learn from others, take best guesses and see what happens.
Tony Teegarden says
Well for starters you’ll want to open the email I sent out earlier about
David Risley’s re-launch of the Blog Masters Club.
That could be a good place to start 🙂
I’m going to be dong some stuff coming up that I’m pretty sure will help as
Here’s to a bright 2011!!
Good Thoughts Tony!
I believe you have truly nailed the main reason folks have trouble setting Goals & Following through
and it is primarily because those ARE SOMEONE ELSES GOALS…Look my Pop wanted me to be a Star Athlete ,,,I was pretty good but not a star, Pop wanted me to be an Engineer so I could make Good $$ & take care of my family,,,problem was I hated Engineering…& it goes on I learned NOT to do this with my kids,,,However my wifes family has been pretty pushy they wanted my son to be a Lawyer,,,He had no interest, He joined the Navy became a PC Guru …the Family thought that was great,,,Problem was he got bored, tried out for & became a spec operator(Seal) Which He Loves,,,My wife just about disowned him…The Family thought or Grandma the Patriarch(Wifes Mom) my Daughter should be a Nurse cause of the ‘Good $$” …she had no desire for it,,,At 21 she became a Bank Teller…The family laughed at that,,,Yet today (she is not even 23) due to her gift & love of helping others(can we say ‘selling’:-)) she has been promoted to what they call a ‘Banker’ Position & one of the youngest in this company to ever achieve that status,,,starting at 5oK a year & expected to make around 75-80K with commissions….Can you see How proud I am of my KIDS!!!
Really I am just sayin’ each Person must Find & Choose their own Goals which to me are wrapped up in what they VALUE MOST & yet in this country & culture we try to push our kids into things/careers they may not enjoy or even be congruent with out of our Love & concern for their well being & I guess at times to make us feel as though we were successful parents…I think True LOVE entails allowing the person (kid, spouse, friend) to find their own Passions & then Help them succeed in those choices…Perhaps our own insecurities get in the way or our own regrets for what we did not accomplish when we TRY to Force our ideals on another…as an example I can still remember my Daughters Uncle(My wifes Brother) lamenting ,,,”Oh now Caitlin(my Daughter) will just be as the rest of us & never succeed in a good career.”,,,because she did not go to nursing school.
By the Way for your Information I have decided to call Goals something different I want to call them LIKES,,,less rigid & more desirable to me.
Take Care & much success in Achieving your LIKES for 2011 Tony!
Matt Geib The Great
I did goal-setting for the last 4 years from business, wealth, well-being, giving back, Relationships. You are right though. As you evolve through life you need to come face to face with your values and what is important to you. For the past 3 years I put business at the forefront of all my goals. Sometimes life moves us in different direction emotionally and spiritually and we have to the move to the flow of life. I decided long ago to put my relationships and well-being on top of my priority. This has been very important to me. You can only improve your relationships as much as you improve. This includes relationship you have within yourself. I focus on 5 things that I need to work on this year. Laser-focused!
So next to goal-setting I do INTENTIONS. This has proved to be more transformational for me and empowering.
I liked how you outline this and always appreciate when I stop by here in your blog. I learn something new everytime. 😉 Thank You
Tony Teegarden says
I have to agree with you whole heartedly Therese. Relationships are so key
and critical and the #1 to focus on is the one with ourselves. 🙂
Happy new year to you and I’m looking forward to catching up with you soon.
Matt Young says
Happy New Year! So, what if you already have a hot mate…does that mean I can stop setting goals? 🙂 By the way, we’re expecting a baby in May 2011!
I think its hard to put the “challenge” of setting and achieving your goals into words, because it is so emotional. I believe you’re right that “You’ve got to do it for your own emotional reasons otherwise you won’t.” I remember with PPL I would constantly set activity goals, only to fail at them almost immediately. I KNOW I have the capacity to do anything I want and set out for, so why was this not working?
It was interesting to be in such a positive environment, yet feel so negative for not doing what was “expected” of you by others. I guess that was part of the “should” goals that are based on OTHERS beliefs. Now obviously, it is important to learn from others, and I did! But as I’ve thought about it, and internalized your writing as well as others, I can’t agree more that if your emotions aren’t congruent with your goals, it just won’t happen.
I have a few goals set for this upcoming year, and one of them is to follow your blog. I’ve said that once before and did not follow through. But even at PPL I’ve always appreciated your views, values, and honesty and felt a connection with you as someone who tells the truth, and doesn’t hide behind the “show.” Even knowing now, that you’ve realized those actions with the biz weren’t congruent with your Master Goals in life (and so you may have had to fake it sometimes!) I’m even more impressed by your honesty of taking another course and telling people about it. I’ve seen so many (and been one myself) people hide behind their “supposed” successes in the biz it made me sick. I know we can act “As If” we’ve already attained what we want…but sometimes I felt like we were living a lie.
So with that, my train of thought is gone and I’m not talking about goals anymore! Look forward to 2011 and further discussions!
Tony Teegarden says
You’re right on so many levels my friend. Keep an eye out. Lots of goodness
coming your way 😉