The 4 Problems with Goal Setting

Posted by Stuart Neal on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 at 11:15am.

I’m a go getter. Are you? For years all I focused on was goals. Set a goal. Meet a goal. Set a goal. Meet a goal. Rinse and repeat. You get the picture?

James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits turns this thinking on its head. He identified 4 problems with pure goal setting. Here they are:

1. Winners and losers have the same goal

Let’s pretend your goal is to list Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s home this Saturday. The Smiths are interviewing 3 agents, of which you are one. What are your odds of winning? 33% unless you can tilt the balance in your favour. For you to win. The others must lose. If someone else wins you lose. It’s a zero-sum game. Better to develop a process that will help you to list x number of homes this year and focus on that. The Smiths may or may not add to your tally, but if they don’t, then your process will lead you toward someone else. Never get attached to the outcome. Try. Ask. Move on.

2. Achieving a goal is only a momentary change

So, you list Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Congratulations. Now what? You met your goal and this gave you a short boost of motivation. Now it’s over and you will come down emotionally. You need to set another goal. However, if instead, you develop a process mindset that you follow every day, rather than focus on that one goal, you will stay in a state of motivation and drive. Rather than experiencing those ups and downs associated with a pure goal orientation your mood and work load will be balanced.

3. Goals might restrict your happiness

Often people that follow the pure goal mindset believe that “once I reach my goal, I will be happy”. This isn’t usually the case. There is some danger that you will put off happiness, until you hit the goal. Why not be happy instead ‘within your process’? Events which are what some define as “goals achieved” might be considered simple by-products of your work and therefore not the main event. The main event is your process, which you can happily lean into every time you work.

4. Your goals might be at odds with your long-term progress

Don’t be like some athletes. They train hard until they hit their goal. Then they stop. Studies show that many people revert to old unhelpful habits after hitting a goal. For example, weight loss, or running a marathon. Why not instead build processes and habits that make you more like someone who monitors their weight every day, or someone who runs as part of their lifestyle?

About the author:

You can read more about the author of this blog by clicking this link - Stuart Neal Broker Owner & REALTOR® .

You can watch and hear Stuart share other ideas on his You Tube Channel: Stuart Neal Edmonton Real Estate Career Coach.

Follow Stuart on his Facebook coaching page: Stuart Neal Edmonton Real Estate Career Coach Facebook.

Want more information about becoming a team member or Associate REALTOR® with Ambergate? Call Stuart our broker owner at: 780-760-2014 ext. 3 or go to our Careers page - Ambergate Realty Advisors Careers.


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