Ever been disappointed by your results?
Have you ever found yourself being totally depressed by some results you got doing something?
While most often the frustration comes from the lack of results, it’s not uncommon at all to be frustrated simply because the results you’ve got aren’t exactly what you hoped for. So this is the situation when you actually are getting some good results, only for some reason you still feel frustrated about them. This is when you should know: it’s probably a good time to review your goals and expectations.
Goals and expectations must be set, reviewed and adjusted regularly
I’d like to give you just an example of what I mean. Since I’ve adopted personal development as a lifestyle, I’ve seen such a tremendous boost in my self-growth and general life enjoyment (and I was growing and enjoying my life to start with, trust me on this one!), that I definitely am happy I took this path. Still, there are moments now and then, when I feel frustrated about the lack of progress I make in some aspect of my personal development, and the more I analyze reasons for such frustrations, the more obvious it becomes: most of our frustrations are because of the wrongly chosen goals and incorrectly set expectations!
Another major reason for frustrations is simply not having enough attention paid to align with your goals. Whenever you have set your goals, make sure you get back to them now and then to realise if your actions are all aimed at reaching your goals. You don’t want to spend few hours, days or even months spent working only to realise that half of your efforts (and that’s a very optimistic estimate) have gone the wrong direction and didn’t bring your goal any closer.
The third really big reason for being frustrated with your results is because of the lack (or total absence) of the time you take to review your goals and appreciate the accomplishments. In other words, not only should you regularly review your goals and make sure you’re working towards and not away from them, but you also need time to appreciate the achievements. Quite often you are in a position when something takes longer than you expected. But that’s a planning issue, not a goal setting one. So it is important to review your achievements to make yourself feel better – if you know you’re moving in a right direction, and if you have a list of accomplishments, and if you see that there are few more things to be done before you can finally reach the goal – that should be motivating, not discouraging.
For instance, back when I was only starting my personal development experiments, I had set a number of immediate goals which were directly based on the most obvious sources of my frustrations back at the time:
- I didn’t like the constant lack of time – and so it was a reason good enough to read more on time management.
- Some of my daily plans were not realised in time – and so I had to make proper planning arrangements and come up with a task-tracking system.
- I wasn’t learning enough in some areas of my interest – and so I had decided to discover new ways to find the time and motivation to learning even more.
All these major and minor frustration sources made my first goal setting an easy task. But what happens now is that, having reached these immediate goals, I have to set and aim the new ones. And it’s very important to always maintain the focus and appreciate the work you’ve already done.
I have many days when there is quite a number of things left unfinished or not even started by the end of a working day. Having just a couple of unfinished things is already enough to be a minor frustration. And that’s the last thing you want to happen at the end of an otherwise successful day, isn’t it?
It took me a bit of a discipline to learn the habit of doing a full-day overview, involving both finished and unfinished tasks, before I could learn to stop my frustrations completely. It’s really this simple: don’t ever let an unfinished task shadow the joy of having all the rest things done on time. Focus on the results you’ve got and appreciate how they bring you closer to your goals!
Knowing your goals is really important
If you’re a beginner, just make sure you have some goals set initially and that you’ve given each goal a thought. As you progress and become more and more comfortable with your self-growth, start keeping track of your goals and appreciating the progress you’re making towards them. And once you feel absolutely comfortable doing this, start reviewing your goals, adjusting them accordingly and even set brand new ones!
So here’s a very simplistic view on my approach to goal setting:
- set and know your goals
- keep track of your goals
- review, adjust and set new goals accordingly
There is no winning formula for timing these three stages. Their importance will grow as you grow personally. But it is always a good idea to know and review your goals, cause doing helps you discover just how much you’re really doing, and how quick you’re growing and where.