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Do You Have Contradicting Goals?

Goal setting has the ability to make significant changes to your life through only a small amount of effort and a few simple changes. However, to do this you must set goals correctly, and make sure you work at them everyday. Without doing the things you need to do everyday, your goals will set there unachieved. The key is to be consistently persistent.

While there are many aspects to goal setting, one of the most important ones is to not to set contradicting goals. The thinking behind this is quite clear. If you set up a goal that contradicts another goal you won’t achieve either goal, or at best it will substantially reduce your effectiveness in a particular goal. This article looks at contradicting goals and show you to identify contradictions and address them.

To ascertain if you have set contradicting goals you must first have a thorough understanding of what it will take to achieve all of your goals, and a detailed plan of how you will achieve them. It is only when you know your goals thoroughly and know what is involved that you will be able to ascertain if any of your goals contradict each other.

A good place to start is to look at all of your goals (we assume that you have them written down!) and then to start comparing each one and seeing if anything stands out. It should be pretty clear if there are major contradictions. The two example below show you what some of the contradictions may be.

  • Example 1: Lets say you have a goal to be a competitive long distance runner. You may also have another goal to build muscle at the gym. These two goals contradict each other because to be a successful long distance runner you would want to have minimum body muscle.
  • Example 2: Another example may be that you want to live in a $1 million dollar mansion, but one of your other goals is to get a job that pays $60,000 a year. These two goals contradict each other.

While the above step seems pretty simple and obvious, it is amazing how many people don’t do this!

Another aspect of this process is at the very high level of goal setting. If you set high level goals in the key areas of your life: Health, Financial, Family/Friends and Spiritual/Cultural, and actively think about these four areas supporting each other, then there will also be less chance of having contradicting goals.

While there is no exact science to it, if you thoroughly know your goals and what it takes to achieve them, you should quickly be able to tell if there are any contradictions in your goals. It is important to eliminate any contradiction as it will stop you from achieving your goals. So put 10 minutes aside and look through your goals to make sure they are all working together.


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