Are you goal obsessed?
There is no denying it – hitting personal goals feels great. The growth of self-development reinforces the sensations of personal growth and sensations of success. There is good reason why we pursue a better life and vision by breaking these steps into goals. For some it is the pursuit of a better career or study and for others it might be in areas of health. The options are limitless and this is why we love to improve and engage within the goal setting cycle.
With a clear vision, motivation and purpose our emotional state becomes enlightened and life more enjoyable, it’s easy to see how people get crazy addicted, despite those pesky setback problems and unforeseen challenges. Are you obsessed with goals? Here are 5 signs that you should be in a goal setting rehab center.
1. Goals have to be done no matter the cost.
Top of the list is the behavior and drive of a person who will not stop or give up until the goal is complete and done. They will step past a dying person to achieve their goals (actually a true story when looking at the history of climbing Everest). You may already have experienced others with this trait but have you checked your own behavior to see if you can be equally guilty?
For this reason I ensure at JAMSO we promote SMARTER goal setting to replace the SMART goal setting system. The extra E in SMARTER is for ethical behavior and methodology when chasing goals. The original system is a product of its day when first written in the early 1980’s; times have changed so ensure you double check the methodology taken for your goals.
2. You have always gone from one fad to another, but this one is different.
A classic sign of a goal setting addict is their constant chasing from one goal to the next. Have you become fixated with the process of setting goals and enjoy the dopamine effects of success rather than the end destination and long-term strategy and vision you could be pursuing? If so then you are at risk of showing one of the biggest signs of being a goal setting junkie.
Check for denial performing a self-check for this sign. Have you established just a goal or is it part of a wider strategy and balanced/linked to a broader purpose in life?
3. Achieving this goal will allow me to fit in.
Goals are great for helping success and achievement. The potential down side to this outcome is the abuse of goals for the wrong purpose. Specific cultural pressures and personal ambitions and desires highlight people pursuing goals only to fit in and move up a specific social ladder or fulfill the needs to be liked and respected. This sensitive sign goes deep into the original purpose and reasons for the actual goal itself.
Question yourself why you are pursuing the goal and have a specific goal. If the reason points towards an emotional feeling of achievement by being accepted by a perceived social group then you are likely to have some addictive traits in your behavior.
4. People cool off to your mood swings
Have you been blowing hot and cold recently? Are you sure? Do you find most other people do not understand why your goal is so important? Have you needed to jump a queue or over take someone or skip an action so that your goal is attained but had to yell some common sense into others to do it?
If you have not noticed the any of the above points then consider if some of your friends and people you interact with are busy with their own lives a little more than normal. You see, you might have been placed in the cooler.
A passionate and obsessed goal setting might portray some negative emotional signals that make others cool off from their interactions. If this is happening to you then pull into check your actions and accept responsibility for your behavior quickly.
5. The only people you know are people with the same goals.
Have you forgotten your family and old friends? Have the invites to parties and social events dropped away or have you decided to ignore them and replace them only with ones of those others with the same shared goal? For a short term, this can be perfectly acceptable and the right thing to do. Cramming for a final exam or completing a significant project or mastering a specific skill may require periods of isolation and immersion with others within your chosen specialist field.
When this isolation behavior becomes normal and sustained over a long time, then considers the true purpose and impacts your goal is having upon the wider aspects of your life.
At JAMSO, we find this last sign a more subtle one that creeps up on people and takes time to identify. Maybe consider asking an old friend or family member if they feel you have become too obsessed with your goal.
Do you recognize these signs in your own emotions and behaviors? If the answer is no then great, you have control and a reasonable balance and perspective for goal setting.
If the answer is yes, then you are not on your own. There are an increasing number of people feeling the need to become more of a success and at the same time have a perfect position of happiness in personal and professional lives.
The truth of course with any addiction is serious and a more rounded approach needs to be taken even with your self-development and goal setting approach.
A wake-up call needed within the self-development industry
The original intent of this article was written from a blue sky creative process. Simply a random but connected idea for an article to be shared and written. Once I started to review the headline and consider its content I realized I had sub-consciously hit upon a growing and serious issue within the self-help industry. Yes, I used the word industry. You see, self-improvement, self-help, self-development are all part of a service sector to help people fulfill their needs for a better live and reach their maximum potential. The challenge the sector has is its own competition.
How does one provider of goal setting service compete with another who claims a 10x success? Well, 11x, 12x, or other audacious claim? So this in turn sends a signal to the market consumer (you), that these ideas and tools are perfectly within your reach. Indeed some great good is provided and many test cases with justify the means and process. However, just like the startup world, for every 1 huge businesses success will be many other companies that failed. For the one person who achieved a miraculous transformation there will be many that fail following the same methods.
So, beware of the tools and marketing to drive your expectations forever higher and thus feeding your potential to become a goal setting addict.