How to Set Goals Without Getting Stuck With Tunnel Vision

So not only has this issue come up for a number of my clients, but it also came up for me recently. Actually, it came up TWICE, which can only mean it’s undoubtedly popping up for you as well.

I see it all the time. We do all the things that we should do when setting goals: Define the goal we want to acheive, then break it down into measurable actions. You’re probably doubting my abilities as a coach right now, aren’t you. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with that process, it’s actually what I take people through, HOWEVER, it can really go off the rails when you get so caught up on the specific actions, that the bigger goal is basically ignored.

A real forrest through the trees situation.

Here’s an example:
I had a goal to meditate regularly. To be completely honest, I had tried this goal at least two other times over the past few years and it never really took. Then, I started using Insight Timer and it became really easy for me. I learned that morning is best so I do it within the first 15 minutes of getting up. What I really hooked me with the app is the milestones. There is also a Consecutive Days counter and I was at 109 in a row!

Fast forward to Monday. I finish meditating and the Consecutive Days counter drops to 1. I HAD MISSED SUNDAY!

Honestly, my stomach dropped. My streak was over! But, then I stopped and rolled my eyes at my own self. The entire point of meditating was to feel more relaxed going into my day. And I was…until I got caught up in keeping a perfect streak.

I zoomed out and looked to the bigger picture of my goal: Setting a regular meditation practice. I had meditated 110 of the past 111 days. GOAL ACHIEVED!

Read This: 5 Apps to Build a Meditation Habit

Got time for one more real life example? Great! I use Goodreads to track the books I’ve read and the ones I want to read. Basically if anyone recommends a book I look it up on the app and if its remotely interesting I file it in my Want To Read list. Anyway, I set a goal of reading 25 books this year. I’m on track and a book I have had on my Want To Read list for well over a year was finally available at the library.

Setting goals can really go off the rails when you get so caught up on the specific actions, that the bigger goal is basically ignored.

I was excited about this, then noticed it was 500 pages. Oof. I am not a fast reader and there was this feeling like “Hmmmm that could knock me back from my goal.”

Hold up! The entire point of my goal was to prioritize time to read. The measurable aspect happened to be 25 books, which is a completely arbitrary number. If I am consistently making time to read, GOAL ACHIEVED! I’m nearing half-way and this book is so damn good! It’s totally worth it if I “only” read 24 books this year.

Look, I know it’s fun to track progress. It is a highly effective tool to motivate and stay consistent with your goals. But, please remember that the point of tracking is so you do not give up on yourself. If varying slightly in your methods and not hitting exact metrics is what makes you give up on your goal, or it creates unnecessary stress, let that crap go! Keep your big picture goal in mind and be aware of getting tunnel vision.

Read This: 5 Ways to Make Better Goals

You’ve got big goals and I want to hear them! I help Type-A women, my perfect planners, stop getting in their own way so they can actually enjoy their one amazing life while effortlessly meeting their goals on their terms. If that’s you, even if you aren’t totally sure what’s not working, let’s chat!

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