How to Fall Madly in Love with your Goals (personal development finally made fun!)

“The likelihood of reaching a goal is determined by the passion you feel in its pursuit.” ~KW (Tweet Quote)

The goal-setting statistics are really quite miserable.

Even though those who set goals make twice the annual salary as those who don’t, a quarter of all us goal-setting types reset the same failed goal year after year. A whopping 92% of goal-setters never reach the goals they set.

And then there’s the emotional fallout from once again standing on the scale at the end of the year and seeing just about the same numbers as at the beginning—another unnecessary slap in the face.

Why are we so repeatedly and predictably falling short?

To some extent, the problem is likely in the nature of the goals we’re setting. In other words, are you working to overcome a problem or working to develop an existing talent? Success (and your happiness with the process) can depend on how you answered that question.

How to improve the odds

Experience has made it clear that insofar as happiness is concerned, if presented with the choice of either improving a strength or overcoming a weakness, go for the strength.

We stop struggling to reach our goals when the goals we set are the things we already love doing. (Tweet Quote)

Not only will you enjoy doing what you already enjoy doing (most of us become increasingly passionate about the things we’re progressively good at),  you will also stick to it longer, spend more time working on it, will therefore be more likely achieve your goals and find more joy and happiness in the process.

This shouldn’t be taken as an excuse to toss our weaknesses on the nearest shelf and proudly display them as trophies. It just means there’s more joy in building what we can already do than working to overcome something that has already shown itself to be a stubborn weed in the flowerbed our lives.

Removing Salt

Think about it this way: Would you rather paint a wall or scrape the paint off of it? If you have ever scraped paint from anything, I’m confident the answer came pretty quickly.

Not only will painting the wall be a heck of a lot easier, less time-consuming or physically draining and more likely to be finished in a reasonable amount of time, just a few minutes of shoulder-killing wall scraping will likely get us looking for excuses to do something less painful (like climbing Mt. Everest in a snow storm in the dark in a Speedo).

So if you want to lose weight and enjoy swimming, forget the weight and work on improving your stroke or your time instead. If you hate public speaking but love writing, take a creative writing class instead of a public speaking course. Improve the chances of personal growth by pursuing growth in areas you’re already good at.

“Over the years, I’ve learned that a confident person doesn’t concentrate or focus on their weaknesses – they maximize their strengths.” ~Joyce Meyer

Pouring a teaspoon of salt in a cake mix, after all, is infinitely easier than taking it out. When we work to overcome our weaknesses, we are similarly working to remove the salt from our lives—a much more daunting task.

So by no means should you ignore the major stumbling blocks that keep tripping you up. Doing so can keep you stalled on the lower rungs of the ladder you’re trying to climb. But if you’re looking for an emotional lift as you pursue self-improvement, focus more time and energy on strengthening your strengths than weakening your weaknesses.

Not only will you be more successful getting to the end of the row, you will have a heck of a lot more fun getting there!