Avoid the Perfection Perspective

Avoid the Perfection Perspective

Missing goals is a drag.

From business, to personal, to physical… I have missed a LOT of goals I have set for myself over the years. Some of these misses stemmed from setting unreasonable goals in the first place. (Did I really expect to run 100 miles without the guidance from a coach the first time I tried with my longest race prior to that attempt being a 10K? That might have been poor goal setting.)

Others were just misses. And they definitely have gotten me down over the years.

However, there’s something to consider when missing a goal.

How far did you actually come to your target? Could you celebrate that journey a bit more?

See, what most of us tend to do is get tied up in the all-or-nothing thinking (called “splitting”) associated with cognitive distortions.

We look at not achieving 100% of what we set out to accomplish as a TOTAL failure, as opposed to actually a really good effort. Perfectionism rarely begets perfection – only disappointment. One’s ability to be truly perfect with anything is a fool’s errand. So stop setting perfection as the bar!

One trick you can use to override the desire for perfection is to celebrate early. If you set a goal to achieve a certain milestone, celebrate when you are 90% of the way there. This trick can actually inspire us to complete that other 10% and if not, we still made it 90% of the way to our goal.

Just because you set your sights to say… book $50K in sales last week and only made it to $45K, doesn’t mean you failed. It means you just didn’t nail that original benchmark. There’s a lot of success to be celebrated in getting close to your original goal.

The challenge with setting big goals from the perfection perspective is that if we start to slip, we tend to abandon the effort completely. If a miss – however small – is a “failure” then why not miss big and just do nothing?

Get yourself out of this trap by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, abandoning perfectionism, and embracing pragmatism. We are, after all, only human.

“We don’t abandon our pursuits because we despair of ever perfecting them.” ~ Epictetus

#goalsettingtips #entrepreneurship #celebrateearly