Shifting Goal Gears: Stay Flexible, Stay On-Track

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It’s nearing the end of January! How are your 2018 resolutions tracking? Some research shows just 58 percent of resolutions survive the first month, and only 9 percent of people over all report achieving a New Year’s resolution.

Some of that failure probably has to do with not choosing the right goal in the first place. And less-than-great strategies can be the downfall of other goal attempts. But if we had to guess, we’d bet most lost goals die for lack of shifting gears.

This is the third goal management skill we teach Camp Fire kids and teens. When things start to get tough, when strategies aren’t working, when goals are failing, we encourage them to make smart changes. Thanks to cultivating a growth mindset, we know failure is an opportunity to learn. Camp Fire helps youth discern whether to keep pushing for the same goal with different strategies or to choose a new goal while maintaining their passion.

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Want to learn how to shift gears, too?

Here’s how:

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  • Substitute Strategies. Go back to your original goal strategies brainstorm. Are there some ideas you haven’t tried yet? Are any adjustments you can make to your current strategies that might make them more effective?
  • Seek Different Help. Are there experts you haven’t asked yet? Friends or family who might have an unusual point of view? New books, podcasts or articles you haven’t researched? Sometimes all we need is a new perspective to hit on a new strategy.
  • Adapting Others’ Strategies. Do you know someone who’s accomplished a similar goal? Or someone who shares some of your personality traits or circumstances who has had success reaching theirs? There’s no shame in borrowing game plans to see if they could work for you, too.
  • Change Goals. Sometimes our original goals just aren’t realistic. (Or aren’t realistic yet.) Sometimes life intervenes in ways beyond our control. It’s a sign of maturity to be able to recognize loss, accept and learn from it, and move to a new goal. That new goal can be a needed intermediate step to your original goal, which now becomes a longer-term ambition. Or it can be something entirely new. Remember, it just needs to be meaningful, realistic, stretching and draftable.

Have you needed to shift goals in pursuit of your goal? Tell us about it in the comments!

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January 22, 2018

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