Goal Orientation, Task Difficulty and Task Interest: Effects on Setting Personal Goals | Psychology Today

How do task difficulty and interest affect our goal setting?

Source: Goal Orientation, Task Difficulty and Task Interest: Effects on Setting Personal Goals | Psychology Today

You failed? Good. Here’s what to do now.

You missed the target.  You totally botched a goal.  You tried to book ten sales calls but ended up only booking one.  You tried to lose 20 pounds but put on 10.  You went for a promotion but got fired instead.  In short, you failed.

I’m a big fan of failure.  I tell my kids, my clients and anyone who will listen that if you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried hard enough.  If you never fail, it means that you played it safe.  You left opportunities unexplored and cards still on the table.  Failing is not an insult or a dirty word.  You should wear failing as a badge of honor and courage.  Failing is the best education you will ever receive – better than Harvard – but only if you do it right.

Once you fail and please try bigger and bigger opportunities until you fail, here’s what you do:

1.) Accept it.  Admit it. – You screwed up.  You failed.  You blew it.  Don’t cover it up.  Don’t keep throwing good money after bad.  Tell you partner.  Tell you friends.  Put it on your Christmas cards.  No shame.  No blame.  It just is.  Now move to step 2.

2.) Damage control – Before you do anything else, did your failure create conditions that need to be addressed to prevent further damage.  For example, you tried to fix your own kitchen sink.  You learned that YouTube only gives you so much plumbing knowhow and you failed.  Go shut off the water and mop up the mess.  We are going to learn and celebrate our fails but make sure the water isn’t going to seep into the wiring first.

3.) Put it into perspective – Did you really fail?  Were you able to make positive things happen.  I worked with a group that was tasked to improve company efficiency.  That was their explicitly articulated and written goal, “Improve company efficiency.”  After months of trying to get a document management system installed they realized the vendor they were working with wasn’t right for the company.  They felt like they failed.  When I asked them why they felt that way, they said it was because they didn’t get the right vendor in.  I asked them to look at their written goal.  It said nothing about launching a document management system.  The process of look for a vendor found some simple process inefficiencies they were able to address which improved company efficiency.  Also, just because the vendor they found wasn’t the right one, nothing was stopping them from finding another one.  It was a fail.  It was simply a delay.

4.) Learn.  Learn.  Learn.  – Did I say learn?  Ask yourself a lot of questions about the fail.  How did you fail?  Why did you fail?  Who should have been involved that wasn’t?  Who shouldn’t have been involved by was?  What things would you try to do differently?  What things would you definitely do again?  Ask.  Ask.  Ask.  Talk it through with ever one involved.  Talk it through with someone who wasn’t involved.  Take a break and talk about it again.  Early in my career, an entire department failed.  The VP left in a scandal.   The entire department quit.  My boss took it over and it was a mess.  He had to hire an entirely new staff, myself included.  We met every Monday and talked through all the mistakes we made the prior week and strategized how to not make those same mistakes again.  It was a painful process but within a few months, we had an efficient and effective department that was easily accomplishing all of our goals.

5.) Celebrate – You should celebrate every fail because it led to learning.  Learning is celebration worthy.  Throw a party.  Some companies will throw a party and have cake when a product or initiative fails.  Enjoy it.

Ultimate Guide to Achievement | How to Achieve Goals

Good article on achieving goals.  In short:

1.) Plan – create what I cal an action plan and use what I call milestones.  Measure accordingly to both.

2.) deal with hiccups.  Stay determined

3.) focus on making progress

4.) get help


For more details, read the attached article:


To achieve my goals, I cannot simply go out running like normal. I have to begin by understanding my current status and building a plan that makes room.

Source: Ultimate Guide to Achievement | How to Achieve Goals

Proud Papa

I was talking with my seven year old, Sam.  I made some reference he didn’t yet have the background to understand.  He said to me, “I don’t understand what you mean by that.”

Then is struck me.  There is so much power in admitting you don’t understand but so few people are willing to admit it.  The person who admits to not knowing is ready to learn.  To grow.  To become more.  The person who is not willing to admit ignorance refuses to grow.  Life has offered them an opportunity to become more than they were and they rejected it opportunity.

Sam is quick to say he doesn’t understand or doesn’t know something.  Every time he says that, he is asking life to teach him.  He is demanding to take the opportunity given to him.  He never doesn’t understand the same situation twice.

Bumpy Life

Imagine your life rides on a cart with one wheel.  Each of the spokes on the wheel is a different aspect of your life; health, wealth, career, family & friends, spiritual connection, love/romance, etc.  The length of each spoke is determined by how satisfied and fulfilled you are with that aspect.  If each spoke is approximately the same length, then the wheel will turn smoothly and the cart will ride smoothly down even a bumpy road.  This cart will be easy to push and steer.  It is easy ride around potholes or ride right over a pot hole if you didn’t see it in time.

Now imagine that the spokes are of very different lengths.  One may be very long and several very short.  This is a very bumpy Even on a smooth road, the cart is going to bounce around.  It is hard to push and hard to steer.  It is difficult to avoid potholes with a bumpy wheel.

Additionally, moving from a spoke that is short to a spoke that is long requires so much additional effort.  For example, even if your career is going strong, it requires more effort to maintain that level of success when your love & romance spoke is short.

Making your spokes, your satisfaction with each aspect of your life, similar length with make your life run more smoothly.  It will make those strong aspects of your life easier to  maintain and enjoy.  It will allow you to avoid or better handle surprises that are outside of your control.  Focus on making your shorter spokes more equal to your more successful spokes to make your total life more fulfilling, enjoyable and energized.

List out each aspect of your life that is important to you.  Common aspects people list are listed above; health, wealth, career, family & friends, spiritual connection and love & romance.  On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is totally satisfied, rate each aspect and write it down.  Which aspect is the shortest?  This is where you need to focus your healing and productive energies.  Give this aspect your time and attention now.  This will make all aspects of your life more enjoyable and successful.