Why goals fail

Nora Akins

There are a number of goal setting practices. SMART, published in 1981, is still used today. Defining Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound aspects of the goal is still a popular model. SMART, as well as other goal-setting models use information to develop a clear statement of intention. These models often fail because they don’t answer “why.” Knowing why makes it emotional, it ties to who we are and want to be.

It’s been determined that people have a trait to be either approach-motivated or avoidance-motivated. People who are approach-motivated may exercise to be fit; while those avoidance-motivated may exercise to avoid being overweight. The goal may fail if it doesn’t match the trait. Linking the goal to how the person is motivated connects to who we are.

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