So you’ve fallen short of achieving a goal. You acknowledged that it happened rather than denying it, and faced the turbulent emotions that arose in its wake. You’ve grown in empathy and humility, and you’ve reflected on where you went wrong and how to improve upon your next attempts.
The logical next step is to start fresh by setting new goals and going after them like before. But just because you’ve absorbed failure’s lessons doesn’t mean it’s easy to move forward. Discouragement will linger, but pursuing new goals in the face of discouragement can rekindle motivation. You’ll begin envisioning a new future for yourself while slowly shedding the old one, and your focus will naturally shift from the lost work behind you to the exciting new tasks before you.
Before setting your next goals, give them plenty of thought. How you set them can increase your likelihood of success just as much as implementing what you learned during the post-failure reflection process. Let’s dive into some ways you can recalibrate your goals so that you’re in the best position for success.
1. Same Goal or Different Goal? Stay Realistic
Start by determining what your next goal will be. Should you work toward achieving the same goal as before? Or have the lessons learned from failure revealed a different path forward? Persistence can pay off, but being realistic is equally important. Say “I want to be the best football player I can be” rather than “I want to be a professional football player.” The former is completely within your ability to achieve, while the latter is a reality available to only the very best in the world. If you’ve been hit with a particularly rough setback (e.g. a career-ending injury), it could be time to change course altogether.
2. Lean On Your Support System
Chances are you had a support system in place that helped you pursue your previous goal. Keep in mind that a failure won’t cause this support system to evaporate. Continue to seek their guidance while setting new goals; they can help you choose more feasible ones and help you build motivation to push harder for them.
3. Don’t Get Too Attached To Your “Future Self”
Rather than envisioning the fruits of success, strive to glean as much joy as possible in the work leading up to success. Doing so will yield more consistent results than the distracting (and potentially harmful) alternative, which is envisioning yourself as successful before you’ve even reached the finished line.
4. Keep In Mind What You’ve Learned
Remember to keep in mind what you’ve learned from past failures. These lessons will help you set new goals intelligently, just as they’ll help you achieve them. Note that certain goals will place obstacles in your way that may have impeded success in the past. Keep these obstacles in mind while setting new goals. Are you better equipped to overcome these forces this next time around? Or do you need to calibrate your goals to circumvent them altogether?
5. Stay Humble
Remember that humility is a key to success. Knowing your limits can prevent you from setting exceptionally lofty and out-of-reach goals, and help you keep your ego in check as you strive for success in the future. If you feel daring enough to set goals that reach beyond your limits, be ready for a challenge!
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Fear
After an especially trying failure, taking the leap towards another chance at success can seem daunting. Since we can’t control whether or not we feel fear at the prospect of striving for success, we must learn how to use it to our advantage. Allow the adrenaline rush that comes from putting it all on the line to drive you toward your goal with even more momentum than before. Coming out of the gate strongly and courageously can be invaluable, especially if you’ve set a goal in a competitive setting like entrepreneurship, sports, or the arts.
Growing Stronger Every Day
At Oats Overnight, we believe that leaning into learning is the recipe for personal growth and success. Embracing setbacks and growing from our mistakes is how we got started as a company and how we continue to improve each day. We invite you to join us by pursuing your own goals as the strongest version of yourself, fueled by a premium breakfast and backed by a community whose members help one another overcome the challenges of daily life.
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