Sometimes your goals may be in competition with each other.
For example, the goal of eating healthy may cost more money and maybe in direct competition with saving.
Eventually, one goal will win over another. The result is that a goal drops by the wayside.
So, what can you do to prevent this as both goals are important to you?
The answer is to create compromise or overlapping goals.
Let’s look at my goals for the remaining of 2019 and see which goals are in competition and how to resolve them.
My goals to date
My outcome goals are:
- Hit the 160 lbs weight target, and
- Finalize two research papers for publication (not submission).
My habit goals are:
- Write one blog post every week/day to teach my readers.
- Use cash for all purchases. Pay for all necessities only. If I cannot afford something then I do not get to purchase using my credit card. Pay twice the minimum amount each month.
My habit goal of cash for all purchases and paying for necessities only is to not use my credit card so that I don’t add to the debt. I also need to pay at least twice the minimum each month.
The not adding to credit card debt is in direct competition to lose weight to 160 lbs as eating healthy in my country is often more expensive than eating junk food. Eating healthy and paying off credit card debt both compete for the same resource: money.
I also want to publish research papers and build a productive scientific author’s career. This is in competition with writing blog posts. The two goals compete for time and energy resources.
Resolving my competing goals
So what is one to do?
First, one of the two goals will occupy more mental space; figure out which one does. Then create compromise goals or research strategies that allow you to meet both goals.
Very often we do not research strategies to accomplish both goals at the same time before executing. As a result, we often give in to the goal that occupies more mental space.
For me, credit card debt occupies more mental space than losing weight although it is not as stressful as losing weight. My compromise is to eat more healthy without going into more debt. Therefore, I will buy vegetables and fruits but they do not need to be organic. Also, meat tends to be more costly than vegetables and fruits. I will have 1 meat meal per day instead of my usual two meat meals. The meat meal will be for lunch while dinner will be vegan.
Also, food can waste and could end up costing you. So, one habit I will build is eating food that I already have in my fridge before buying any more. So now I have strategies to achieve both weight loss and paying credit card debt.
The other competing goals that I have are being a productive scientific author and writing blog posts. Both compete for time and energy. For me, writing blog posts is more fun. I am not making any money from my blog. My income is solely from my salary as an assistant professor.
Any promotions are dependent on my productivity as a scientist and that is measured by the number and quality of published scientific articles. In this case, I have to give priority to my scientific writing.
The compromise if to do the money-making work followed by the fun work. The fun work then becomes the reward for the money-making work. So, once I write my scientific articles each day then I can write for my blog.
This resolving of competing goals helps with executing the actions towards the goals. The goals remain the same however, how you conduct the actions each and every day makes a difference between accomplishing the goals and not.