What are the Pros and Cons of Goal Setting?

A lot of discussion has been made in various domains as to how setting a specific goal helps you to have better success rate in your undertakings. However, it is also to be mentioned that goal setting does have some negative impact too, and not everything is perfect with this motivational method.

Most of the times though, in order to glorify this system; people do not mention the disadvantages of setting goals in life. Thus, here is a list of pros and cons of goal setting, which will help to decide whether to set a goal, if not why and if yes then till what limit –

pros and cons of goal setting

The Pros and Cons of the System of Goal Setting

Like all other paths of discipline, this too has some positive aspects as well as some negative aspects. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the system, which will show how it is not right to unnecessarily glorify, or unreasonably critique it

Pros of Goal Setting

Constructive Performance

When someone sets a goal, it helps them shape their performance accordingly. That is, it helps them to have a clear vision as to what exactly they want, or what is expected of them. Then, strategies can be planned accordingly and people can work towards achieving that vision, or the goal that has been set.

Decides Priority

The second advantage of this system will be, that it helps one identify a specific priority. This is important because, at times people have trouble in finishing their job, because they are not aware of their priorities. Hence when, this priority is well defined, they strive harder to achieve it. There is lesser distraction this way in achieving a goal.

Gets Aware of Strength and Weakness

Thirdly, when one sets a goal that implies that they have more awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, and therefore can work accordingly. However, this becomes a bit problematic when one is given a pre fixed goal, unless the person setting the goal is quite aware of the other person’s quality.

Cons of Goal Setting –

Getting Pressurized

Among the disadvantages of goal setting, the first would be the enhanced pressure on the individual. This is more of a problem if someone else sets goal for another individual, because they might not be aware of the fact how the individual works, or what are their strengths and weaknesses. Now, without knowing this, imposing a goal on a certain person can be disastrous. Moreover, at times, even individuals set unrealistic goals for themselves, and when they are not able to meet those goals, they feel more pressurized.

Brings Feeling of Failure and Depression

Because achieving a specific goal means that a person has a sense of accomplishment, it also follows that, not being able to achieve the goal will mean that they will have a feeling of failure and self doubt. This kind of feeing can also lead to various mental or performance related disorders. Hence, it is probably a good idea, that an individual, after such a failure takes some time out and evaluate the problems that they faced, while working towards the goal.

Hence one is probably justified in saying that goal setting does have some negative influences too, but if one is able to cope with the pressure, they could do well by following this system.


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