Being able to manage multiple goals during your daily routine is a vital part of a successful life. These goals can be anything from improving your tennis skills, learning a new language or improving your grades. The process of pursing several goals requires effort, a reevaluation of plans, strategies, and goal commitments. Learning to deal with conflict by identifying various means that satisfy multiple goals is very important for your psychological well-being.
Many individuals have several different goals and are unsure on how to attain their goals in an effective manner. For instance, I would like to own a house and be able to travel the world at the same time, but I am unsure how to achieve both goals. This may be due to finances, personal relationships, or emotional turmoil. Pursuing one set of goals hinders my efforts at pursuing my other goals because my behavior is directed at one goal which is incompatible with the other. So how are we going to be able to multi task our goals in an effective and positive manner?
Goal conflict is when you are pursuing one goal that undermines your pursuit of another valued goal. Those who are contemplative and hesitant tend to experience goal conflict. The academic journal Motivation and Emotion described that the participants who experienced goal conflict in their study, reported having greater levels of depression, anxiety and hysteria. In contrast, those who experienced goal facilitation reported having greater levels of positive feelings, life satisfaction and were successful in achieving their goal.
Individuals who are action orientated tend to focus on their current task, protecting their goals from challenging demands, and are proficient at achieving their goals. Those who ruminate on other goals or unpleasant emotional states are less likely in being able to acquire their goals. Under stressful conditions, state oriented people have trouble deciding and acting on ways to achieve their valued outcome, which in return makes it more likely to view their goals as impossible to attain.
If you focus on the variable, it will prevent you from achieving the goal.
It is essential to distinguish between your set goal and your personal variables to gain understanding in achieving goal motivation. For example, do you wish to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month before your trip to Miami? You feel uncomfortable working out, but you really want to look good on the beach? At this point, it is important to keep your goal in mind and find ways to lose the weight to attain your goal. Here you have identified the goal, losing 10 pounds. The personal variable is you don’t like working out. If you focus on the variable, it will prevent you from achieving the goal.
Keep in mind, personal variables may be more important in determining the consequence of conflict on goal attainment then the goal variables. The ability to plan for delay gratification and manage stress levels are obvious. What is not so obvious but just as equally important is the ability to tolerate cognitive complexities.