Beware! The tunnel vision consequence of goals

It’s important to set goals, they give us focus, they keep us on track, we can measure our progress against them and if the goal is right, our lives should become better by striving toward them – even if we fall slightly short of achieving them.


Setting goals focuses the mind on the objective, that’s the point to them, it creates a tunnel vision approach to achieving the objective. It can be a good thing but it begs the question, what therefore isn’t focused upon as a consequence?

We call it tunnel vision but it’s not limited to our eyes in this context. Our brains in general will focus wholly on that one objective and everything else isn’t just a distraction, it’s often ignored and not considered.

You may have encountered this on a basic level if you’ve been heavily focused on reading something and then someone talks to you but you haven’t even heard them. Your brain has prioritised processing what you were reading over what your ears heard.  Your brain will close out anything that it doesn’t consider to be related to the objective when you set focused goals.

For example, setting a goal around increasing the average spend per client might well focus you and your team on up-selling opportunities but what if client happiness goes down as a result? What if the up-sell wasn’t something the client really needed?

This is why at AVN we recommend using a resource called the AVN OnePagePlan, let me explain…

Rather than having just 1 – 3 key goals as many businesses do the OnePagePlan resource ensures that you consider the key drivers and underlying success drivers.

Considering these important factors will ensure that you’re not being so tunnel-visioned on a goal that other parts of your business or your life begin to suffer.

Those various drivers will be made up of cold hard factual data such as (in business) sales figures and expenses perhaps but also, intangibles such as happiness of clients and team.

A goal should be treated a little like an organisation chart (pictured), below the key objective there are many drivers of differing types.

If you’re an ambitious Accountant running an established Accountancy Practice that you’d like to make more profitable but you’re not achieving your goals and objectives or your dreams why not come along to the ‘Putting Excellence Into Practice Masterclass’ for Accountants.