Are These Mistakes Stopping You From Reaching Your Goals?
Is there a wrong way to set a goal? Certainly having goals is a good thing. We all know instinctively that we need goals to succeed but if you’ve ever decided on a goal and been super enthusiastic about it only to either lose track of it or interest, it’s possible you’ve been making some common goal setting mistakes.
When I say common, I mean I see them every day in my work with my clients, and even with myself. These mistakes are contributory factors as to why people fail to reach their goals!
The good news is, I’ve gathered the top offenders I regularly see so that you can make sure that your goals count.
1. Setting too many goals
Ever heard the phrase “too much of a good thing”? It doesn’t just apply to ice cream. If you set too many goals, you’re spreading your focus too thinly. Too many plates in the air means you are bound to drop one. Not only does it mean less attention for your other goals, the feeling of failure that can arise from this one missed goal can affect your whole mindset and pull you seriously off course.
So carefully consider your goals and, as Warren Buffet famously advises, choose your top 5 and avoid everything else on your list.
Give your top goals all of your attention if you want to see them to fruition.
Personally, I suggest a maximum of five to seven goals for the year. I would pick three to five focus areas per year and plot your goals within those focus areas. Focus areas can be life, business, career, relationships, family, and finance.
2. Not writing them down
Studies have shown* that people who write down their goals are significantly more likely to achieve them.
It’s something that most of us know. But a lot of us ignore.
Writing your goals down IS more powerful but if you’re writing them down then closing the notebook and forgetting them you’re missing a crucial part. Write them down and REVIEW them. If possible send them to a colleague, friend, accountability buddy or mentor to keep you on track.
It’s this whole process that counts, writing, sharing and reviewing. Be sure to include all parts
3. Not being specific enough
“Sort out website” is NOT a goal it’s a vague intention!
If you’re thinking about a big goal, you’ll want to spend some time breaking down exactly what needs to happen and ideally by when and by who. You can check out my post on Creating a Vision that Gets Results here, to get you started.
When you have broken down the parts of the goal, start setting yourself deadlines. Put them in your planner or diary and make sure that you do at least one thing every day that will move you towards that goal - even if it’s a tiny thing, do it!
If you set a goal but don’t take any action, the goal’s not going to happen. If you set a goal and you set actions that are too big, it gets really overwhelming very quickly.
No timeframe? Goals are never going to get done. Too long of a timeframe, you start to become demotivated, and the shorter the timeframe you set – say you set a 90 day goal – that’s the quickest amount of focus you can get and with giving yourself enough time to complete the goal and keep you motivated.
So, break it down, schedule it, do it!
4. You’ve jumped on the bandwagon and set somebody else’s goals.
This is becoming popular with the increased time we spend on social media. What looks good for your friends might not be what gets you the result you need in YOUR life.
If you set a goal that you aren’t truly passionate about, it becomes nearly impossible to follow through on it - why would you want to?
When you find yourself setting goals refer back to your vision or long term plan and make sure that the goals match that purpose.
5. Not investing in your success
Achieving your goals will require you to stretch beyond where you are today. You’re going to need support, organization, self-management and personal development.
If you’re starting an online business, you might need to spend some money on a website. If you want to run a marathon, you may have to hire a coach. Making strategic investments might make the difference between you reaching your goals or not.
All of these can be goal slayers, but I have one more crucial bonus point for you:
Not believing you can achieve the goal. If you believe you can, you will, it’s that simple.
Now go set your goals!
I’d love to hear how you keep on track with your goals in life and business, you can comment below or join me and my community of Bold Leaders for the support and accountability you need to grow your business without burning out. Because if you’re a leader who wants big impact, you need the endurance to make it happen.
*Dr. Gail Matthews, Domincan University, California