Keep setting goals but never seem to make them happen? You are probably making one…or more of these goal-setting mistakes. Learn how to reach your goals by avoiding these common goal mistakes.
Setting goals is easy but turning that goal into a reality can be much more difficult. And when you are constantly failing your goals it can not only make you feel overwhelmed but it can also stop you from living the life you dream of.
Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone. You only have to ask a few people you know if they set any New Years’ Resolutions this year…and how many of them have actually reached their goals.
The good news is that you are probably just making one of the goal-setting mistakes in this post…which means it is easy to learn how to fix the problem and start making those amazing goals of yours happen!
Take a look at a goal that you can not seem to reach then read the 7 mistakes below.
There is an easy “How To Fix” action step after each mistake so you can reframe your goal and make it happen!
You may find that you have been making more than one mistake with your goals, but remember that it is so easy to fix.
If you are setting new goals in the future remember to keep these mistakes in mind so that you can create amazing goals that you are motivated to reach right from the start!
principles of goal setting
1. Your Goal is Not A Smart Goal
The very first thing to check if you can’t seem to reach your goal is that it is a SMART goal.
What does SMART stand for?
It is an acronym and simply means that you need to make sure your goals are all:
- Time Frame
Recently there have been studies that show you can take your SMART goals one step further by making them a SMARTER goal.
The E and R add Exciting and Rewarding to your goal. You can find out more about this when we take about finding your ‘Why’.
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Take a look at your goal. Is it a SMART goal?
It is easy to reframe a goal to make it a SMART goal.
For example, your goal may be ” Get fit and healthy”.
To make it a SMART goal you could think about an event that will give you a specific time frame while being measurable. Maybe you always wanted to run a marathon? or how about something fun like a Color Run? This will give you a date to work towards and help you create small, actionable steps to take on the way to making your goal happen.
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2. Your Goals Are Not Your Own
This one may sound a little strange… you’re setting the goal after all, so how can it not be your own?
Take a look at your goal. Is it something you really want? Or is it maybe a goal that has been influenced by others?
Some examples of goals that may be influenced by others can be:
- An achievement your parents or family always wanted for you.
- Wanting something because others around you have it.
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Take a deeper look at your goals. Is it something YOU really want, rather than something you THINK you should do or have?
It is not a failure to abandon a goal that was never really yours to start with.
If the goal was made because you were trying to keep up with the Joneses then it’s time to make goals based on your REAL dreams rather than appearances. Not only are you more likely to make these goals a reality but they will be much more fulfilling too.
If the goal was from feeling you had a duty or obligation to others it can be a little more difficult to give up on. Remember though that those around you just want the best for you. Try explaining what you really want to them, and how much happier this will make you.
3. Not Knowing Why You Want Your Goal To Be Reality
Making goals a reality is really hard work. One of the most common reasons people fail at a goal is that they give up on it.
So how do you stop yourself from giving up on a goal you have set?
Have a deep and meaningful “Why” you want your goal to be a reality.
It is very easy to set goals without giving much thought to Why you want them to happen. But it is this Why that is what really motivates you to make your goals happen. Giving your goal a strong meaning will help drive you through those tough times and keep you on track.
Making your ‘Why’ about what brings you joy, happiness and satisfaction is the secret to taking goals from dreams to reality. It is all about adding that E and R to your SMART goal!
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Take a look at a goal you are having difficulty making a reality.
Why do you want this goal to happen? How will this goal change, or better your life?
If your goal doesn’t light you up and gets you excited, your why may not be deep enough. Try re-framing your goal into something that really makes you motivated to make it happen.
For example, if your goal is to “make more money”…think about what you are going to do with that money that is going to make a difference to yourself and maybe others too. Changing your goal to ” Make $XXX this year so I can take my partner on the trip of a lifetime to Greece” is much more likely to keep you motivated.
4. You have too Many… or Too Few Goals
It can be very easy to set too many goals at once.
We all want big changes and we want them as soon as possible.
But just like multitasking has been proven to not be efficient, having too many goals is counterproductive.
By choosing just a few goals to focus on then you will be able to put more time and effort into making those goals a reality. It will also stop you from being overwhelmed…which can lead to procrastination and no action at all.
On the flip side. It can be just as much of a problem to not have enough goals!
Choosing fewer goals usually means that you are not pushing to better yourself. This can lead to stagnation. We should all aim to grow and learn with time and make the most out of life.
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Take a moment to look at your goals.
If you have too many then think about the ones that matter the most to you ( or will make the biggest difference to your life) and prioritize those.
You can always go back to the other goals once you have completed these more important goals.
Got the opposite problem? Think about some ways you can challenge yourself, remember they don’t have to be massive goals. Maybe there is a new skill you always wanted to learn?
5. Not Breaking Down Your Goals
Big goals make big dreams happen.
When you look at a big goal though it can seem very overwhelming and impossible to achieve.
The good news is that every goal has smaller goals within it. Taking these smaller steps consistently is what leads to you reaching your goal. There are lots of overused sayings about this such as “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step” …but that’s because it’s true!
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Take a big goal that makes you feel overwhelmed and think about how you can break it down into smaller actionable steps that you can achieve over time.
Remember to make each of these smaller steps SMART. Even if you can only think of the very first step to take that is okay. You will more than likely find that once you take that smaller first step, the next step comes more naturally to you.
Be sure to write down these small steps.
We have a great suggestion on where to write these further along in this post.
6. Setting Negative Goals
Why would you set a goal that is negative?
It seems at odds with making dreams happen, right? But you may be setting negative goals without even realizing it.
A negative goal is focusing on what you don’t want.
One of the most common negative goals is “I want to lose weight”. We already know from the previous mistakes that this goal needs reframing to make it SMART, and with a great ‘Why” but it also needs changing into a positive goal.
This could be anything from being able to buy an amazing outfit for an upcoming event to developing healthy new habits that give you more energy.
Making your goal positive…and into something you want rather than something you don’t help you stay excited and motivated about reaching that goal.
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Is your goal a negative goal?
Have a think about how you can reset this goal so that it has a positive outcome. Thinking about all the great things that could come out of your goal is a great way to do this.
7. Not Tracking Your Goals And Progress
It can be easy to only focus on the end point of your goal.
Taking the time to keep track of your progress allows you to look back on everything you have already achieved and how far you have worked towards your goal. This will help keep you motivated and keep you working towards that big dream.
Tracking your progress also has some other benefits. It allows you to see what difficulties you may have had so far in reaching your goals. You can then work on new strategies to help you overcome these difficulties.
Another one of these benefits is habit making..and breaking. Being more aware of your actions means you can change anything you do that is not in alignment with the goals you want to make happen.
How To Fix This Goal-setting Mistake – Find a way to keep track of your goals and progress ( we have a great idea up next) and make it a habit to track consistently. This may be daily, weekly or monthly for you. Adding a reminder to do this on your phone can help you create the tracking habit.
Digital Goal Planner
Want an easy way to help you stop making goal-setting mistakes?
Try a Digital Goal Planner!
Not only does prompt you to define your goals, plan the progress, and the steps needed to get you the results you want but it makes it easy to track how you are going.
Another added bonus to writing down your goals… according to Forbes “ people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals”?
Reaching your goals takes hard work and dedication. Using tools like a goal planner is a great way to help make it a little easier to achieve those big dreams.
Want To Make Your Goals Happen? Find out more about The Digital Goal Setting Planner HERE
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