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Goal setting is a process that, if done right, can do wonders for your personal and professional life. Goal setting can help you achieve your biggest dreams.
Unfortunately, sometimes goal setting can be a bit difficult to figure out and you can make various goal setting mistakes.
I actually found a great planner to help you set awesome goals if you’re curious:
In my personal life, I finally figured out some of the mistakes I was making when setting my goals.
I totally understand that not everyone’s an expert at it. I don’t even consider myself an expert (although I’ve gotten WAY better at it within the past six months or so). Goal setting is something that takes practice. And you’re bound to make mistakes along the way.
If you’re currently trying to achieve a goal and can’t figure out why you’re not making progress with it, this post is going to show you seven potential mistakes you may be making and some tips on how to fix them quickly.
MISTAKE #1 // You don’t have a big enough “why”
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” -Andrew Carnegie
Now you may be thinking, what is your “why”? Well I’m going to explain that right now!
You “why” is your emotional reason for working on your goal. It has to come from somewhere inside you.
If you don’t have a big enough reason “why” to work on your goal, then you will never achieve it. Because achieving a goal takes more than external motivation. You can’t be doing it for someone else. You have to be committed to your goal because you want to be.
Make your reason “why” as powerful and emotional as you can. It needs to be something that can pull you through the bad moments on your journey.
HOW TO FIX THIS: Take out a sheet of paper and list out all the reasons why you’re working towards your goal. Make sure your reason is really emotional and really strong.
MISTAKE #2 // You’re not taking any action
“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” -Arnold Glasow
This may be a pretty obvious mistake, but it makes sense. If you’re not taking any action on your goals, then you will never achieve it.
There could be a few reasons as to why this is happening:
- you don’t like your goal
- you’re not making it enough of a priority
- you don’t have a good reason why you want to work on your goal
Maybe you’re doing your goal for someone else or subconsciously your goal is something you don’t want to be working on. Whatever the reason is, inaction is a big issue when setting and achieving your goals.
HOW TO FIX THIS: Think about whether you actually want to work on your goal or not. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. If you do want to do it, go back to Mistake #1 and re-think why you want to achieve your goal.
MISTAKE #3 // You not being consistent
“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” -Confucius
This is a bit similar to Mistake #2, but it’s different as this applies to people who are taking action with their goals, but are not working on it every day.
Like Confucius said, as long as you’re making consistent progress on your goal, you will succeed eventually. Even if it takes you months or years to finally achieve your “big” goal, slow and consistent progress is WAY better than fast progress but you’re stopping all the time.
Distraction is a big killer of goals. Always keep your goals in the back of your mind!
HOW TO FIX THIS: Make a plan on how you’re going to be more consistent with your goals. May want to check out the goal setting planner I use to plan out my steps to achieve my goals.
MISTAKE #4 // You gave up
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. -Thomas Edison
One thing I’ve learned recently is that successful people never give up. No matter how far away their goal seems, they never stop working towards it.
I totally understand how hard goal setting can be sometimes. Life gets in the way, and other obligations such as work or school can make your own personal or professional goal seem insignificant.
But your goals matter. Don’t give up just because it’s hard. Life is hard. There’s going to be many obstacles in the way that will make you get close to giving up, but don’t.
Remember your reason for doing this, and keep it in the back of your mind when working on your goals.
HOW TO FIX THIS: Forgive yourself and get back on the wagon. Don’t spend too much time dwelling on your mistakes, but focus on the positives. Make a game plan as to how you’re going to fix this going forward.
MISTAKE #5 // You goal is too big
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” -Zig Ziglar
In order to achieve your goals, you have to make sure your goals are SMART. The “R” part of the SMART acronym is that your goals have to be reasonable: if you don’t have a reasonable goal, then it will be much harder for you to achieve.
Many people say to set big goals, and to dream big. Which is great, but unfortunately we’re human and we get overwhelmed easily.
So, I recommend making your goal a bit smaller so your dream is not as daunting as it may seem. Like Ziglar said, by planning out a proper goal, you already have half the work done. Then, all you have to do is take some action!
HOW TO FIX THIS: Split your goal into smaller goals.
MISTAKE #6 // You don’t have a deadline
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” -Bill Copeland
Deadlines are crucial to achieving your goals. If you don’t have a deadline, then you will never have a point where your journey will end.
It doesn’t even have to be a super long deadline like 6 months. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, give yourself 2-3 months to achieve that.
But not having a deadline just makes your goal seem never ending. You have to have an end date in order to figure out when to do which action steps.
It may seem counterintuitive, but think about someone who wants to run a marathon: you know when the race will be (ex. 6 months from now). Then, you’ll plan smaller goals each month to build up to it.
If you never have a deadline for your goal and just decide to not an end point, then you won’t have a clear path of how to break down the steps in the time needed so you can achieve your goal.
HOW TO FIX THIS: Make a deadline for your goal. Make it reasonable enough that you can actually accomplish it within the time frame and accounting for life in general.
MISTAKE #7 // You’re lacking a plan
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” -Pablo Picasso
Planning is so important when it comes to setting goals.
If you don’t have a plan for your goal, then you won’t have a clear idea on what the journey looks like. You won’t have a good idea of what the steps to achieve your goal will be.
Planning out your goals takes time, but in the end it’s worth it because you’ll have a better idea of how you’re going to achieve your goal.
HOW TO FIX THIS: Keep reading this blog post for my #1 goal setting planner recommendation!
MY #1 RESOURCE TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
My #1 recommendation to help your set and achieve your goals is the Slay Your Goals Planner, a 60+ page planner and workbook designed to help you set your goals and actually achieve them.
The Slay Your Goals Planner is totally awesome for millennials like us who need a way to plan out their goals better.
Some awesome features of the planner are that:
- Guiding prompts and reflections at every step >> You always have guidance when it comes to filling out the planner
- Multiple designs and layouts to choose from >> This is probably my favorite feature of this planner. Doesn’t it stink when you only have one layout to choose from? That does not happen here! You actually have multiple layouts for different parts of the planner, so for the to-do lists section, Nadalie actually created different layouts so you can use a weekly to-do list, a daily one, etc. This planner definitely works for various types of people.
- Printable as many times as you need >> It’s a digital copy so you have it forever
- Form-fillable on desktop and mobile devices >> If you’re like me, you don’t have a printer. But that’s not a problem here b/c the planner is form-fillable, so you can just fill it out on your phone or laptop on the go. Easy peasy!
- Date-free planner pages (!!!) >> for any week, month, and year, so you can use the planner whenever you like.
Benefits of getting this planner:
- Prioritize your time better
- Procrastinate less
- Gain the confidence to achieve your goals
- Turn your goals into easy actionable steps so you have a clear path to achieve them
- Save money buying a printed planner every year and reuse this one
Don’t be overwhelmed by the page count though, because Nadalie, the creator of the planner has a welcome letter to show you which pages to do and which pages you can skip (if you want).
This was definitely a big fear of mine when I originally bought the planner. It ended up being close to 80 pages long and I thought I had to fill out the entire thing, but nope. Nadalie specifically mentions which parts to choose from and which parts should be done for everyone.
I’ve personally used this planner and I really like it. It’s helped me become more intentional with my goal setting beyond looking up free SMART goal setting articles online. Also, it’s helped me gain more clarity on what I wanted in life, not just what I thought I needed to do.
Making mistakes when setting and working on your goals may feel defeating, but it’s not the end of the world.
Take the next step to achieving your dreams and grab your planner below!
NOTE: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a complimentary copy of the Slay Your Goals Planner for review purposes. All opinions are 100% mine and based on my own experience. I’m also an affiliate for the Slay Your Goals Planner, so this means that if you click on any links and purchase something, I may receive a commission off of it. Thank you for supporting PASSION BY GIRL!