Setting and achieving goals can give your life direction and purpose. But there are a number of common goal setting mistakes that can keep your efforts from being fruitful. So if your goals are leaving you feeling uninspired and like you’re not making any progress, you might be making one or more of these mistakes.
Goal setting mistakes
- You’re selling too many goals
- Your goals aren’t specific
- You don’t measure your goals
- Your goals aren’t attainable
- Your goals aren’t relevant
- Your goals don’t have a timeframe
- You don’t have accountability
- You don’t have a why
- You don’t have a plan
- You don’t take action
- Your goals aren’t for you
- You fear what comes next
You’re selling too many goals
One of the most significant goal setting mistakes is setting too many goals. It can be overwhelming trying to work on too many things at once, especially if they are all from different parts of your life.
I used to set myself at least seven different New Years resolutions at the beginning of each year. Although I was never that successful with any of my new year’s resolutions. And I think part of that is because there were too many to begin with.
Another reason I think I failed with my new year’s resolutions is there were all too involved trying to aim for a specific level when I should have started with something a bit smaller to ease myself into it.
Your goals aren’t specific
To ensure you reach your goals can be helpful to make sure that they are as specific as possible. Include things like numbers, timeframes and the resources involved. It can also help to have a detailed why behind your goal.
You don’t measure your goals
Not measuring your goals is like not measuring the ingredients of a cake. It’s Essential to track and measure the progress you’re making towards your goal. Measurable goals answer questions like how much, how many and often add a timeframe.
Your goals aren’t attainable
There is such thing as aiming too high or even aiming too low, for that matter. And getting it right can mean the difference between success and failure. It’s great to strive for improvement, but setting the bar too high is also setting you up for defeat. While aiming too low can leave you feeling underwhelmed with the results.
Your goals aren’t relevant
Goals that are relevant to your life, as well as your life stage, can make quite a difference. Ensuring your goal aligns with the direction of your life and doing something you actually want to be working towards. Ask yourself if its the right time, does this align with your values and does it seem worthwhile.
“We mistakenly believe that there is a lot of time left in the year, and we act accordingly. We lack a sense of urgency, not realizing that every week is important, every day is important, every moment is important. Ultimately, effective execution happens daily and weekly!”
Your goals don’t have a timeframe
It’s all well and good to have a time frame, but it also needs to be realistic. Decluttering your whole house in one weekend probably isn’t possible. But leaving yourself with a year to do the job is also probably too long. Breaking a larger task down into smaller actionable steps can also help you determine a suitable time frame.
You don’t have accountability
I recently realised one of the reasons I was struggling with my goals is because of the lack of accountability. Sure no one else might actually care about my goals. But without that external accountability, I was not making any progress. And I didn’t care because I wasn’t making any progress. I was the only one that knew about my goal, so why would it matter if I failed? So now I use an accountability partner to keep me on track.
It also helps if your accountability partner is also working towards their own goals, so its a reciprocal arrangement.
You don’t know why
Not having a strong reason for wanting to achieve a particular goal can be a dead giveaway when it comes to goal setting mistakes. And not knowing why can leave you feeling unsatisfied with your results even if you are successful. Learn what is important to you and why.
If you’ve been setting the same goals over and over again but keep coming up short, there’s a good chance it doesn’t align with your why. So take a step back and reevaluate why this is one of your goals.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
You don’t have a plan
It’s all well and good to have goals, but how are you going to achieve them? So without a plan, your goal is really just a wish. A wish that you are doing nothing about. There are a number of goal setting tools to help you plan and achieve your goals.
You don’t take action
You might have a plan, but that doesn’t mean it converts action. You can fill our planners and worksheets, but unless you actually do the work, you are no closer than when you decided on your goal. Breaking down your goals into smaller actionable steps can help get the ball rolling. Procrastination is the enemy of action. Just start.
Your goals aren’t for you
Sometimes we set goals because we want to be or have something else for other people. Some people go to university to study something specific, even if it doesn’t interest them, because that’s what their parents wanted. Some people join gyms or exercise more so they can fit in better with their friends, even though they are already comfortable in their own skin.
You fear what comes next
Sometimes our goals are so big that they scare us. And sometimes it’s what comes next that really scares us, so we avoid setting that goal. Starting your own business can be scary, quitting your job to go full time with your business is scarier. But not quitting your job in fear of what might happen next is a goal setting mistake.
Now that you know the different ways you might be making mistakes when it comes to goal setting, you’ll be surprised with the amount of progress that you make.