“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.” Michelangelo

How easy is it for you to achieve all the goals you’ve set?

If you’re like many people, achieving goals is not easy and by the end of the year, you have a list of goals not achieved or New Year resolutions that are still pending.

One or more of the following goal-setting mistakes are to blame if you haven’t been able to set and achieve goals easily.

7 Common Goal-Setting Mistakes

#1: Setting unclear and vague goals

The first rule of goal setting is to make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). This will help you have a clear idea of the end result you’re seeking.

For example, “Lose weight this year” is not a clear goal, but “I will slim down to 60kg by 31st December 2016” is a SMARTer goal.

Goals that are not SMART are simply dreams, and dreams that are SMART are goals.

#2: Having unrealistic expectations

Sometimes we set goals that are too ambitious for our current situation. We aim too high or set too many goals at once. While a goal should stretch you out of your comfort zone, it should not push you right off the cliff.

Going back to the weight loss example above, wanting to shed 50kg in one year may be difficult unless you’ve signed up for a program like Slimpossible where your weight loss will be closely monitored and controlled by experts.

A more realistic goal would be “I will slim down by 24kg by 31st December this year” because shedding off 2kg a month is possible, even on your own.

Also remember to work on one main goal at a time until you become an expert goal achiever, after which you can start working on multiple goals at the same time.

#3: Not writing your goals down

If you’ve thought out your goal and even made it SMART, but it’s all in your brain, then your chances of achieving it are almost nil.

Follow the advice of Brian Tracy, a leading goal setting expert, and always think on paper. Take time to prioritize your goals and then put them in writing.

#4: Being too rigid

While it’s OK to have SMART goals, you need to be flexible when working on them. When you work on your goals rigidly, you miss out on opportunities that come your way – opportunities you hadn’t thought of.

For example, one of my clients set a goal to open a workshop for her interior design business. In the course of the year, she found someone making one of the core products she was going to produce in the workshop.

This supplier does a great job so my client opted to use the supplier instead of opening a workshop. It saved her money, time and the headache of managing staff.

[Tweet “Work on one goal at a time until you become an expert goal achiever.”]

#5: Lack of action

You’ve set your goal, created a plan to achieve it, and then done nothing about it. Without action, nothing will happen.

And sometimes, we get too focused on creating the perfect plan that we end up with ‘analysis paralysis’ which leads to a lack of action.

As the saying goes, a half-baked plan that’s implemented has a bigger impact than a well-baked plan that’s not implemented. Take action on your goals and don’t wait for the perfect time.

#6: Focusing on the wrong things

A lot of people spend their time working on goals that either belong to someone else or will not make a difference in their lives in the long term.

Women are especially good at working on things that their husbands or families think would be great for them.

A good question to ask yourself before you set your goals is, “What would make the most positive difference in my life if I were to achieve it within the next 12 months?”

Ask yourself this question over and over again until you have a list of 10-20 items. Prioritize the list, make goal #1 your main focus for the next year, and start working on it now instead of waiting for January 1st.

#7: Not keeping track of your goals

Setting your goals doesn’t mean that you will achieve them fast. It takes time and the larger the goal, the more time it will take to achieve.

Just as organisations conduct yearly employee performance reviews, you too should take time to review your goals regularly.

Do the review yearly for mid and long-term goals (2-5 year goals) and monthly for your yearly goals. Take time in the middle of each year to conduct a mid-year review. This review can produce surprising results as one of mine did.

To make the reviews easier, break your main goal into monthly and weekly goals. Then use the weekly goals to create your daily tasks so that you’re able to keep track and make changes fast if need be.

Consistent tracking of your goals will keep you alert. This will in turn help you identify when you’re making one of the goal-setting mistakes identified here.

How can you get unstuck and make progress on your goals?

Goal achievement experts recommend that you set your goals and work on them diligently from the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, this is not possible for most people who lose momentum as the year progresses…and they give up on their goals.

A great way of maintaining focus on your goals is to work on them in 90-day chunks. This means that you set your main goal for the year and then break it down into quarterly sub-goals.

When you use this 90-day process, you will make massive progress on your goal, reduce chances of procrastination, and keep yourself motivated all through.

It can be quite confusing to do all this on your own, which is why I’ve created a low-cost program to help you figure it all out. In this class, you will also learn how to avoid or recover from common goal-setting mistakes.

To sign up for the next class, click this link:
Goal Setting for Peak Performance

It’s time for you to move to the next level.

(Image credit: zirconicusso at Free Digital Photos)

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