How often do you set yourself a goal and then fail to achieve it?
Do you ever reflect on the reasons why you didn’t achieve your goal?
Now that we have entered 2013 the world has started setting New Years’ resolutions and goals for the year.
All too often, people set goals with good intent.
Unfortunately, statistics and real life experiences indicate that on the majority of occasions these goals are not actually achieved.
There are a number of mistakes that people make when they set their goals at the start of the year.
There are 5 key goal-setting mistakes that you need to avoid in 2013.
1. Your goal is too general or too vague
If you have done any kind of goal-setting before you’re bound to have come across the SMART technique of goal-setting. SMART still prevails as the number one method for goal-setting and for good reason.
To quickly summarise for those that do not know, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
If your goal is not specific and it is ambiguous in some way, how will you know when you have actually achieved your goal?
How do you actually know if you’re heading in the right direction?
For example, if your goal is to ‘become fit’, how do you actually know when you are fit? Are you taking tests? Is it when you can run 8 kilometres without stopping?
You should be able to measure your goals and track your progress. If you can’t, then it’s probably too vague.
2. Your goal is too difficult and not realistic
The SMART principle once again comes into play here.
All too often people set themselves goals that are far too stretching, either in competency and skill level, or in terms of time.
For someone to have a goal of writing a novel in the next 6 months without having any kind of previous experience would be extremely difficult (depending on the size of the novel and whether it’s to be published or not).
When the goal is beyond reachable, it simply acts as a de-motivator. Negative thoughts enter the mind and disbelief kicks in. This is the opposite of what a good structured goal should do.
Ensure your goal is achievable and realistic. Set small targets along the way so you can track your progress.
If you feel you are falling behind, reset your goal to something that is more realistic. There is no shame in reviewing and revising your goals. In fact, this is something you should be doing.
3. You are not committed to your goal
Many people set certain goals in life because they feel they have to.
For example, people set goals for achieving certain grades, for getting particular careers or meeting certain people.
However, on many occasions these are not the goals that the individual is actually passionate about.
The goals set are not aligned with their values nor are they their own goals – the goals are those that their parents or society wants them to have.
If you are not fully committed to your goal upfront, then you’re doomed from the start. You will lack the motivation and desire to actually achieve the goal.
Instead, think about what’s most important to you in your life.
These are the things that you will be excited and energized by and you will actually be motivated to achieve.
4. You don’t have a plan to reach your goal
If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.
If your goal is to start an online business, that’s fantastic. However, how are you actually going to achieve it?
You need to map your way towards your goal and with as much clarity as you can.
Sometimes clarity can be cloudy as you may have a lack of knowledge or skill in what it is that you want to achieve. However you can start to map the things that you can do to help you learn and grow and progress to where it is that you want to go.
For example, if you take the goal above of establishing your own online business, you might set yourself a target of reading 3 books and participating in 2 online forums that discuss online business.
Breaking your goals into smaller steps is essential for helping you track your progress. In addition, from a psychological point of view, breaking down your goals helps to motivate you and ensure that your goals are realistic and attainable.
5. You don’t take action
Without taking action you won’t get anywhere. Taking action is the most important part of any goal.
Even if you take action and you find you’re not getting anywhere, you can learn from your experience. Reflect and ask yourself the question ‘why am I not getting the results I want to achieve?’
Taking action not only progresses you towards your goals, but it helps you learn from your mistakes. I have no doubt that I will fail on many of the goals I have set myself – initially.
However, I also know that I will eventually reach those goals as my past experiences will help to build up my confidence, knowledge and skills in the things that I plan to achieve.
Taking action, learning from your mistakes and persistence are the keys to reaching your goals in 2013.
|Written on 1/13/2013 by Brendan Baker. Brendan Baker is an entrepreneur, performance coach and starter of happiness. He runs Australia’s largest social network for individuals in their 20’s and has created The Start of Happiness, a movement dedicated to helping individuals find absolute happiness, reach peak performance and achieve ultimate success in life. You can sign-up for the latest Change Your Life course and visit Brendan and The Start of Happiness at www.startofhappiness.com||Photo Credit: