I love goal setting. From conjuring up a desire and making it a target to formulating an action plan to help me bring it to life. With all of the human behaviour study I have done as well as the endless hours of conversations with clients about setting goals, I’ve discovered that while there is no “right way” to set goals, there are big mistakes to avoid if you want your goals to stick.
Here is a run down of the top 10 traps I see many people fall into on their goal setting path. (Look out for my tips on how to avoid them and what to do instead)
Making the goal too vague
Visualisations, dreams and wishes can be vague. They are what we desire, they are what our heart is calling us towards. Goals need to be the concrete stepping stones that we lay to help us get to our big dreams. Goals need to be easy to understand. The goal “I want to love myself more” or “I want to find clarity” is too conceptual. What does clarity look like? What will loving yourself look like?
Tip: Test your goal is specific enough by answering this question: How will you know you’ve achieved it? If you can’t answer that, you need to get more specific.
The goal not aligning to what they truly want
I remember speaking to this vivacious real estate woman who had grand visions of living in mansions with an expensive yacht parked out the back. But then in the very next breath stating that she’d be happy with a small veggie patch, a dog named spot and a man to love. The problem is she didn’t truly know what she wanted. One desire was driven by how others would see her and the other desire was driven by what her heart was actually calling her towards. Your goals need to be for YOU. No-one else. Because you are the one who will ultimately do the work, so you need to be working towards something that is going to make your life better.
Tip: Ask your genie. Pretend you have Aladin’s lamp and the genie grants you 3 wishes. Dream big.
Not making the goal measurable
All goals need to have an element of numbers attached to them. For example, I want to lose 10kg or I want to get $1,000. Because if your goal is “more money”, when someone gives you $1, you can say “goal achieved”. But we both know that you were aiming for more. So make sure to add a level of measurement next to your goal.
Watch out! The goal needs to make you sweat a bit. An easy goal won’t be motivating enough and won’t help you grow. Dream big and put big numbers next to your goal!
Ignoring the mindset work
Albert Einstein once said that we cannot solve problems with the same level of thinking that created them. The same can be said about goal setting. You cannot expect to make any progress on your goal if your mind is still saying “this isn’t possible. You’ll never achieve what you want. You don’t deserve to be happy. blah blah blah”. Sorting out your mindset is a HUGE foundation piece of goal setting. It’s so big that I’m actually running an online workshop to share exercises to get your mindset in the game. Make sure to sign up here to get all the goods.
Tip: Look at people that have already achieved what you are aiming for. What beliefs do they have that have helped them get to where they are? Study their mindset and adopt some of their beliefs.
Giving up after a week
We live in a world where instant gratification has become expected. If we don’t see results straight away, instantly we think it’s not working or we can’t do it and we give up. But what would happen if a farmer gave up watering her seeds after one week if she didn’t see any sprouting? We’d have nothing to eat. The best things take time.
Tip: Stay focused on your desire. Keep connected to how GOOD it will feel once you’ve achieved what you want. Act AS IF your goal has already happened.
Not reviewing action steps
Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is a sign of insanity. But so often I see people set goals, take action but then not look at what didn’t work. You need to get really honest about what worked and what didn’t work. Reviewing all action you’ve taken will help you to learn, grow and evolve. As well as actually reach your destination.
Tip: Create a list of what action you need to “Stop Doing”, “Start Doing” and “Continue Doing” based on the results you’ve achieved already and what you’ve noticed work for others.
Keeping it all in their heads
Now, let’s be honest here. How many times have you thought your goal in your head but not written it down? Successful goal setting is born through making a commitment and writing it down. In fact, when you look at the most successful people, most of them will tell you that before all of the success came a plan. They wrote down what they wanted. So it’s time to get your goal out of your head and down on paper.
Tip: As if this isn’t obvious….grab a pen, grab some paper and start writing. It’s ok…I’ll wait.
Making it too easy
I mentioned this above, but it’s worth making it a point all on it’s own. Easy goals are not motivating. They are not inspiring. They certainly don’t get you excited to take action and make shit happen. You need to put a bit of skin in the game. You need to make goals that get you excited and nervous all at the same time. The best goals leave you wondering “I don’t know how the hell I’m going to make this happen”. You are capable of amazing things, you just need to be tested at an amazing level to discover that.
Tip: Think BIG here. Don’t let the thought “that’s impossible” to enter this space. Go for the moon
Not course correcting
We change, we grow and we evolve. So therefore it is understandable that our desires change too. You might begin working on a goal but then half way through stop because all of a sudden it no longer interests you. It’s ok that the target has changed but don’t loose momentum. Maintain progress but just check in with yourself. What target would feel better? What would be an even better goal right now?
Tip: Create some space to allow yourself to tune into what your heart is saying. Meditate, go for a walk – whatever will help you get some peace and quiet to go within.
Pushing vs inspired action
This is all about the energy with which we approach our goals. If we have an energy that is all about “pushing” and hustling and needing to make things happen like yesterday, it will actually repel our goal. That energy screams “I don’t have the exact thing I want right now”. It halts all kinds of manifestation and stops the process from being fun and easy. Instead, you need to approach the goal with an energy of “of course it’s going to happen. Like it’s actually already done”. From that space, where you believe it is a done deal, your heart will show you some amazing inspired action steps to take.
Tip: Join my online workshop where I talk more about inspired action and how to know the difference between that and pushing.
So there are my top 10 traps to avoid when goal setting. I trust these have helped you and if you realise that you actually do a few of these, now you can make a simple shift.
And make sure you sign up to come to my online workshop all about Goal Setting. How to get clear, focused and motivated to take action towards the life of your dreams. Sign up here.