Goal setting : Five reasons why personal and business goals can fall down, and how to make yours the exception.
Are you setting goals, but find something is missing and then find it all gets a bit too hard? Or you end up demotivated? Let’s turn yours around.
Most people don’t realise that goal setting takes a little practice…and that it is a skill. Which, if practiced regularly, becomes second nature over time, when planning big or smaller goals.
In reality many people become demotivated with their goals, or find themselves distracted, and part of that arises from confusion. And this can be helped by a little bit of planning.
Setting your goals in a different way, can make a difference in achieving the outcome you want.
In my experience there are five main reasons why goals fall down. Here I share those five reasons, and how to turn that around, to make achieving your goals quicker and easier.
The five reasons people’s goals aren’t set up for success:
- They don’t write their goal down
This is a big one! It you want to achieve your goals, write them down. There are numerous studies that support this as a crucial ingredient for success. Go on and do it. Write it down.
It creates clarity, motivation, and action.
The more frequently, you write them down, the better.
With your bigger business, career, or life goals, even if you don’t write them out daily, review them weekly. Keep them in sight. Vision boards and post it notes around your office, and home, is a great way of doing this.
- They don’t know their end result
There are three main parts to owning your goal, for ultimate success.
First, to know your end result, you might need to be honest about where you are.
If you need to, take a look at your current situation. Step on those scales. Look at your accounts. Review your relationships. Whatever it is for you.
It can feel uncomfortable to realise where you are right now. If you feel it will demotivate you don’t do it. However, for others it can help motivate you to close the gap. Creating the extra impetus to move away from that discomfort (the thing you don’t want), towards what you do want (your outcome). It also allows you to measure your successes, which again is key.
Second, it’s time to get crystal clear on the outcome you want.
What specifically do you want to achieve? Wanting a new job is vague. What will you do? How will you use your skills? What salary and benefits do you want? Where will it be located? What type of culture, or people, will you want to be around? Be precise. Focus on the detail. Write out your goal to include when it will happen.
Third, visualise your success. What does success mean for you.
What will success look like? How will you feel? What will change? What will you hear? Who from? When? What will it mean?
Not only will this extra level of detail ensure your goal has deeper meaning for you. It will also help keep you motivated, especially if you check in with it regularly. Particularly, on the harder days.
Knowing with clarity, what success looks like for you, will also help to ensure you know when you have achieved it!
Occasionally, when someone looks at this fully, they realise that the goal isn’t what they want!
They are perhaps looking for feelings, or recognition, that need to come from somewhere else. Or, that the goal isn’t theirs, it is what someone else wants for them. That is good too as you can redirect your energy into what you do want. At various stages of your goal, including at the end, check in to see how motivated, confident and competent you feel about your goal. If it is less than 8 on the last two, you can add in steps to increase it. If you are less than 8 on motivation, then either the goal needs to be tweaked or it might be you need to consider a different goal.
Once you have the detail, visualise your end goal. Make it real. You can then check in to this visualisation for motivation. From those moments when you need to make decisions about how you spend your time. Or when you are choosing between something that takes you towards your goal, or something that takes you away from it. By connecting into your goal, you can make better choices in this moments.
Go ahead and create your vision of success.
- They don’t plan for how to get there
All goals have steps. Creating checkpoints of success, along the way, also makes a difference.
So to truly get ahead with your goal, set out the steps that will take you there.
Each of these can be a mini goal, with its own deadline, like a marathon training plan. Or it might be a checklist of steps. You decide.
Remember to include two often-overlooked areas: resources and support.
Resources can include physical resources (people or things), or your own knowledge or skills. One step could include working with a personal trainer, investing in a course, hiring a new employee, or buying a new interview outfit. Another could be completing the course, sending off a CV, or attending your first bootcamp.
Support is the other often overlooked area. Yet, for most, this is important.
You want people around you that buy into your success, and your goals. Those that will show kindness, motivation, and tough love, when needed. It helps to also have some knowledgeable people around you who have gone through, know about, or are going through the same thing.
If you don’t have anyone to share your journey with, because they aren’t supportive (this happens a lot when people start to change for various reasons) it is hard. So go out and find the right support.
This can come from family and friends, someone at work, your coach, your groups, networks, or masterminds. Where can you find the right support? Time to find your biggest fans and cheerleaders (online or in real life).
- They don’t prepare for the hurdles.
If achieving goals was easy everyone would do it. All of the time!
First off, be kind to yourself when you do face challenges, and take a step backwards or sideways. It is perfectly normal.
One way of getting past that finish line, is to look at those potential hurdles and what might get between you and success, right from the start.
What could stop you? What habit might cause you to divert? What could cause you to stumble or take a step backwards? What is in your way?
It might even be a person. Who might be uncomfortable with a change in your behaviour, habits, or success? Who might try to dissuade you or try to make you feel guilty?
What about your own thoughts? Your limiting beliefs, and old stories? What might be you be telling yourself about why this is too hard?
For small business owners money mindset, loss of freedom, or loss of control often come up. For individuals, self-esteem, impact on relationships, and fear of ‘what if’s’ can crop up.
Forewarned is forearmed. You can make a change!
You can plan for it, get support, put tactics and strategies in place. Knowing what might come up means you can plan for how you can deal with it. Trying to tackle it when you are already having a hard time (with your goal) is not easy, knowing and planning in advance gives you a new position of strength.
- They forget to congratulate themselves
So often people only briefly recognise their achievement, if at all. Already moving onto the next agenda item.
Or they become demotivated by how far they have to go. Without looking at what they have achieved. How, far they have come.
When planning your goal, include how you will celebrate when you finally achieve it! And, how you will recognise and celebrate any milestone-goals you have set.
Celebrate all of your wins along the way. That time you made the difficult phone call. Stepped out of your comfort zone to make a sale, or a presentation. The moment you went to the gym in the rain and the cold.
The more you recognise your achievements, the more your brain associates achieving with good things. It then makes you want to do more of the good thing! It helps keep you going as the positives begin to mentally outweigh the challenging moments, and can drive you through them.
You have probably started tweaking your goals in your mind as you are reading this, or paused as you have gone along. Either way, well done! You are already that much closer to achieving your goal.
Now that you have done all that great work, one tiny tweak to seal the deal. Write out your new goal as if you have already achieved it – It is the [date] and I am [x] and [link emotions or other great points to your successes]!
Have fun with setting your goal. Be kind. Be strong. You can do this!
I would love to hear any changes you have made, and the goals you have achieved. Please comment below or join me over on Facebook for others working with their goals.
As always – get clear, get going, get it done and there is only One Life. Your Life. Live It.
Simona Hamblet is a Leadership & Lifestyle coach, trainer and speaker, working with individuals for successful careers, growing businesses, and leading fulfilled lives.
Her approach involves mindset and strategy (get clear, get going, get it done) whilst sharing her passion and maxim One Life. Your Live. Live It.