The final months of the year are a great time for establishing goals for the upcoming year, but goal setting can be done anytime. The best time to start is NOW!
To reach your goals, it’s important to know why many people miss the mark. Here are 9 common traps that snag people and make your goals fall flat. Avoid each one!
9 Traps to Avoid with Setting Goals
Trap #1: Lack of Clarify & Dreaming
Take the time to clarify what you REALLY want and don’t succumb to pressure from others. Dream big! Are these my goals or am I trying to impress someone? Am I playing it safe, or trusting that great things can be achieved if I focus?
Trap #2: Not In Writing
A goal that is written is 10 times more likely to be achieved. If you know what you want to achieve but write nothing down, you’ll most likely forget to focus on the target.
Trap #3: Too Complicated
Your goals should be phrased in the simplest and most concise language possible. Brian Tracy, an expert on goal-setting, says you should write your goal so that a 6-year old can understand it.
“The simpler the statement, the faster your subconscious can go to work on it. The rule is a child should be able to understand your goal and tell it to another 6-year old child, and that child should be able to tell it to another 6-year old child.” – Brian Tracy
Trap #4: Too Many Goals
You’ll feel overwhelmed and shut down when you have too many goals. It’s good to dream about improving all areas of your life, but you must prioritize. Focusing on more than 3 goals at a time is too many.
Trap #5: Unrealistic Goals
Sometimes people aim at things they’re not equipped to achieve in the period of time they desire. Run your goals by success-oriented people who can help you see if they’re doable. Maybe it’s a 2-year goal when you think it can be achieved in 6 months.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
Trap #6: Hidden From Others
The right people need to be aware of your goals. You need external accountability. I do best when some strategic friends consistently ask me about my progress. When a goal is written and shared with a friend for accountability, success is 100 times more likely.
Trap #7: Hidden From Yourself
We write down our goals and then we forget about them because we never look at them. Set them up as reminders on your phone. Post them somewhere in your office, inside your car, and on your bathroom mirror. Looking at the target frequently will keep you focused.
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Trap #8: No Celebration
Sometimes reaching a goal is the reward in itself, but often you need more. When you celebrate achievement, that trains your brain and increases your motivation for your next goal. The reward can be small (e.g. a meal, new clothing item, coffee mug, etc.) Make a list of ways to reward yourself and attach a specific reward to each goal. Here’s a worksheet on creating ways to reward yourself when you reach goals.
Trap #9: Stuck in Anxiety
You might have anxiety that needs to be addressed. Anxiety causes all kinds of issues with avoiding the important things in life. Getting at the roots of your anxiety will free you to focus. A skilled counselor or coach can help.
Not making progress in at least some areas of your life (relationships, career, financial, social, etc.) causes depression. Furthermore, everyone, if they’re honest with themselves, wants progress. Nobody wants to remain stuck. When we advance towards goals, increased happiness and life satisfaction is an eventual result. Decide to make this next year a huge success!
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