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3 Mistakes That Are Killing Your Goals

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3 Mistakes That Are Killing Your Goals

Have you ever wondered what differentiates people who reach most of their goals from those who fail?

A study of Harvard MBA graduates showed that the 3 percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent.

Let’s face it. Life is different as an adult. Back in the days when you were younger, you only had yourself to worry about and free-time actually existed, leaving plenty of opportunities to dream up and accomplish any goal that you wanted. But after life started getting crazy, you may have realized that goal accomplishments are few and far between.

It is not that you have stopped setting goals or stopped trying to achieve great things. Unfortunately, as you start having less and less free-time to focus on goals, you likely have made a few mistakes that have been killing your goals. And perhaps you forgot a few essential components that are required for establishing those goals.

 

1. Setting vague goals

The most obvious mistake that most people make with goals is that they are too vague. The clearest example of how people make this mistake is when they set a goal to reduce debt. This is a great goal for everyone to have but many fail to accomplish it. In fact, they often end up inadvertently increasing debt because of not being specific enough when making the goal.

Reducing debt is great, but most people never specify what debt they want to reduce. They don’t design a plan on how to do it. They never set a timeline and they never give themselves a measureable way to determine success.

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur

Making these mistakes not only kills your goals, but it can kill your wallet. Instead of making these mistakes when you establish your goals, be sure to be more clear about what you plan to do. Specify a plan of attack and prioritize small individual goals rather than one single, large one.

Give yourself a time by which your goal needs to be completed. This will provide a clearly defined approach to meeting whichever goal you desire. In the example of a goal to reduce debt, establishing a specific debt that needs to be paid and being able to measure success by the completion of one outstanding balance at a time allows you to systematically progress until all balances of the final goal have been reached.

In order to be certain that you are not setting goals that are too vague, you should answer the following questions about your goals to be certain you have a plan that can be followed and successfully achieved:

  • What specific component of my overall goal am I trying to achieve next?
  • How am I going to achieve this goal, meaning, what is my plan?
  • When should my goal be achieved?
  • How will I know when my goal has been achieved?

 

2. Not having accountability

Another goal killing mistake that a lot of people make is that they are not holding themselves accountable for their goals. For a lot of people, the goals that are easiest to achieve all have one thing in common – friends and family know about them. As an example, if you plan to return to school to complete a degree, your friends and family members are likely to know about this. Returning to school as an adult can be extremely stressful and may result in frequent thoughts of giving up. But if your friends and family know that you are trying to accomplish something to better yourself, you will likely have extra support to complete that goal successfully.

Going back to the debt reduction example, if this is not something that you are willing to share with your friends and family, you must make sure that you keep yourself accountable. You can do this by maintaining a spreadsheet on your desktop that can track payment progress and serve as daily motivation and a friendly reminder.

Goals

3. Setting unrealistic goals

Another huge goal killing mistake that people make is setting goals that are too ambitious and unrealistic. It’s great to dream big, but unrealistic goals could set you up for failure.

Goals that seem like they will be too difficult often never get started because of lack of enthusiasm or desire. These goals keep getting pushed back until they eventually are forgotten. Nevertheless, goals that are too easy are not the better alternative. These types of goals also remain incomplete because of a lack of enthusiasm to begin. If you know you can do something with ease, there will be no surprise or sense of accomplishment as a reward. Therefore, there is no incentive to begin.

Many times people will set one huge goal and get frustrated that they have not achieved it in the timeline in which they had hoped. In order to avoid getting caught in this goal-making trap, you should make smaller, precise goals rather than one large one that will encompass many components. This allows for more careful planning and more opportunities to track your progress.

As an example, imagine you set a goal to thoroughly clean your entire house and you want to have it done in one weekend. While this is an excellent goal, you should not just leave your goal planning in this stage because you may become very disappointed when you cannot achieve this timeline. Instead, you should set a number of mini goals that you know can be completed in a set amount of time. After careful planning, you may realize that you can only complete 1 or 2 rooms per day. As a result, you may need more than one weekend to accomplish your goal. However, as each weekend passes, you will be able to track your progress toward the completion of the overall goal with each mini accomplishment.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

If you have been having trouble accomplishing your goals, be sure to always consider the common mistakes that kill your goals and do your best to avoid making them.

  • Don’t forget to write down your goals.
  • Do not set vague goals. It is always best to be as specific as possible.
  • Do not forget about keeping yourself accountable.
  • Make sure you have friends and family members who will support you in your goals.
  • If you prefer keeping your goals quiet, set up a daily reminder and self-motivation plan.
  • Do not set unrealistic goals. Goals that are too unreasonable will certainly never be met while goals that are too easy are likely to be forgotten.
I hope you are able to find my article useful in your life. Please comment below!

George Meszaros is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Success Harbor, a business hub dedicated to provide advice for small business owners and startups through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also cofounder of Webene, a website design and marketing company.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Fab Single Mom

    Jun 24, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Great post. It is absolutely true that when your friends and family know you are more likely to follow up on what you said you will do.
    I love your last point and that is very hard sometimes. They tell us to dream big but then we have to decide where big is crossing the border of not realistic.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. Robb Mann

    Jun 17, 2015 at 10:40 am

    George,
    I can so relate to these goal killers! It seems that all three are found together most times doesn’t it? Simultaneously we really want this amazing result; like your house cleaning example (only we want it done right now!), we’re not sure where to begin (and really don’t give it much thought), and we have no pressure on us to get started right now (Your extremely organized friends aren’t planning to stop by anytime soon). We just know we want it, really, really bad! It’s almost as if we actually only want to want it! Maybe that is our goal in these cases, to want it. This strong desire feels so much like a goal, but really it’s just a powerful emotion.

    So I say, if you find yourself in this situation where you REALLY want something and don’t get started on it for… MONTHS, then restate it as a new goal. Here it is: Goal: To INTENSELY desire to clean the house, right now, as if my organized friends were stopping over today. Now, mark it off as DONE. Boom! Feel the win?

    Ok, now a new goal. find five things that you can put away, throw away, or give away. Today… When you get to 5 check it off! Set the same for tomorrow. And so on. Write the daily goal down, and check it off when done.

    If we make the process our goal, we can feel the win earlier and more often.

    Thank you again George, very good stuff! Keep up the great work, it’s inspiring!

    Robb Mann

  3. Alex

    Jun 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I really agree with what you said about setting unrealistic goals. I see and hear of people all the time who set out to increase their salary by 100% every month. When it doesn’t happen, they give up. The key is to increase your salary by 10%, and then another 10% after that, and so on. Setting unrealistic goals just sets you up for failure and disappointment. Patience + realistic goals = success. Nice article!

    -Alex

  4. Chamaka W. Ranasinghe

    Jun 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Very specific about how to set a goal and a wonderful description of how to achieve it. Great article! Thank you so much.

  5. Jamelle Sanders

    Jun 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Great advice! Clearly defined goals greatly improve the odds of success.

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Life

8 Things You Can Do to Rise Above Failure and Attain Success

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Highly successful people have tasted failure more than success. Whether its Nikola Tesla or Michael Jordan, everyone had his/her fair share of failures before rising to the pinnacle of success. Yet, most people I know are averse to the idea of failure.

When ambition fuels your desires, you become so conscious about avoiding failure that you forget to learn how to cope with it when you actually experience it. So, when you come face-to-face with adversity, it often overwhelms you.

This brings us to the question, how can you train yourself to overcome these difficulties and use them to your advantage? Here’s how:

1. Acceptance is important to overcome failure

When the going gets tough, one of the most frustrating things you may get to hear is “stay positive.” The idea of positive thinking has been misconstrued, misused, and abused continuously. Contrary to popular belief, positive thinking has nothing to do with smiling and being happy with everything that happens to you all the time. Anyone who preaches that is either lying or crazy.

Use positive thinking to learn, grow, and evolve from the experiences we gather in life. Positive thinking simply means that if you are faced with a setback, you work hard to overcome the challenges. When you experience hardships, it is alright to feel upset and disappointed. Our objective, however, is not to stay down.

2. Be honest with yourself

The most crucial part of dealing with a failure involves pausing for a couple of minutes and pondering over what happened. You need to be completely honest with yourself on why it happened.

It is easy to pull out the Smartphone, turn on the laptop or find other forms of distraction. Most people would do anything to distract themselves and keep their eyes shut to the mistakes they have made.

However, if you don’t confront, you don’t learn. And if you don’t learn, then you are setting yourself up for failure again. Albert Einstein famously stated that it was insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. If you don’t derive a lesson out of mistakes and failures in life, then you are doomed to keep repeating them, whether you realise it or not.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

3. Don’t beat yourself up over a temporary setback

When you have experienced a setback, many of you may succumb to the feeling that you’ll always keep failing. It is easy to convince yourself that you are indeed a failure. Don’t let such destructive ideas or thoughts creep into your head. Instead, keep reminding yourself that just because you failed today, it doesn’t mean you’d fail the next time as well.

It is also important that you treat your failure as a passing phase. When you keep moving forward, focus on the right things, and keep learning. Perceiving the setback as a temporary phase rather than something permanent is vital to developing an optimistic attitude in life.

4. Focus on nurturing and improving yourself

Failures don’t discriminate, and it comes to everyone at some point. The trick lies in learning to deal with it and what you do about it that makes all the difference. In many cases, failure happens because a person wasn’t prepared, didn’t invest time on planning or was ill-equipped. It can also be because Lady Luck decided not to shower her favours.

Except for the last one, the rest of the issues can be fixed. Prepare a list of all the things that you think resulted in your failure. Start working on them one at a time. Do everything in your capacity to rectify, improve, resolve, and develop.

5. Find inspiration and support in abundance

Interacting with someone close can be more helpful than you think. You can also learn from people who have been through similar situations and have achieved what you hope to. Gain insights on how they managed to sail through the setbacks or low-points before and during the moment of success.

Or you can gain the motivation or enthusiasm by listening to someone else from an audiobook or podcast for maybe 30-60 minutes. It doesn’t have to be focused on your current setbacks.  Change your mood and mindset back towards optimism again.

6. Adopt a constructive approach and learn from the adverse situation

Consider it as valuable feedback and take home something you can implement in the process of overcoming your failure. The following are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What is the lesson for me?
  • How can I rectify myself to avoid making the same mistake and do better next time?
  • What can I do to enjoy guaranteed success?

You don’t need to rush through the process. Some of the answers may be immediate, while others might take an hour, a day or even a week to pop up. The significant thing is to start thinking about the situation from this perspective. Also, you need to be constructive about things rather than getting stuck with denial, negativity and apathy.

7. Stop mulling over and move on

Processing the situation and accepting it is the ideal way to deal with failures. Any individual who has experienced failures will know that it is quite easy to stay stuck in the loop of similar thoughts. In fact, this may go around and around for weeks or even months.

Now, in order to be free from this trap, the one habit that might help you is the set of questions like the ones shared above. You can also create a rough plan for how you wish to move forward from here. So, take some time to sit down and write them down.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

8. Purge out all the negativity

Another impactful way to handle the emotional meltdown and the thoughts that emerge from experiencing failure is to purge out all the negativity. In order to let everything out, you need to confide in someone close to you. There are two ways to go about it: Engaging in a conversation with someone will allow you to see it from a different perspective. The person you talk to can assist you in grounding yourself in reality again and motivate you to look for a way forward.

Or you can simply vent about it while the other person who is listening can sort things out for you. He/she can help you accept what happened and boost your spirit by instilling a sense of hope.

The significant thing to remember is that while you can’t stop obstacles from appearing in life, you can devise smart ways to handle them. If you persevere, you can easily discover opportunities that have been waiting for you on the other side. Now, as you become more efficient at dealing with the failures, you will allow yourself to see the positive side in even the toughest of scenarios.

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?” (more…)

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Life

The Truth About the Law of Attraction

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When we want something, we generally imagine the form it will take when it manifests. If we’re not careful, however, we can find ourselves attached more to the imagined form than the actual desired outcome. This is like placing an online order and expecting it to come in a blue box shipped by UPS. If we then receive a red box delivered by FedEx, we might not realize that it’s what we ordered, and never even open it!

For example, most of us say that we want money, but when money comes in the form of a free coffee or a gift or a discount, we don’t see it for what it is. We overlook it, and maybe we even say “No, thanks” and decline the gift which is, in one way or another, still money. In doing so, we fail to appreciate the value of the discount, the gift, or the freebie. If it isn’t cash being handed to us, we don’t see it as a manifestation of our desire.

The law of attraction is a funny thing.

It is much more complex and much more intricate than what it seems to be and yet, at the same time, it’s so very simple: We always get what we want. We always receive more of the energy at which we vibrate. Always.

However, if we’re acting from the energy of “I don’t deserve it” or “I don’t think I’m worthy,” then whatever it is that we receive will be negated and essentially unseen. On the other hand, if we are open, observant, and maintaining an abundance mindset, we will receive our request on numerous levels and from plentiful sources!

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

This is because we “place our order” not only through our words, but through our actions, our beliefs, and our thoughts.

Last month, I was open to receiving a new client. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I’d set my intention: I was going to get a new client. That night, out of nowhere, I got a message from an old student of mine. She was looking to hire me again as her coach for the upcoming college entrance exams in the U.S. But wait! I didn’t want an entrance exam client.

What I actually wanted was to get life and business coaching clients. This student was my “red box from Fed Ex.” I wanted to decline at first, but as I was about to reply, something made me stop. I asked myself, “Why am I rejecting this?”

This student is an amazing client. She pays on time. She’s not needy. She does her part. Best of all? She doesn’t short-change me. So I said yes, because I realized that the Universe was simply responding to the essence of my desire.

You see, my “Big Why” in everything I do has always been to facilitate an accelerated personal and business growth for my clients, and this student fit the bill in every way. She wanted the personal growth, she was ready to go all in and she reached out to me.

It didn’t look like the package I was expecting so I didn’t recognize it at first—and I nearly turned it away—but she was the perfect answer to my request.

Serving people like her has always been a driving force in my life.

The Universe knows that. It also knew that I wanted a client asap so that I could re-invest the money into my business, so it responded in the most ideal way… but in an unexpected form. And I came so close to missing it!

How many times have I missed other opportunities like this? How many times have I dismissed a “red box” because it wasn’t “blue?” I’ll never know. But I do know that, had I not stopped myself from sending a “No, thanks,” I would have felt as though the Universe wasn’t listening.

That’s the thing: the Universe is always listening.

The more open we are in receiving, the more we thrive. The more open our energy is, the greater the possibilities. Don’t just return that red box to the post office and keep waiting on a blue one. Ask yourself, first and foremost, if what you’re receiving at the moment matches up with your underlying desire.

See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.” – Rhonda Byrne

The key is to be willing to receive anything and everything. How? Keep on reading1

1. Get clear on your “underlying desire.”

Identify exactly what it is that you really want—in my case, it was an ideal client (underlying) as opposed to a coaching client (surface)—and focus on that. Clear out all the mental noise and static that clouds your awareness.

2. Be flexible

Keep your eyes and mind open for anything that fits the description. When you ask for money, recognize that free coffee for what it is: $3 you were going to spend anyway, that can now remain in your pocket. Every penny on the ground, every coupon, it’s all money.

3. Keep an attitude of gratitude.

The more you appreciate what you have, the more that comes your way. Your grateful mindset opens the energetic door for more to flow your way, because “where attention goes, energy flows.” The more you focus on the things you want, the more you will draw them into your experience.

Remember, that the Universe responds to our requests in whatever way fits best within the big picture.

It’s a picture so big that we couldn’t possibly begin to see how it comes together. Trust it. Know that when you ask, you will receive. It may not come in the form you anticipate, but always in a form that responds to your underlying desire. You just have to be ready to see it.

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Life

7 Simple Ways to Master Your Emotions When Making Decisions

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A lot of people have big regrets when lying on their deathbed. These regrets are often related to bad decisions or decisions not taken. Thus, as it turns out, decision-making is dependent on great self-confidence. A person who has confidence in their decisions has an easier time making them.

Emotions also play a big role in all of this. This is a debate that has confronted two great thinkers. According to Descartes, “decisions are the product of the rational mind.” In other words, decision-making is essentially based on facts and mathematics.

But this thesis was refuted and proven to be wrong by Antonio Damasio in one of his works called “The Error of Descartes”. This was partly based on the story of Elliott, a kid that was very smart, who had above average rational capabilities, but incapable of making a decision, after a surgery to remove a brain tumor on the surface of his frontal lobes. After all his work in that matter, he concludes that a person who is incapable of emotion is incapable of making the most rational decisions.

The management of emotions is therefore completely inherent to good decision making, especially when making the most important decisions. To this end, here are 7 tips to put into practice to really master your emotions thus making the best decisions possible and never regreting them.

1. Take a step back

You must learn to take the time to identify and understand your emotions. Since physical reactions are emotionally related, also take the time to detect the reactions you have to some of your emotions. To be able to take the distance necessary to make decisions, it’s important to refer to your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of ​​the brain responsible for reasoning. To do so you need to put yourself in a stress-free environment for a few minutes.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent and committed decision.” – Tony Robbins

2. Breathe

The best way to do this is to learn to breathe deeply. This will allow activating your prefrontal cortex again, therefore, to have better control of your emotions so you do not react to them, let alone to the event that causes these emotions. Do this exercise for at least 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can train yourself never to react, no matter what the situation. Ideally, let at least 24 hours go by before responding to a situation that would normally cause tension.

3. Pay attention

Once you are in the prefrontal cortex, put one hand on your abdomen, at the level of your intestines, and the other hand on your heart, and take the time to listen. These two parts of the body are the two major centers of vibrations and emotions. This is why it’s important to listen and pay attention to them.

The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of your gut and heart. What you need to remember is that the only person you need to trust is yourself. By practicing this exercise, one thing will become very clear: what the emotion you feel seeks to convey to you about the decision you have to make.

Since everything is energy, first make sure that the vibration of the decision you are about to make and that of your heart and gut are in sync. You will then know whether to go ahead with your decision or reject it based on whether you feel serenity or heaviness.

4. Discern untruths

It is important to know whether your nervousness is the result of an untruth you’ve told yourself. These can corrupt the vibrations that should help you make the right decision. You have to throw out all of these untruths and come to the decision-making without any filter. Stop thinking that you’re unlucky, that you’re in a bad situation, that your life is a failure, or that you are a victim.

5. Become aware of your emotions instead of avoiding them

To become aware of your emotions, you must learn to coach yourself. Ask yourself questions: How did you feel the last time you had to ask these types of questions? What did you get in return? Rename what you felt and the result you obtained from what you decided to do. You will thus be much better at assimilating, understanding, and welcoming your emotions.

6. Be as present as possible

There is no point in focusing on the big events surrounding the decision you want to make. Concentrate instead on the present moment, without analyzing the events. Judge based on emotions rather than the event. By being more present, you will be better able to listen to your emotions and feel them.

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell

7. Make your emotions your allies

Each of your emotions speaks to you through the physical and physiological reactions that they generate in you. Look to the weight of their impact on you as an indicator. Only by listening to them, using them, and managing them can you manage your emotions.

Habit comes with practice. With time, these 7 points will become much more natural and will become automatic. You will make better decisions for yourself.  This is one of the best ways to not end up with one of the big regrets.

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