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3 Mistakes People Are Making When Setting Goals

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What goes wrong when goal setting? 

You’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down. (Dominican University Research)… but I’m sure most of you have realized writing down your goals doesn’t equal accomplishing them. 

The first step in accomplishing your goals is identifying what prevents you from achieving them.  For context, I helped over 170 people set goals last month, and when I see people struggle it typically ties back to these 3 reasons. 

Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Goal Setting: 

Mistake #1: Your goal is too vague 

For example, a lot of Moms have a goal that sounds like, “I want time for myself.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great goal but how will you know you achieved it? Is 10 extra seconds to yourself a success? To make it more specific it should sound something like…“I want 30 minutes for myself at 8 am M-F starting June 1st, 2022, or I want one hour for myself at 7 pm M-F starting June 1st, 2022.” 

“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” – Lou Holtz

Mistake #2: You set your goals too high 

I have definitely fallen into this bucket too many times to admit. I had to learn the hard way that setting massive goals can become extremely stressful. They either force you to put all your energy into that one goal and other more important areas suffer, or they can prevent you from creating important momentum. Setting low goals so that they are easily achievable early is the key to goal-setting; this was IBM’s quota strategy that helped their salespeople outperform everyone. 

John D. Rockefeller had a goal of being worth $100,000, eventually, he was worth over $1 billion, or $300 billion in today’s money. 

Mistake #3: Your goals lack personal meaning 

Often people make their goal something that should really be their habit. For example, “I will put my phone in my room between 9-5 on M-F starting June 1, 2022.” This could be your Energizing Habit but not your goal because it’s not inspiring. Your goal should reflect what your habit is helping you accomplish. Your goal could be something like… “I want to build my self-discipline so M-F I am able to be present during my meetings without the need to grab for my phone.” 

This Week’s Energizing Habit Will Help You Set Winning Goals:

Write your goal.

Re-Read it. Does it pass the checklist below?

  • It’s specific 
  • It gives you enough space and time to accomplish it 
  • It’s meaningful

If it fails any of the above, rewrite your goal so that it passes the checklist.

I’m a young founder/CEO -- after recently leaving my role as the youngest salesperson Globally at Spotify -- obsessed with applying Energizing Habits to reach my goals while feeling energized during and at the end of my days. I've built a Personal Growth club for young people, highlighting friendship and mentorship, including monthly social hours with growth-focused peers and monthly campfire conversations with inspirational leaders from wellness, finance, business, and spirituality. Repeat customers include members who work at top brands like Conde Nast, Google, Spotify, and others. I also work with a variety of employers, including Pinterest, OfferUp, NBCU, and others helping energize their employees.

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