Everyone loves a goal to achieve. Something to aim for to help push ourselves and to give us a feeling of accomplishment. However, it’s common to repeat the same goal setting miskakes which line us up for failure. Instead, we need to be setting ourselves smart goals to ensure success.

We often head towards our goals with the best intentions only to find that they become distant dreams we struggle to achieve. 

Why is that?  Some put it down to lack of willpower or passion, but perhaps it’s because we fail to plan and set our goals out the right way. What we need to do is set smart goals that get results.

Let’s take a look at some common goal setting mistakes, and what you can do to fix them.

Common Goal Mistake 1- Your Goals Lack Detail

Goals need to be specific. You need to really hone in on what you want to achieve. A few wishy washy notes here and there about general goals won’t cut it. Detail is key! What do you want? Why do you want it? How will you feel when you’ve reached your goal? These key questions need your attention. Sitting with pen and paper and visualising the end result, picturing yourself in the ‘goal’ moment will give your ambition emotion. 

Lack of detail when considering goal setting will make it very difficult for you to make any progress and therefore more likely to quit. Focusing on the nitty-gritty will help you know what needs to be done to make progress. By working on the specifics you are making smarter goals your more likey to succed with.

How To Be Specific With Goal Setting

Let’s say your goal is “to save money”, this is a great example as most people would like to have a healthy cash flow. The goal ‘to save more money’ is such a limited statement. This is a classic goal setting mistake, its too general and has no emotion attached to it. 

Instead, a smarter goal would be to think of what you are saving money for and how much you need. That is going to help you determine the right steps for saving that amount of money.

What are you saving for? How much will you need? Why do you need this thing your saving for? How will you feel once you’ve saved X amount?

For example, I want to save X amount for a holiday to —— ? I have always wanted to visit this destination. This holiday will bring me happiness and boost my wellbeing. I will feel amazing when I achieve my saving goal and spend my money on my dream trip.

This approach attaches emotion to the saving. You have a goal limit, a clear aim and are much more likely to make that happen for yourself.

Top Goal Setting Mistake is You Set Too Many Goals and Get Overwhelmed

The thing about goal setting is that its easy to get carried away with the process. Once you focus on your desires you may find yourself noticing that you actually have a lot of ambition. This is great! Life is there for you to enjoy. However you have to be realistic about how much you can achieve in a set timeframe. If you write down all your goals and expect success by the end of the year, your expecting too much. 

As the saying goes, ‘slow and steady wins the race’. Start with small manageable goals and for larger goals break them down into chunks. You need to work through your list a couple of goals at a time max. If you try to set 7-10 goals at once its going to be really hard to focus on them. This is a common goal setting mistake people make when wanting to improve their life, then quickly realize it is overwhelming and face burnout. Then what happens is nothing gets done. 

Small goals + actionable steps = Progress and success

You Aren’t Writing Down Tasks or Tracking Your Progress

A big part of setting smart goals is coming up with the tasks that need to be get done in order to achieve those goals, and then completing the tasks so you know what your progress is. Make sure you have a planner, journal, or printables that let you write down what tasks need to be done in order to achieve each goal. Be as specific as possible here, writing down the name of the task, what you need for that task, when it should be completed, and any other details that are relevant. Keeping a track of your progress keeps you motivated, celebrating the little wins along the way.

You Aren’t Being Realistic with the Schedule or Goals

While it is good to be specific with your goals and the tasks, you have to also be realistic. Keep in mind how much time you have, and what you can actually get done. If you find that you keep falling behind, then you might need to revisit your goal and see if it is realistic at this point in your life. The aim of goal setting is to achieve your goals and ambitions. You want to be successful and live your best life so following these tips will help you on your journey!

I would love to hear about your goals and how you plan ahead. Share any thoughts or other tips in the comments section below. 

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