Over the past few months, we’ve talked about how we are going to tackle our goals and dreams drastically differently in 2014. We’ve also talked about a process I call RPM to help you identify and build a plan to hit your goals. Now, let’s talk about why some people fail to achieve their goals (so it doesn’t happen to you).
I have found these 7 common reasons people fail to achieve their goals:
1. The goals are too many and too big. Yes, it is possible to set too lofty and too many goals for yourself! Some goals can take months and even years to achieve. If you have too many of these, you will probably stretch yourself too thin. Ideally, you should only have a few big lofty goals at one time. You need to ensure you have the time and energy to work on them, so don’t overdo it. A good suggestion is a few killer goals and a half-dozen small goals.
2. They fail to write the goals down. I am amazed at the number of people I ask to show me their goals and they can’t produce anything. Usually, they tell me the goals are in their head and that they don’t need to write them down. I usually answer with some statistics that show it’s much more effective to write your goals down. Folks, use the RPM process we discussed last week…write them down…on paper, in your journal, on a white board, or on your bathroom mirror…just get them down somewhere other than in your head. I carry mine with me all the time!
3. They don’t personalize their goals. Why do you want to accomplish the goal? How will you feel when you achieve the goal? What will it mean for you to achieve your goal? If you don’t have clear answers to these questions, chances are you don’t want to achieve the goal badly enough. You won’t be able to sustain the drive to achieve the goal. You need to be clear about the significance of your goals…crystal clear!
4. They don’t look at their goals often enough. We humans can be forgetful, can’t we? If you don’t physically write down and keep your goals in a place where you can see them every day, chances are you’ll forget about them. “Out of sight, out of mind.” I give my clients a neat little planner they can carry in their pocket or purse. They can carry it with them wherever they go…okay, not in the pool or lake, but it certainly can sit in the beach bag.
5. They don’t review and adjust the goals. Things change, people get off track, and sometimes people set goals way above their abilities. If you are checking in on your goals often enough, you can adjust and change them where necessary. It also gives you a chance to review your effort and plan. Are you really attacking the goals like you planned?
6. They keep the goals to themselves. These are the chickens. They are scared to share their goals with anyone as they fear failure and humiliation. How many times did Thomas Edison fail before he got the light bulb working? Once you have written down your goals, I highly recommend you publicize them. Yes, announce them to everyone you know; family, friends, enemies, co-workers, etc. Post them on your website and on Facebook. It may make you feel a bit uncomfortable but you know what I say about that. “To change, you have to get uncomfortable”. Put yourself out there this year…put it all on the line! You will get to read mine next week.
7. They don’t have a support network. While they are your goals, you don’t have to be out there on an island. This is where a good coach can really assist you. Accountability and follow-up is imperative in the goal process.
Now that you know the many pitfalls, it’s up to you to put yourself in the position to achieve them. Don’t fall victim to these seven common mistakes. If you’re reading this column, chances are you aren’t common. I challenge you to hit it out of the ballpark in 2014! Call me, and I will gladly help you.