9 Goal Setting Mistakes to Avoid (TPL 013)
There's nothing magical about January 1st, and there's also no reason why we shouldn't be making goals throughout the year! I'm sharing 9 critical mistakes to avoid when you're setting goals so you can set yourself up for the best success possible.
Listen for all my tips and tricks, and be sure to check out my NEW 90-Day Goal Setting Workshop!
This is the perfect time to be talking about goals, because we talk a lot about goals at the end of one year, the beginning of a new one, and then we kind of just stop talking about them.
And I think it's really important midyear, especially to do a little check in and see how we're doing because the goals that you set at the beginning of the year might not be really relevant to what's happening now.
I found that for me, at least, the goals I set at the beginning of 2019 look nothing like what I'm working on right now and the goals that I'm working towards now.
Isn't it crazy?
How just halfway into the year everything can look radically different and sometimes even sooner.
You might even find that 90 days into the year your goals have changed, and that's totally okay.
So for me the core theme and vision of my year is the same, but how I'm getting there, what I'm striving towards, looks different.
For example, at the beginning of 2019 I didn't know I would start a podcast.
I wasn't planning on offering coaching services.
I was pregnant, not pregnant, and I had a full time job.
So a lot can happen in a short amount of time, a lot can change and that's good, but it just highlights how important it is to revisit our goals outside of just the beginning of the year.
It's also funny when you do these check-ins that you realize maybe some mistakes you made while setting goals.
And as I sat down recently to revisit my own goals, I realized that even I had been making some of these key goal setting mistakes.
Even though I knew better sometimes, other times I just realized I was making a mistake and that's why I wanted to go ahead and share these nine goal-setting mistakes you're probably making because even people who talk about goals, who love goals, who love goal setting can still make these mistakes, too.
So let's jump into some of these mistakes and how we can work on not only avoiding them but improving them and take these into account when we are doing our goals.
Mistake #1: Setting Your Goals Once a Year
Goal setting mistake number one is only setting your goals once per year.
I don't think it makes a lot of sense to just set your goals in December of 2018 and expect them to be relevant the whole year long.
I find that so much in life changes in three months, in six months and nine months, even in three weeks, that it's really important to not just set one set of goals and stick to them the whole year, but to instead set goals at a different interval or a smaller interval, or at least revisit them more often.
I like to set goals at 90 day intervals, so I might have bigger picture goals for the whole year, but I found that setting goals outside of three months or 90 days really is, I don't want to say a waste of time, but it's not the most valuable way -- it's not the most valuable use of time.
Because like I said, things are gonna change and depending on where you are at the end of those 90 days, your next 90 day goals will look different.
So if you hit all those goals and surpass them, you might have new ideas, bigger ideas, bigger goals, or maybe you didn't quite hit those 90 day goals and you want to shift gears.
I think it's just really important to do a smaller interval than 12 months.
So again, not saying you can't do some bigger picture vision. I have a vision for I want where I want to be three years from now, five years from now, one year from now, but I'm not only looking there, I'm also seeing, okay, well those are the bigger picture vision of the direction I'm headed, but where do I want to be 90 days from now?
And getting really, really specific and clear and very detailed on those goals without really worrying about where I'm going to be six months from now specifically, if that makes sense.
So don't just set goals once per year.
Maybe set a bigger picture goal for the year, but really focus on a smaller period of time, like 90 days.
Mistake #2: Having Too Many Goals
Mistake number two is setting too many goals.
I have been guilty of this because we all want to accomplish a lot, we want to really live a full life and that's beautiful.
But when we set too many goals, we will often end up feeling overwhelmed, we will feel behind, and we just won't be able to achieve them all.
So it's really important to set a fewer number of goals and really make sure they're the important goals, they're the priorities and you will be more likely to accomplish them and make progress on them.
Because instead of dividing your efforts across nine different goals, you can give so much attention to two or three goals and actually see really big progress there.
So try to avoid setting too many goals when you're doing your goal setting.
Mistake #3: Your Goals Aren't Specific Enough
Mistake number three is creating goals that aren't specific enough.
It's not helpful to set a goal that's like "get healthy" or "make more money" or "enjoy my life more", "be happier."
These are great, maybe more vision oriented goals, but if you're doing any goal setting, it's really important to get quantitative and not just qualitative. Now I think you should use both, but I think it's important to have really specific goals in mind.
So how many, I don't even do weight, but like how many pounds do you want to lose?
Or better yet, how many times do you want to work out or how much money do you want to make?
Or how many clients do you want to have?
How many Instagram followers do you want?
It's not all about vanity metrics by any means, but like getting quantitative and having specific goals is really valuable.
So launching a podcast, it's a very specific goal.
You could say, I want to create 52 podcast episodes in 2019 that's a very great goal.
So how can we make our goals really specific?
And by specific, usually it's something measurable. So you want to be able to know that you have accomplished it and when you haven't.
So a specific goal even. I know I just gave a lot of goals, a lot of examples with numbers in them. As long as you can say it's a clear yes or no if it was accomplished, then it's specific enough.
If it's not that clear, then make it more specific so that it's a very clear yes or no mistake.
Mistake #4: Not Creating an Action Plan
Number four is it not creating an action plan for how you're going to accomplish your goals.
So when you set these goals, it's great to say, I want to launch a podcast, but if you don't sit there and outline the steps it's going to take to get you there, then you're probably not going to accomplish that goal.
At least not in a timely manner.
So any goals, whether it's one goal or you decided to do six goals, or if it's 90 days or if it's 12 months.
Whatever it is, it’s really important to reverse engineer those goals and say, okay, I want to make $20,000 in this month and this is how I'm going to get there.
These are the steps that it's going to take to get me there. And really flushing that out first and like a milestone level and then getting really, really specific on actual steps and tasks that it's going to take to get there.
Because going from 0 to 20k and just going to happen. So what are we going to do over the next 90 days to actually build a business that's going to get us there, and make decisions that's going to get us there, and what revenue streams need to be happening?
What milestones do we need to get there?
Maybe before we just do 20k we want to have a 15k month or a 10k a month, or we need a book 10 clients, or make a hundred course sales and to make a hundred core sales, we're going to do three webinars or you know, what are the different milestones we're going to do to get us to that goal and reverse engineering the actual action steps.
So what I like to do is again, fluff it out at that high level.
Not fluff it out, flush it out, and that high level where it's like, here's the goal, here are the three milestones and things I want to do to get there, and the actual to do list for each of those underneath them.
That is a really thorough, well thought out action plan that's going to allow you to actually achieve and accomplish these goals.
Mistake #5: Setting Goals because You’re “Supposed to”
Mistake number five is setting goals because that's what you're supposed to do without a real intention or desire behind them.
So when you're sitting down to do goals, a lot of times we default to these like "should do" goals and not goals we actually care about.
So you might have a goal that's like lose 10 pounds and it's like, do you really care about those 10 pounds? Would it be more valuable to set another type of goal of like working out a certain number of times or not eating out a certain number of times or eating healthier, I don't know.
But like do we really care about some of these goals we set?
Do we always want to be earning more money or is there really a certain level that we just want to be be hitting and maintaining and improving our life around it?
It's not always just about hitting these like we have to be a six figure business.
Maybe you want to be and that's awesome. Not saying you shouldn't be or seven figure, but do you really need to hit that right now, or is there a goal that actually has more desire and intention and purpose behind it that would resonate with you more?
Or maybe like hitting 10,000 Instagram followers? Like a lot of times we just strive for these vanity metrics because especially in the entrepreneurship space, it can feel like that's the next step and that's what you have to be striving for.
But I really want to challenge you to set goals that only have purpose and intention and meaning behind them to you.
So for me, I'm, I want to work less, I want to work three or four days a week and I will do that at the exchange of making more money if I have to. Like if I have to make that exchange, I will.
Now I believe that I can do both, but I'm just kind of giving an example here that it's more meaningful for me to have a goal of working three or four days a week than it is to like hit this like crazy huge number.
Now in utter transparency. I actually have a goal for both of those, but I have a really clear action plan for how I can achieve both without losing one or the other, if that makes sense.
But either way, just I think it's a huge mistake when you set goals from a place of like what you're supposed to do without having some real intention behind it.
Mistake #6: Setting an Unrealistic Timeline
Mistake number six is setting an unrealistic timeline for your goals. Now this is a tricky one because I do love the idea like aim high and you'll at least get closer than you would if you aim lower, but it's really easy to give yourself too short of a timeline for your goals.
It's really easy to say, "Oh, I can do that in one month. I can go from 0 to 10k or 20k in one month."
And maybe you can if the action plan is in place, but this is part of why I love doing the action plan, like I mentioned in mistake number four is when you create that action plan, you can actually get a better sense of how much time this is going to take and see if it's really something you can do in that time period.
So when you're thinking about a goal in your head, you might be like, Oh, I can do that in 30 days, easy or I can do that in 90 days, no problem.
But when you actually look at the to do list and the steps it's going to take to get you there, you might look at that and say, you know what, I can do it in 30 days.
Or you might look at it and say, actually, I, you know, I'm going to be on vacation for that week.
I have this other webinar going on this month.
I actually have a lot of commitments going on.
I have a full client load.
You know, maybe this is a 60 day goal.
Or maybe I need to like minimize this goal a little bit to make it more realistic.
So, so I think it's important to just take that chance or take that moment to check in with yourself and say, is this a realistic timeline for your goal?
Because if it's not and there's no clear action plan for how you're going to get there and the timeline that you've outlined, then you're just kind of setting yourself up for failure.
So make sure you're just checking in with and not setting an unrealistic timeline based on that action plan and what your life and the business and schedule looks like for that time period as well.
Mistake #7: Not Writing Your Goals Down or Focussing on them Regularly
Mistake number seven is not writing your goals down or focusing on them regularly.
If you just have a goal in your mind but you don't actually think about it regularly, you don't have it written down, you don't reference it, you don't think about it, then it's just not gonna happen.
And that's just the way we work as humans. And that's totally fine, but it's really important to take the time to write your goals down when you're setting them and focus on them regularly.
So I actually like to journal out my goals. Now, I don't do this every single day, but I think I'm going to start doing some kind of journaling exercise around my goals on a daily basis.
But I do revisit mine. I have them written down. I look at them a lot. I think about them a lot. I do journal about them every now and then, but I think that's a really great exercise to actually really think and journal and focus on your goals on a really regular basis.
Ideally even daily.
So maybe you can have a statement or an affirmation in place that's like all about your goals that you can write down every day.
Or maybe you can just like write out your goals every single day. I know some people who really just every morning write out what their goals are again.
Or maybe you can type up your goals and print them out and read through them every day.
Or maybe you hang it up somewhere that you see it every single day or a little sticky note, reminders around your house, whatever it is for you.
But make sure you are revisiting your goals and not even from like just revisiting them to tweak them, but in a place where you can review them and refresh and like remind yourself what you're striving towards.
Because often if we get distracted or lose focus or have shiny object syndrome, it's because we kind of lose the, like, we lose focus on our current goals and we can get off track really easily when we're not really in touch with why we're doing what we're doing.
Mistake #8: Not Doing the Mindset Work Behind Your Goals
Mistake number eight is not doing the mindset work behind your goals.
So you might have a goal to do something big like launching a podcast or hitting a revenue goal or creating a new course.
But if we have mindset problems around actually getting to that place, we're just not going to hit it.
So if you want to start a YouTube channel, but you are afraid of being on camera and you're not doing the work to get comfortable being on camera or feeling confident, confident using your voice or showing up regularly or being vulnerable with content creation, then it's going to be really hard to hit that goal because you're going to self sabotage.
Or maybe with money if you have a certain money goal but you actually feel afraid to make that money because it's more responsibility or you have some limiting beliefs around it, then it's going to be really hard for you to hit that goal.
And when you hit it, you might be freaked out or honestly, a lot of times you will again self sabotage so that you never even hit it because you're actually afraid to hit that goal.
So there's a lot of mindset work in play when it comes to goal setting and accomplishing our goals and having a thriving business and life.
And so it's really important to do the mindset work around your goals.
So when you are working towards your goals and identify moments of resistance or thoughts that pop up that discourage you or feelings that you're having, it's really important to identify them and work on them and try to work through them and acknowledge them and overcome them so that you can actually hit your goals.
So definitely make sure you're doing your mindset work to help you hit these goals.
Mistake #9: Not Adjusting, Revisiting, and Reviewing Your Goals Regularly
And the last mistake, mistake number nine is not adjusting, revisiting and reviewing your goals regularly.
So even if you're setting a 30 day goal or a 90 day goal, it's really important to be adjusting and tweaking along the way.
So that's totally normal. We're not about perfection. It's okay for things to change. Life changes.
So even if you have that big annual picture for where ...where are you want to be at the end of the year, and along the way, throughout the year, you're realizing that it's shifting, that's good.
We want to tweak it, we want to revise it, we want to refine it, we want to add things, we want to take away things that's normal.
And it's really important to be doing that because otherwise we're just going to kind of stagnate and not actually hit anything or we're going to like, totally go off track because we are so discouraged when we look at our goals, or we're gonna lose focus and actually accomplish other things. Anyways.
It's just really important to revisit it at certain intervals. So revisiting both that bigger picture vision and the small goals.
So if you have a 30 day goal and you're halfway through the month and you have just totally fallen off track, don't just like try to cram in the other two weeks in the last two weeks unless you like really, really, really want to and can set aside that energy and time.
Otherwise just tweak it, revise it, change gear, make adjustments, cut things out, push a date back, do whatever, but make adjustments and revisit these goals as needed.
Otherwise, what's the point?
Like it's going to just lose its relevance. So make sure you are adjusting and tweaking your goals over the course of that time period you set aside.
So those are the nine goals setting mistakes you're probably making.
I have made them all at different times in my life, so I'm speaking at this from a place of like understanding and compassion and just hoping that by identifying these mistakes, by being aware of them, we can do a better job of setting really impactful and effective goals that we can accomplish.
NEW! The Goal Setting Workshop
And if you're interested in learning how I set my goals, getting some help setting your own goals and accomplishing them, then you would love my new goal setting course.
So I've actually created a goal setting course that's going to walk you through my exact process for how I set my goals, how I make action plans, how I make sure it's great timelines, addressing all of the mistakes we just talked about, and how you can actually accomplish and achieve these goals in the timeline you want to.
I'm so excited for this to finally be live. It's a really digestible, easy to go through, actionable, quick and easy and short goal setting course that you can just go through, consume it, take action and start working towards your goals.
I made sure to make it in a way where it wasn't really complicated, or too long, or too heavy, and instead we're just really quick and actionable and effective.
So I think you're going to love it. So be sure to go to MeganMinns.com/goalcourse to find out more.
Hope you enjoyed this episode. I would love to hear from you on Instagram if you did and I will talk to you in next week's episode.
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