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The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Set Goals

Does it seem as though you are constantly setting goals but not achieving as many of them as you would like? If so, the source of the problem probably is not a lack of commitment on your part but simply making some rather common mistakes. One of the seven reasons below could be the reason why you are not achieving your goals.

1. Setting Goals that are too General and Vague-In order to be achievable a goal must be specific and clear. There must be absolutely no ambiguity about it. When a goal is specific and clear you should be able to form a clear image of it in your mind in terms of the end result you are targeting. For instance, a goal to improve your sales figures is vague. Improve your sales figures by how much? 5%? 10%? Develop your goals in terms of something that is specific. Ask yourself this question: “How will you know when you have achieved your goal?” If you are not able to answer that question, the goal you have set is likely too vague. 2. Accepting Goals from Others and Not Setting your Own Goals-There’s really nothing wrong with accepting goals from someone else as long as you buy into the idea and make that goal your own. Unfortunately, what happens in most such situations is that because you did not set the goal you are not as passionate about achieving it because it’s not something you truly desire to accomplish. As a result you likely will not have the stamina or energy to actually achieve it. For example, your boss would like you to set a goal of having a weekly staff meeting to give everyone a chance to share ideas and open the lines of communication.


You agree but the simple fact is that your schedule is already overburdened and a weekly staff meeting seems like a bit too much for you and your staff. A bi-weekly meeting, sure, but a meeting every single week? Unless you are able to fully believe in the goal, in this case the benefit of having weekly staff meetings, chances are you will not progress toward achieving this goal. 3. Making a Goal Public-This is a common mistake that many people make because they think that making a goal public will help to keep them on track, but the problem comes in when you do not make progress as quickly as you would like and find yourself facing questions or feeling discouraged over your lack of progress. The key to avoiding this type of problem is to only share goals with people you know you can trust and who will assist you while providing unconditional support. 4. Setting a Goal that is Too Easy or Too Challenging-Once again, this is a fairly common mistake that many people tend to make when setting goals. The best goals are those that will energize you will provide just enough challenge to remain interesting. At the same time, you should avoid setting goals that simply are not realistic in terms of achievement. Along the same lines, goals that are far too easy can be just as poor as those that are too challenging. Whether the goal is too challenging or too easy, you will not be motivated and motivation is essential to achieving any goal. 5. Not Writing Down your Goals-If you do not write down your goals you will likely have a difficult time keeping them at the forefront of your mind. As a result, you will find it difficult to focus on your goals. Writing down goals makes them easier to remember, while also providing clarity for what it is that you actually wish to accomplish. So, whether you want to improve your sales figures, expand into a new territory or launch a new product by a certain period of time, it is essential to write down your goals. Beyond just writing down your goals, make sure you post them where you will be able to see them on a regular basis. Perhaps on your desk so you can see them first thing when you come into the office each morning. This is a great way to help keep you focused on attaining the goals you have set. 6. Not Reviewing your Goals Frequently Enough-While writing down goals is important, it is not enough to simply write them down. You must also review them Fraser James Associates Ltd

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from time to time to determine where you stand regarding actually achieving them. Based on your review you may find it necessary to make adjustments to your goals based on what has occurred up to that point. A regular review of your goals provides you with motivation as well as a reality check while also helping you to stay on track. How often should you review your goals? The correct answer is different for everyone based on the goals you have set and whether they are long-term or short-term in nature but do make a point to jot down a reminder on your calendar to regularly review your goals so it does not slip your mind. 7. Not Establishing a Deadline for your Goals-Without a deadline that is clear and specific it can be quite easy to procrastinate, resulting in nothing being accomplished. Make sure you set a deadline for achieving your goals, but allow yourself a small amount of margin. That way, if something should go wrong, which occurs more often than not in business, you will still have time in order to achieve your goal. Remember, setting deadlines that are not realistic will never save you time in the end; it will only cause stress or result in mistakes.

Setting goals is critically important in any business or industry because they provide you with a roadmap for achieving what it is you want. Goals challenge you to grow and develop, while making it possible to achieve things you desire over time that have once seemed impossible.

Fraser James Associates Ltd

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7 Mistakes Business People Make