The 4 Mistakes People Make When Setting Goals

I believe that it is possible to make real progress towards what we truly value and desire in life– but why do we so often miss the target when we set our goals? Have you ever been frustrated by not achieving your goals? Have you decided that it is better to not set goals at all?


Photo credit: Bust it Away Photography / / CC BY-NC-SA

Eliminate goal frustration by avoiding these 4 mistakes:

  1. Goals Not Aligned With Values– Often we set goals that are inconsistent with our deepest values– such as adopting the goals of others. Then, when motivation wanes, there is nothing to keep us tied to the goal. One of my goals for 2014 is to have a vocationally ‘rich’ year. That means that I will love my work, I will work with people I love, I will work for causes I would die for, and I will see an increase in impact through writing, consulting and speaking. Because my goals are aligned with my deepest God-given values and passions I will make progress in 2014.
  2. Goals Not Written Down– It has been repeatedly demonstrated that those who write down their goals more consistently achieve their goals. Why? Because the act of writing them down brings clarity and focus to the mind. For example, in 2014 I have a goal tied to the percentage of audiences I speak to that will commit to changing the life of a child threatened by poverty and hopelessness through child sponsorship. This brings a focus to my preparation and my prayers.
  3. Goals Not Reviewed Daily– By reviewing your goals daily you give the mind and heart their focus for the day. If you do not bring the focus for your day, someone else will be happy to! Endeavours that are not linked into your top goals for the year are ranked in order of importance. You will give the best of your time and energies to your highest objectives. When you are presented with an opportunity, you can then use your values-driven goals to determine if it is something worth pursuing.
  4. Goals Not Pursued Daily– Think of each day as an opportunity to make a deposit in the bank. Each phone call or each task you accomplish is moving you one step closer to the day when you can make your large withdrawal. Until we are committed daily to pursue our goals we do not really have goals- we simply have daydreams! For example, I have set a goal in 2014 to speak at a certain number of leadership events. As a result, I need to consistently be in touch with people that are decision-makers and gate-keepers who will invite me to be part of their events.

If there is any way I can be a help or encouragement as you set your goals for 2014- drop me a line at robparkman [at] live [dot] ca!

Happy New Year!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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