My Top 2 Goal-Setting Mistakes

Every year I, like many others I suspect, create a list of new year’s resolutions. Sometimes the list is just in my head – which is a problem in itself – and sometimes I write the resolutions down somewhere. However, again like many other people, I fall short on many of those resolutions. Even more discouraging is the fact it doesn’t take me long to completely abandon many of my goals for the new year. I won’t speak for anyone else, but if I had to guess I’d speculate that I’m not alone in this regard.


Why do I, and many others, fall short of – and even abandon completely – our goals? I think there are a lot of reasons. I ran across a blog by best-selling author and former CEO Michael Hyatt. In this particular post Michael unpacks the 10 biggest mistakes people make in setting goals. It’s a great post. You can read it by clicking here.

I won’t comment on all of the reasons listed in Hyatt’s blog post. He does a much better job of dissecting them than I could. I will however, share with you the two that are most damaging to me and my goals.

First, I often create too many goals. I realize there is a new year around the corner – twelve fresh months to accomplish everything I think I can, and should, get done. So, I decide on several pages of new target accomplishments and I set out on my journey. The problem of course, is with so many goals, I quickly become discouraged and fail to achieve even some of the more important objectives. This year, I’m setting four goals for 2014. These are what I consider my four critical milestones. I’ll be investing my time in those four, not in four pages of far-less important aspirations.

The second most often made mistake I’m guilty of, when it comes to goal setting, is my failure to identify the next action step. I’ll determine a goal then prepare a long list of to-dos associated with the goal, but I fail to identify, and focus on, what’s next – the very next thing I need to do in order to keep making forward progress. As a result, I review my long to-do list, get a little overwhelmed, begin to procrastinate and the next thing I know, that goal is history. I need to identify the very next step, focus on that and, and when it’s accomplished, focus again on the very next step. Pretty simple, right?

Take a look at Michael Hyatt’s list of the ten biggest goal setting mistakes. Which ones plague you the most often? What are you going to do about it?

Question: What two steps will you take immediately, to correct a goal-setting mistake?

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