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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

10 Mistakes When Setting Goals



1. Only setting goals in one area of life - Spice is the variety of life isn't it? So it makes sense to set goals in all areas. Although you might not want to share them all on your blog. Think about health and fitness, relationships, career, hobbies, travel and whatever else you want to do this coming year, and beyond.

2. Not writing them down - You have to write your end goal down to clarify what you want to do. By doing so, you're beginning the journey of how to get to your goal. So commit your plan to paper, or to your blog, or wherever you're going to record your progress.

3. Not assigning a target date - This is the only way to pay attention to what's important. If you don't set a date to your goal, other urgent things will take over, and it won't happen. Set a date for each of your goals.

4. Unrealistic expectations  - Don't set yourself up for failure. Think - is this goal within your control? Your goals should focus on what you can achieve. Have you given them a reasonable deadline? Perhaps look at previous goals you didn't achieve, can you revise them?

5. Taking too much on - Related to the previous point, it's very easy to set a goal that completely overwhelms you (speaks the voice of experience) If it's too huge, and different to the way things are now, it'll probably be too much of a slog.  So that you are not discouraged, picture the end result often, not the slog to get there. Break it down into smaller chunks, and ask yourself what steps need to be taken along the way.

6. Not knowing what you really want - This sounds crazy, but you really need to know what you want and why you want it? What is important to you, and why do you value it? Ask yourself these questions, or maybe get a friend to ask you instead, you might find they can dig deeper than you can yourself. Realise what your aims and objective really are.

7. Underestimating finish times - Try hard to estimate goal completion time carefully, otherwise you'll get discouraged.

8. Appreciate failure - It's not fun when you fail, but from time to time you will. Have the courage to learn from your mistakes.  Use the knowledge to get to where you want to be next time.

9. Not reviewing progress - Taking stock on a regular basis is important. You'll be able to see how you're moving forward, and what action you need to take next. Set sub goals and reward yourself for getting there.  Never be afraid to amend a goal. Things change.

10. Setting too many goals - Try hard to work out the importance of everything you want to accomplish over the next twelve months, then pick only three or four and focus. Trying to target too many goals at once means we can't focus and give the time to each goal that it deserves.

Have I missed any? Feel free to tell me in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

20 comments:

  1. Some great thoughts here, Maria. I find it important to give myself some flexibility. For example if I commit to a new short story every week, I know that at times that cannot happen, because of holidays, etc. So I allow myself a given number of weeks when the target doesn't have to be met. A prearranged get out clause, a joker card if you like. Good luck with your goals. Happy New Year!

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    1. Hello Beatrice, I kinda do that too. It's sensible isn't it, after all when we are feeling a bit under the weather or away on holiday, we don't always feel like writing. I write five days a week, that gives me two days to play with...
      Happy New Year, and may all your dreams become reality in 2016

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  2. Now that's something I need to read again, Maria, as I haven't set any goals yet! Wishing you a happy and successful 2016.

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    1. Hi Rosemary, have fun making plans, and a Happy New Year to you too!

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  3. You make some really important points here - like writing them down and having a target date. I tend to make my goals on my birthday in April, but I'll definitely remember this post. Happy New Year x

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    1. Happy New Year Annalisa, glad you find the post useful, and good luck with all your hopes and dreams.

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  4. Some very good points here Maria. I have tentatively stepped my toe into blog land again although I am quite nervous of making a mess of it. It is still in the early stages but you can find me at: www.outofyorkshireblog.wordpress.com

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    1. Maggie, so good to hear you've started a blog. I'm on my way over to take a look... :-)

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    2. Number 6 is a really interesting point. Hmm. I don't do very well with long-term goals. It's much better for me to say 'Today I will go for a walk' every day than, 'I shall go for a walk every day'. I guess it's finding something that works.

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  5. Hi Maria .. as Rosemary says I've kept this post open to read again and absorb when I settle to seriously think about the year ahead ... over the weekend.

    Great thoughts ... and I need to achieve loads next year ... glad it's still next year - but have a happy evening as we lead into 2016 ... and cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you Hilary, hope you manage to sort out your goal list.

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  6. When I didn't write for a living...at work we had 'reach' objectives...goals above and beyond. (That managers always EXPECTED us to reach). Sigh.

    A very happy, safe, healthy, and productive 2000 sixteen to you and yours

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    1. Thank you, and I know what you mean about management. I just smile. I find it confuses people. :-)

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  7. These are like SMART targets so beloved in the NHS and other organisations: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Quite a useful way of setting out aims! Good luck with all yours. After last night's #writngchat, I'm getting mine organised.

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    1. Hey Lindsay, glad to hear you're going to set some goals. Can't wait to hear all about them.

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  8. Some good advice, Maria.

    Happy New Year, and may you achieve all your goals for 2016. :)

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    1. Thank you Carol, I wish you, and yours all the best for 2016, and may all your writing wishes come true.

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  9. Some really great points here. Good luck with your goals for 2016!

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!