Five Ways to Kill Your Goals

How many times have you set a goal for yourself and it fizzled? A fitness goal, weight loss, business, financial, that vacation destination you may never see, etc., etc.

Sometimes goal setting comes easy. One of my summer goals (yes, we’re still in May) was to teach my 8 year old daughter how to ride a bicycle without her training wheels. It seemed like a lofty goal. Well, it took only thirty minutes as I jogged beside her. She’s been riding a scooter on her own so maybe it wasn’t such a lofty goal after all. But it did feel good!

Five Ways to Kill Your GoalsRarely, do we get off so easy when it comes to our goals.

I have found that goals tend to fall in one of eight areas of our lives: Career, Financial, Health, Family, Self-Improvement, Spiritual, Adventure, and Business.

Here are five reasons why your goal setting efforts may not have worked out for the best.

Lack of Passion
If there is no passion behind your goal, it will come to a screeching halt. It’s difficult to define passion, but here goes! Passion is feeling so strongly about something that you’re willing to move time in your schedule to do it. For example, I’m passionate about boxing. I’m willing to move time on my calendar just to get my training in. I invest time, energy, and money to improve. And maybe most importantly, I can’t hide my excitement when I talk about it. (I’m talking about it now. Are you feeling me?) How passionate are you about your goal?

No Clear Outcome
The goal lacks specifics. For example, I’m going to be a more successful financial advisor is an admiral desire but difficult to measure. It’s hard to determine a start and end point. How do you know you’ve hit your goal? I’m going to call at least five clients every day to see how they’re doing and how I might help is much more impactful and measurable. Heck, you might just start tracking referrals.

Conflict with Self-Image
I remember coaching an advisor that simply couldn’t see herself sitting at a kitchen table selling life insurance. She thought it was a tough way to make a living. I told her outright that she wouldn’t succeed in the business. Why she was hired – well, that’s another story.

I was surprised she lasted two months. If you have a negative self-image related to your goal (I hate the gym), you will continue to be in conflict with yourself.

No Action Steps
A goal is only as good as the action steps taken. I’m not really sure what that means, but I do know that if you don’t focus on taking action steps every day, or at least every week, you’ll never reach your desired outcome. Ask an author how they go about writing their book. They don’t just sit down one day and keep writing. Authors tend to write a little bit every day – usually at the same time every day. They get into a routine that becomes part of their day. Every big time goal requires chipping away every day. A boxer training for a fight. A runner preparing for a marathon. An advisor, broker, or producer looking to hit their numbers. What do you need to do every day?

Bad Timing
Life does get in the way from time to time. Juggling a busy work schedule, aging parents, activities with kids, family obligations, and whatever else is a challenge for everyone. In taking on new challenges, the timing has to work. We all can’t drop what we’re doing to write a book or train for a marathon, but the key here is deciding when it’s the right time and putting it in the calendar. It’s just as simple as that.

Given all of this – what is your goal?

Photo courtesy of: Paxson Woelber

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