Eight Common Goal-Setting Mistakes

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Our goals give us a clear idea of where we want to be in the future. A good goal-setting helps us to improve in our ability and potential to get what we are capable of. Many people set their goals but they barely achieve them. Most of the people quit.

The reason they can’t pursue their goals is they are not setting their goal appropriately. They make many goal-setting mistakes. If you set the goal in the wrong way you cannot achieve it.

In fact, it becomes a burden for you. That’s why we should avoid making goal setting mistakes. Here I am going to share with you some of the mistakes that people make while setting the goal. If you want to make your goal achievable then you have to avoid these mistakes.


1. Not having a long term vision

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The first goal-setting mistake which people do is not having a long term vision of yours. It is important to have a vision with you before setting goals. A vision is something that you want in the future. For example, you want to be a millionaire in future then this is your vision.

Having a vision gives you a clear idea about what to set a goal for. Most people never think that what they want ultimately in the future. They often think about the present. They focus on the goal for one or two years. For eg. they are in college then they set a goal only to pass the college with good grades. But they don’t think about why they have to pass college.

After passing college, will this college graduation help their vision? So, before you set the goal to decide your vision. Get a clear idea about your future, what you want to be. Maybe you want to become a businessman or doctor or engineer or whatever but decide. Then, you set a goal which helps you to achieve your ultimate future. If you set the goal in this way then it has more probability to get success.

2. Set Unrealistic Goals

Another goal setting mistake that people do is that they set an unrealistic goal. You should have your goal realistic. Obviously, we can have a vision which seems to be unrealistic for now and we already discussed how important it is to have a vision.

To make a goal realistic you can do an exercise. You can rank your goal in between 1 to 10. You can rank according to how much you motivated, dedicated to achieving that goal. For eg; your goal is to earn one million dollars a year; if you think this goal is in the rank of more than 7 then this is your realistic goal which you can achieve but if you give it less than 7 then you are in doubt that you maybe cannot achieve this goal so this is not your realistic goal.

If we set the goal realistic and we make it achieve then our brain releases endorphins which give us pleasure as well as motivates us to achieve further goals. Although we can have a realistic vision, we should also have realistic milestones.

3. Don’t know the reason for achieving that goal

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Another reason why people often fail to achieve their goal is that they don’t have an actual big reason to achieve them. For eg: if you want to graduate from college and that’s your goal but you don’t know why you want to graduate.

Having a strong reason to achieve a goal is very important. In the progress of achieving the goal, you may find lots of obstacles. Those obstacles may pull you back and ultimately you cannot achieve that goal. This is the problem by which most people quit in the middle.

If you are running toward the goal without any reason then it is like going toward a dark void. But if you have a good reason to achieve that goal then that reason can give you motivation, strength and capability to fight against those obstacles. So this is another goal setting mistake you should avoid to achieve your goal.

4. Not have a plan

Another goal setting mistake that people do is that they don’t plan how to work on your goal. Planning is important. Planning gives you the idea of how to execute your work and also gives your ideas on how to deal with problems occurring during your work toward the goal. How to make a plan? you can do various things like making a to-do list. Make a to-do list and find out what to do on a particular day, week and year.

Manage your morning to make a to-do list because that time your brain will be more active… Another thing you can do is you can also make a could-do list. In this list, you write all the things that you can do to achieve that goal. For eg: if you want to lose your weight then you can make a list where you write all those things that you could do like you could dieting; you could join the gym etc. From your could-do list, you can choose the most important things that you can do using the 80/20 principle and you can apply to your to-do list. This is how you make a plan and avoid another goal setting mistake.

5. Don’t take action

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Remember setting a goal is easy but taking action on them is the most difficult part. Not taking an action is another big goal setting mistake that people do. Most people take New Year’s resolutions but they rarely achieve at the end of the year. It is because the goal the setting is a way but continuously work on them is hard,

So, it is necessary to take action on our personal and professional goals. We should have daily rituals regarding our goals and we have to follow them regularly. Also, we should evaluate our progress on a daily basis. weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.

If we have achieved a comprehensive goal then we have to reward ourselves but if we are not progressing anything then we should punish ourselves and we should make sure we will achieve more in next time.

6. Clashing with your personality and morals

Our ethics and identity should always be better when we are setting our goals. Another goal setting mistake that people do is they don’t care about their morals and aesthetics.

If we set the goals which are violating our morals then those goals are never gonna make us happy. If you give a value to something then you should also set your goals which value that thing also. For eg., If you value honesty then you should not set your goals which give importance to dishonesty. If you set those goals then first of all those goals are never going to be achieved and also if those somehow got achieved that goals never gonna give you that

much happiness in your life. So it will be better not to make this goal-setting mistake.

7. Set multiple goals at the same time

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If you run toward the two butterflies then you cannot even catch one, similarly, if you run

toward the multiple goals at the same time you cannot achieve any of them. But many

people make the same goal-setting mistake. They set multiple goals at the same time and

they end up getting nothing.

We should focus on some goal at a time. We have limited willpower and if we spend this

willpower irrationally then it is just the loss of willpower. So, first of all, we have to set one

primary goal which is most important for your vision then after we achieve them.

8. Share Goals with others before they are achieved

You may be thinking that how can be sharing goals with others before achieving be the

mistake on goal setting. But it is truly a goal-setting mistake you should not make while

setting a goal.

It is found in the research that if you tell your goals to others then your brain feels like it has

already accomplished that goal. Our brain releases dopamine hormone which gives us the

feeling of happiness and accomplishment which ultimately stops us from working on our

goals and we can never achieve them.

Hence, you should also care about this goal-setting mistake while you are working on your



The goal-setting process is not a very tough process though working on goals is very

important and quite difficult also. During the goal-setting process and achieving, many

people make some goal setting mistakes which we should not do. If you don’t repeat the goal

setting mistake process then you can also achieve your goals.

Finally, if you find some of the other goal-setting mistakes which we should not do then

please mention them in the comment section. It will be helpful for all those people who want

to achieve their desired goal.

Also you can read our blog on The Flow Psychology Model – Balancing Challenge and Skills


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