6 Common Goal-Setting Mistakes to Avoid

6 Common Goal-Setting Mistakes to Avoid

We set ourselves goals throughout our lives in the name of personal development, don’t we? But all too often we either lose track of our goals or simply give up on them.

That’s because many people are simply too unrealistic when setting personal development goals for themselves and thus make some common goal-setting mistakes.

Many people simply give themselves too hard of a criterion to meet which means they are just setting themselves up for failure.

Personal development goals take many different forms and can be based on all aspects of our lives. Let’s look at some examples:

The Different Types of Personal Development Goals.

Financial Goals

These are usually connected to career goals.

For example, how much do you want to earn annually? Or do you want to save up a certain amount in a specific time-frame?

Career Goals

Sometimes these can be based around your annual earnings although it is more often based around what you really want to achieve and do in your career.

Family Goals

Do you want children? It might sound strange to consider this a personal development goal but it is one and a very common one at that.

Wellbeing/ Physical Goals

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Do you want to lose weight, get a six-pack or be a bodybuilder?

That’s just some examples when it comes to physical development goals while wellbeing goals are generally more focused around your mental health and improving your mood.

Public Service Goals 

These goals are all based around making the world or the lives of others better. These are usually long-term goals which can be more difficult to achieve but they are doable. 

That’s just some of the more common types of personal development goals there are many others as well.

But no matter what type of goal you’re working towards, if you want to better guarantee your chances of success then make sure you avoid these all too common mistakes when setting goals. 

Goal-Setting Mistakes to Avoid

Setting a personal development goal is easy but achieving it is going to be much more difficult in the majority of circumstances.

When it comes to business and career personal development goals, adopting a more helpful and innovative OKR framework is some great advice to follow. But you should also be sure to avoid these common mistakes as well. 

1. Not Being Realistic

When planning your goals (no matter what category they’re in) one all too common goal-setting mistake is simply being unrealistic with them.

For example, let’s say you want to grow in your career and your goal is to get a promotion within two years.

However, an unrealistic goal would be to say you want to become the head or CEO of your own business within the same time-frame.

Is that goal achievable?

Yes, it is. But let’s be honest. It’s not something many people will be able to achieve, is it?

So, it’s important that you set realistic goals. If you don’t, you’re more likely to simply give up on them because it will never feel like you are making sufficient progress.

When planning your personal development, make sure you take the time to plan and think properly about how achievable they actually are. 

2. Not Planning

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If you want to actually succeed and avoid the most common goal-setting mistakes, then you should make sure you plan ahead.

Planning is important when it comes to achieving your goals. Even simple-looking goals will take plenty of planning in order to improve your chances of success.

One great tip to succeeding in your personal development is to plan out ways to break them into smaller goals. Once you’ve done that it will make even bigger, long-term goals much more easy to achieve.

3. Not Writing Your Goals Down

These might seem like something that everyone will do anyway, but you’d be surprised how many people will opt for not writing their goals down.

One reason people do this is because they think writing their goals down makes them official. Which is exactly why you should do it!

By writing your goals down you’re making more of a commitment to work on achieving them. Plus, writing them down can also help you remember exactly what you’ve set out to do.

Sure you’ll likely remember anyway but a little reminder of what you want to achieve is never a bad thing is it? 

4. Setting Too Many Goals

To avoid the next one of the most popular goal-setting mistakes, don’t overdo it.

If you set yourself lots of goals then there really is very little chance you will actually succeed in many of them because you simply won’t be able to keep up.

One great piece of advice to try is set just one goal but in each different category. You can even use our list above to help you.

5. Setting Negative Goals

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This problem can be avoided by giving yourself plenty of time to plan your goals and by really thinking about them.

It can be easier than you think to give yourself a negative goal. But by rethinking what you want to achieve you can be more positive and improve your chances of success.

For example, let’s say your goal is to lose some weight. Instead of giving yourself a flat target, why not have your goal as being to get healthier instead or to go to the gym twice a week?

The same advice can be used for all the other types of personal development goals, such as those related to your finances or career.

6. Not Giving Yourself a Second Chance

Now, this is a mistake that no one should fall victim to, but many people do!

When setting goals for yourself, it’s important that you realize before you even start that your momentum will give out eventually and you will have some bad days.

Don’t let these things stop you but be sure to give yourself a second chance (or even a few days break) if things do go wrong.

You can even learn from these goal-setting mistakes to help you succeed next time as well.

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