If there is one thing I am convinced about, it’s that regularly progressing towards the achievement your goals is one of the best ways to blossom!
But will and hard work alone are not always enough to reach your goals: the path towards their achievement can be full of pitfalls!
If I look back a little, I have often abandoned certain goals along the way. I have made many mistakes that have led me to failure. The good news is that we can learn from our errors!
In this article, I’d like to take a look behind the scenes… And share with you 3 errors that, in the past, prevented me from reaching my goals.
With the hope that you will be able to learn from them and avoid making these mistakes yourself when it comes to achieving your own goals!
Error to avoid number 1
Setting the bar too high
The first mistake I made (and still make very regularly), is to set the bar of my goals too high.
I like to learn and expand my comfort zone every time I set a goal. But sometimes that means I push my limits a little too far.
If I like to be ambitious in what I do, it often backfired.
I want a result that is too far away from what I CAN actually do.
I have this unfortunate tendency to be a little too ambitious in what I want to do: I set myself an objective without necessarily having all the skills to achieve it.
So yes, a certain amount of challenge is essential in a goal, but sometimes the difference between what you would like to do and what you can reasonably do is far too great.
One of my goals last year was to create my online store with WordPress on my own. If on paper, it didn’t seem so complicated (after all, I know WordPress), I never reached this goal.
Why not? Simply because the result I had in mind clearly exceeded what I was capable of doing.
Wanting to make a beautiful and functional merchant site when you don’t know how to code, it was just a little too far from my skills at that time.
Set high but realistic expectations for your goals.
In itself, I could have learned how to code and finally create my site the way I planned to do it. But in addition to asking too much in terms of skills, I had also set the bar too high in terms of deadlines.
Second way to set the bar too high in what I want to do is to give myself a very short delay.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a goal in mind, I’m always super impatient and I want to see results very quickly. Result: I set myself very short deadlines to achieve it.
If having short deadlines motivates me at first, seeing the deadline approaching knowing that I won’t be able to do everything on time tends to discourage me completely. I even abandoned some projects along the way when I could have finished them if I had given myself a little more time.
Setting the bar too high for your goals can mean wanting a result that is far from what you can reasonably expect to achieve, or simply setting deadlines that are impossible to meet.
⚡ The lessons I learned from this:
Analyzing the resources you have to achieve a goal is KEY.
The resources you have are your skills, the time you have and the budget you can allocate to achieve that goal.
Once we have a good idea of our objective, we must know how to define it in detail (results, deadlines, etc.) taking into account these resources. There is nothing worse than finding yourself at the foot of the wall along the way and abandoning an objective because you have misjudged its difficulty.
You’ll find a whole chapter about resources in the Reflect & recharge workbook, which helps you take stock and define clear and realistic goals to help you grow.
Since I identified this recurring error, I try to see my objectives as a balance between challenge and comfort: I set ambitious goals, but I’m careful not to set the bar too high right from the start.
Error to avoid number 2
Thinking that everything will go as planned
If you read the blog from time to time, or follow me on Instagram, you know it: I don’t start without achieving my goals without preparation.
For each of them, I take the time to clearly define what I want to do, and to plan my actions to get there.
But we all know that there is often a big difference between theory (the plan) and reality (what actually happens).
I see the plans I make to achieve my goals as itineraries: they are my ideal path to get from point A to point B. But in between, a lot can happen: traffic jams, blocked roads, road works… A whole bunch of obstacles can stand in my way.
In the past, I have often failed to achieve my goals because I didn’t anticipate these potential obstacles, but mostly because I wasn’t flexible enough with my plan.
Most people have a tendency to become discouraged or angry if things do not go as they had imagined: obstacles encountered are considered failures. And I’m no exception to this rule! I have on several occasions given up on achieving a goal because of the obstacles I encountered along the way.
⚡ The lessons I learned from this:
- You can never be too prepared
Before you set out to achieve a goal, it is best to start prepared.
Part of that preparation is about everything that can go “wrong” on a project. In project management, this is called risk analysis.
At the level of a personal or professional objective, it mainly consists of asking “what can go wrong with this project” and looking for solutions to avoid or circumvent potential difficulties.
It doesn’t avoid absolutely all obstacles, but it does allow you to be as prepared as possible for the unforeseen that are bound to happen.
- You have to remain flexible and resilient
One of the things people who achieve their goals have in common is their ability to adapt. Just because things don’t work out the way you think they will, doesn’t mean the goal is impossible to achieve: you have to be agile and find ways around obstacles. Even if it means taking a road you didn’t think about in the first place.
I often find myself in situations that frustrate me because things don’t go as planned. But without burying my head in the sand or being systematically optimistic, I always try to find fallback solutions that allow me to achieve my goals in spite of everything.
Error to avoid number 3
As I mentioned earlier, I’m the impatient type.
When I have an idea in mind, I want to be able to start implementing it as soon as possible.
In the past, I’ve often had between 5 and 10 projects at the same time, on many different levels (pro, personal, leisure…).
Wanting to achieve so many goals at the same time is a mistake: I often end up completely exhausted physically and mentally from having so many things to do and think about.
Use the PROJO planner to help you limit the goals you pursue at the same time to 3!
⚡ The lessons I learned from this:
If you want to run too many hares at once, you can’t catch any.
The energy and time we have to move forward towards our goals is not unlimited. So we have to spend it wisely.
Rather than pursuing a lot of goals at once, it’s better to focus your energy on a few: you see results faster and everything seems more achievable all of a sudden.
That’s the PROJO planner requires me to pursue only 3 objectives at the same time. This is the limit beyond which one disperses one’s energy, and it becomes much more difficult to achieve one’s goals.
We are all confronted one day or another to a failure in the achievement of our objectives. But we can learn from our failures to do better the next time!
What is the one mistake you typically make that prevents you from reaching your goals?
Hey! I’m Claire.
I’m a freelance innovation consultant, and founder of Minimal.Plan.
I believe that moving towards your goals one day at a time can help you live a more intentional and happy life.
That’s why I share planning, time management and motivation tips on this blog, and design tools to help you get organized to conquer your goals!