Setting Goals And Achieving Them

20 Mistakes You MUST Avoid

Many people go about setting goals and achieving them the wrong way. It's easy to get it wrong. Goal setting is a skill, a science, but one that few of us are taught.

Here's a list of the top mistakes people make. Avoid them and you'll get it right from the start.



  • You think goals are something you only do once a year - at New Year.

  • You set New Years goals but you don't achieve them. Without realising it you build up the belief that you are not good at achieving goals.

  • You don't spend enough time taking stock of how your life currently is so that you can be clear on what you would prefer instead.

  • You don't take enough time to think about what it is you really, really want.

  • You have too many goals.

  • You don't put your goals into writing.

  • You don't think through the specific metrics of your goal – ie your goal is too general.

  • Your goal is far too big for you to achieve. You have not broken it down into smaller more manageable goals.

  • The goal is outside your control and influence – you could never make it happen on your own.

  • Your goal is a 'should' goal and not a 'want' goal.

  • You don't know 'why' you want your goal.

  • You don't spend enough time working out the possible downsides to achieving your goal.

  • You don't have a plan, an effective course of action.

  • You don't take enough action.

  • You don't think through, or find, the resources that you need to achieve your goal.

  • You don't go where you need to go, contact who you need to contact, get what you need to get etc
  • You don't develop the skills you need.

  • You don't believe:
  • “ This is Possible”

    “ I want to do this”

    “ I can do this”

    - the three core beliefs behind setting goals and achieving them.

  • You have a clash of values. For example, security is more important to you than risk, and yet you set a goal that requires high risk.

  • You are just not the kind of person to achieve the kind of goal you set.

Recommended Next Step?

Step 2 of the Smart Goals Success Formula™

Return to the mini course on goal setting.

Learn how to set smart goals.

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What People Are Saying:

"I would have told you I had clear goals, but as a result of the tools I saw they were not nearly as tight as they need to be if I want to quickly build my dreams".

E. Alana James

Founder - Doctoral Academy

I would highly recommend this process to think through any task that is important to you but may seem unattainable."

Myriam Cronin
Gateway Incubation Centre
University College Cork

"The discipline of working through the steps and key questions in the Smartest Goals process brings exceptional clarity and focus allowing me to achieve much more in a shorter time than I hertofore thought possible.

I would highly recommend this approach to anyone who wishes to achieve their dreams."

Helen O’Dowd
Virginia Health Foods

"I am delighted with My Smartest Goal!

I was at a bit of a crossroads in my business and I found the entire process most helpful, insightful, and inspirational!"

Fiona Foley- Gaffney
Colour Me Beautiful