New Year’s Resolutions – Again?

Last week, I shared ideas on goal setting, including its benefits, why careful planning is essential, and a few tricks to use to get your goals outlined.

But do you ever feel your goals are restrictive or inhibiting?

If so, please keep this in mind: goals are a journey of discovery, not hard, absolute rules that can never be modified, changed, or even abandoned if you decide you need to go a different direction. This means:

  • Goals don't need to be set in stone. Along the way you may well change the substance of your goals or how they'll be achieved, and this is normal.
  • A goal doesn't have to be big and definitive.  A goal can be a possibility or idea to be explored. An example of this type of goal could be "I have discovered and clarified my next career path by _____" (always include a time frame). Once that “clarity goal” has been reached, the next goal could be about achieving success in that area.
  • Goals give direction and focus to your journey through life.  You can and should be open to choosing a different path should a better goal or direction become apparent as you move forward.
  • And remember, it has to be your goal, not your coach’s, motivation guru's, boss's, family's, or partner's goal.

Many people go into a new year with great intentions but get caught in the trap of merely dreaming about the “what if’s”.  There are some common blocks we may all face when we attempt to set – and reach – our goals.

8 Common Blocks to Achieving Goals[1]

If you’re struggling to reach your goals, it's probably for one of these reasons:

  1. Feeling regret and negative thoughts about past failed goals. You may not have processed your feelings or learned from your mistakes. This is the most common block to setting goals.
  2. Not acknowledging or celebrating goals that have been achieved. This is the second-most-common issue I see. Celebrating progress and achievements boosts our self-esteem and energy—and helps us keep going.
  3. Not changing behaviors or habits. Often goals need behavioral change to be achieved—for instance, giving up, or at least minimizing, junk food if you want to lose weight.
  4. Setting an unrealistic deadline for achieving the goal. This puts too much pressure on you, and you may become disheartened or avoid the goal altogether.
  5. Not checking out the foundation of the goal to make sure it's powerful and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timebound).
  6. Not having a strong enough reason for wanting the goal. Do you know your why? A clear "why" makes any "what" possible!
  7. Failing to put the goal in writing so it just spins around in your head. Writing a goal down gives it substance and makes it feel more real.
  8. Creating a goal around a "should" or an "ought to" rather than something you really want. Does the goal belong to you or someone else in your life?

Goals are important – in our personal lives as well as in organizations. They drive profit, personal financial security, health and wellness, engagement, stellar relationship/client service, and happiness. 

If you could love going to work every day – including Monday – what would that mean to you?  What is not achieving your goals costing you? 

Need an external source to help you identify where you are in your goal setting?  Let’s chat.


P.S.  Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!


[1] Be Your Own Goals Coach, Wendy Buckingham (via Why Set Goals? With 8 Common Blocks to Achieving Your Goals & More! | By Wendy Buckingham | The Launchpad - The Coaching Tools Company Blog) January 5, 2021