4 Ways You Failed At Goal Setting... And How To Get It Right

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How many times have you set goals only to realize six months later that you're way off track or, in most cases, you totally forgot about that goal? 

Probably more often than you'd like... Seriously, the internet likes to make you feel like you're the only person not crushing your goals, not taking a chance and not finding your very own dream come true, but the truth is...

You're not alone. Even the smartest people can have trouble reaching their goals. Trust me, it's not because you're not as smart, not as ambitious or not as committed to your goals. 

In reality, you could be making some huge mistakes at the very beginning when you set your goal that can make it harder to stick to your goals all the way through. Here are the top four mistakes people make when goal setting (the good news is you can totally fix it!): 

 

1. You didn't have a clear vision.

To accomplish your goals (and actually feel accomplished at the end of your journey) you have to know what success looks like. How do you know if you've accomplished your goals if you haven't defined it? For example, you set a goal of starting a blog, BUT after you set up a landing page and create 3 blog posts and you don't feel accomplished.

A clear vision goes deep. Ask yourself questions like: What exactly do you want to accomplish and when? Why do you want to accomplish that goal? When you can answer those questions, you officially have a clear vision.

 

2. Your goals were too small. 

Sometimes, setting small goals can be a good thing. When you set smaller goals, you can create momentum early on in your journey that will give you encouragement and help you push through challenges. On the other hand, setting smaller goals can be easy to push to the side because you think "it'll be easy, I can do it tomorrow." If your goal doesn't challenge you, it's also easier to lose interest. You may realize that even after accomplishing your goal, you feel like you haven't done anything. 

Set a goal that feels LARGE so you can challenge yourself and experience growth while reaching your goals.

 

3. Your goals were too hard

Social media will really make you feel like your goals should BE SO BIG THEY SCARE YOU. If your goal is too big, the learning curve too steep, the amount of money so high that you're considering opening a new credit card.... it's time to stop and take a step back! 

Your goals should be large enough to challenge you, but not so large that you sell your soul to reach them. Your goals should not drain you. Choose a goal you are best positioned to pursue right now.

 

4. You just didn't feel like it several days in a row... and then you forgot about it.

The hardest thing about accomplishing any goal is that it will take some time to bring that vision to completion. For example, when you go to the gym, it might take a few weeks of actually lifting the weights, running the laps and sitting in the jacuzzi (just me?) before you see any visible change. When you're spending all of your time doing the work without seeing results it can be difficult to keep waking up every day excited about that goal. In that moment, some people would give up. 

Writing your goals down or visualizing them will help you keep track of the goals you want to accomplish. Create a vision board to remind you of your goals and motivate you daily of what you're working towards.

 

Once you know where the pitfalls are, you have all the tools you need to avoid them and rock your days, months and years to the fullest. Your goal is within reach, so go out there and crush it.

xoxo

Upgrade Your Goal-Setting: Our team created The Vision Board Planner to help you get clarity on your vision, nail down your goals, create a vision board that works and enjoy the entire process. Grab your copy here.

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Create a Vision Board That Actually Serves You (Not Just One That Looks Good)

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I'm a huge fan of creating a new vision board at the beginning of each year. Since I started three years ago, it's taken me longer and longer to complete my board because I like to make sure the images and quotes will serve me all year long - and it has to be reflective of what I really want to accomplish.

Vision boards (especially those made with friends and complimented with wine) can help give you a vision of what to aspire to and what you want to accomplish. I personally like them because my vision board usually help me make huge changes in my life and during rough times, it helps me stay committed to the goals and keep my eye on the prize.

For your vision board to really work in helping you reach your goals, you have to make sure that it is a great representation of what you want to accomplish.

Seems easy, right?

The truth is... creating a representation of your goals is not so easy because...

In 2017, we're all suffering from major FOMO. You see someone creating an online business or popular YouTube channel, traveling the world or living their dreams (don't even get me started on the friends getting engaged and having beautiful weddings) and all of the sudden you want to see your life go in a similar direction. In reality, you COULD want something completely different, but constantly being connected is keeping you from focusing on your own goals.

Self help podcasts + books + articles + gurus tell you what you want... rather than you deciding what you want. No matter where we go, we're constantly plugged in, listening to some successful person talking about how they achieved their level of success... dangling their implied fame + fortune in your face, only for you to try every method possible to reach that same success. When, all the while, their success may not be aligned with your idea of success.

To create a vision that served you, you gotta get clear on what you want. Try these four activities to get there:

 

Take account of what energizes you and makes you happy

Think back to a time where you were on top of your game. You felt great, you were rewarded for your success and impact AND, most importantly you were proud of yourself. What were you doing at that point in your life?

Try to make sure those same actions and activities are apart of your big vision.

 

Decide what you want out of your life

What's the end goal, here? What are you working towards? A year from now, what does your ideal life look like? If you can get clear on what you want, you can create a vision that will help you get there.

 

Decide what you're going to say NO to

Show me your calendar and I'll show you your priorities. Sometimes we can get caught in a trap of making everyone around us happy with miscellaneous tasks that have nothing to do with what we want out of life. When you decide what you are going to stop doing (and say "No" to) you get to make more room for the things you say yes to.... and start doing more of the things that will push you closer to accomplishing your goals.

 

Triage your life

Everyone hates going to the Emergency Room because they take entirely too long to get to you UNLESS something has gone terribly wrong and you need help RIGHT NOW. Imagine that every aspect of your life is waiting for you to optimize it in the ER. Look at everything - your personal finances, relationships, education, career and everything in between - and decide which one needs the most attention. Thinking about your priorities like this will help you make the changes that will make a huge difference in your life.

 

Following these four activities to create a clear vision will help you create a vision board that really changes your life.

Happy Creating!

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Why Setting Small Goals is the Key to Achieving Your Vision

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About a year ago, I finally got the job of my dreams. (Prior to that I had a series of wish-and-a-prayer jobs - that included a lot of restaurant experience and not a lot of money.) Needless to say, this was my first time EVER being able to afford a student loan payment. 

(Listen, my life was the serious struggle - and I was deferring those payments left and right. I didn't even know what making a payment felt like. #DontJudge)

The moment I was able to start making payments, I realized one thing: The interest on my $40k worth of debt added up to $200/month. In short, it finally hit me that the money I borrowed at 18 (a bright-eyed-bushy-tailed first generation college student with no understanding of student loan debt) was costing 28-year-old me $200 of my hard earned cash each month.

AND I WAS NOT HAVING THAT. (I'm a girl who likes her money. #SorryNotSorry)

So I decided then and there, after my first student loan payment, that I was going to pay this loan off before 30 (a little over 2 years).

I started to think about how I was going to get out of that debt and I had a few options to bring in more cash:

  1. Start Blogging (fo' profit)
  2. Become a freelancer
  3. Create a business of some sort (I wasn't very sophisticated at this point.)
  4. Sell stuff 
  5. Get a raise at work
  6. Cut my expenses

At first glance, the idea of paying off $40K in debt in 2 years is a tough pill to swallow. (On top of that, I'm a single mom so I can't exactly live in my car and eat Ramen.) What I really needed was a strategy, a different frame to put around this big goal so I could see it differently.

I decided to go with one of the greatest goal setting principles of all time.

BREAK DOWN LARGE GOALS INTO SMALLER GOALS.

I love this principle, quite simply, because it works.

Breaking down your goals means to take the gigantic goal that you want to accomplish - and find smaller milestones within that goal that you can focus your attention on. When done right, the small milestones will eventually lead you to accomplishing the larger goal. 

For example, I have a large goal of paying off 40K of debt in two years, but rather than focusing on the whole 40K, I can focus my efforts on paying off $1,000.

Focusing on $1,000 (aka. the much smaller goal) can make a huge difference in whether or not I make it across the debt-free finish line, here's why:

 

small goals make your large goal easily DIGESTIBLE.

In my journey, I decided to focus on paying $1,000 at a time. For the first few months, I was able to rent out a room in my apartment for $500/month. Then, I did vision board workshops for nonprofits and companies. At each moment, I knew what my goal is in the back of my head and with no stress, I was able to find more opportunities to work on my next thousand.

While a very large goal can feel incredibility out of reach, a small goal makes you feel like you can reach the goal - and it will be easy. This makes it much easier to START.

 

Helps You Build Momentum

The moment I paid off the first one thousand dollars, I knew how easy it would be to pay off the next one thousand and IT FELT SO GOOD to pay it off. It was a huge win for me. Rather than watching all of my payments go to interest, I was able to see the fruit of my labor. I put a dent in those darn student loans. In my head...

I WAS ALREADY WINNING.

One key to achieving anything is the way you FEEL while you're doing it. Feeling good about something can push you forward on those days where you're feeling less motivated. 

 

Build Towards A Larger Goal

Each time I could pay off one thousand dollars, I was buiding towards the 40K, but I don't even think about the 40K anymore, I think about the next thousand - and celebrate each one. That way, reaching my goal feels like a succession of wins.

Rather than thinking, "I still have 39K to go" I can think - "Wow. I've ALREADY paid of 1K!"

Small goals are you opportunity to win - even if you haven't won the war (yet), you can win the battle over and over and over again.

Keep winning!

xoxo,
Chantl Martin

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Download the FREE Big Vision Reflection checklist to build a vision board that will help you create MIRACULOUS change in your life.

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