4 Reasons Leaders Miss Goals

Never too early to check

Check that you are on target

Here we are at the middle of January of 2019!  How are you doing with your “resolutions”?  The statistics are not in our favor for sticking with and actually accomplishing our goals.  NOW is the time to evaluate where you are so you can adjust the rudder sooner rather than later. Course corrections are far more effective early in the journey.

Check out these top 4 reasons that derail us from our objectives.  Reevaluate your targets sooner rather than later and get back on track.  Be sure not to over-commit to too many goals.  This will definitely pull us off track – no more than 7-10 goals TOTAL. (Including personal and professional goals)

1. Clarity

One of the most common mistakes is that the goal is stated in a general versus specific statement. Be sure your goal is framed precisely. As an example:

Stay focused on goals
Stay focused on important things.

Goal: Exercise in 2019. What’s missing from this? The how and when!

Revised goal: Exercise 3 times per week: M-W-F at 6 am for 30 minutes. Once you have a definite goal in this form, you can write it on your calendar. Add it to your schedule as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself.

Use a formula: There are so many formulas available:

  1. From X to Y by When
  2. SMART formula:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound
  3. SMARTER formula, from Michael Hyatt’s Your Best Year Ever
    • Specific – identify exactly what you want to accomplish
    • Measurable – you can’t manage what you don’t measure
    • Actionable – start with an action verb (quit, run, start write, etc)
    • Realistic – takes you out of your comfort zone but is still realistic
    • Time-bound – has an end date or repetitive appointment
    • Exciting – must be compelling
    • Relevant – to your season in life
  4. In short, use some kind of formula to create your goals

A goal properly set is halfway reached.

Zig Ziglar

2. Intrinsic Motivation

Choose goals that excite you
Your goals should excite and energize you

We need to be motivated to start and continue to take action on our goals.  Determine your “why” for the goal.  Intrinsic motivation will drive you more successfully to accomplish your objectives.  Intrinsic motivations come from us personally: our values, our ambitions.  External motivations are not as long-lasting.

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes

Andrew Carnegie

3. Setting in Motion

Once you're ready, go go go!
Set your dreams in motion

Failure to launch is a real thing! We must set ourselves up for success. Break down the goal into actionable steps you can do daily/weekly to continue moving forward. “Kaizen” your goals!

And always remember to eat your frogs first!

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it.


4. Write Goals Down

write down goals to internalize them
Hand writing goals and lists helps embed them in your brain.

You must write your goals down and review them frequently. Some find it helpful to review every day, some weekly.  At the very least, review each week to evaluate how you are moving forward.  Write them down in your planner, on your computer, create a poster, make it fun.  There is some new research about actually writing them down by hand: The Power of Writing Down.

You become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

Dr. Gail Matthews

Leadership Challenge

Take time NOW to review your goals and recreate them with the above suggestions.  Happy Goal Setting – wishing you success with your 2019 goals!  My favorite book on setting goals and creating a successful year is Your Best Year Ever, by Michael Hyatt.

We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions! Let us know if this information was helpful and meaningful for you by posting a comment to this article. If you have any tips and hints that have worked for you, please share them with your fellow leaders here, too.

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