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12 Apr, 2009

Hit Your Goals

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles

Coaching Blog - Goals

When setting goals it is important to avoid making mistakes that can cause you to fail before you ever get to the action phase. Here are five pitfalls to avoid so that you don’t short circuit your success before you even get started.

Pitfall: Having Vague Ambitions. When you only have a general idea of what you want you really don’t have enough information to set your goal. You can’t hit the target if you don’t know what your target is. If you are vague you will be disappointed with the results. You will not get what you really want.

Solution: You need to be very specific as to what you want. You need to know exactly what you want. When you know exactly what you want then setting the goal and making a plan is easy. You simply state "I want this and this is how I plan to get it."

Pitfall: Not Getting Clear on Why. If you don’t get clear on the reason why you want what you want your chances of staying motivated to get it are slim. You will also get off track somewhere along the way as well. You will second guess what your doing. If is very difficult to hit a goal when you are confused or you are no longer inspired. Lack of clarity will hurt you in the long run.

Solution: Set aside some time to figure out why you want what you want. Write down as many reasons as you can think of. Keep your list close by until you have memorized everything that is on it. This list contains the reasons why you are doing the work. It shows you why you are striving to hit your goal. Once your reasons are clear to you it will be easier to stay on track.

Pitfall: Not Writing It Down. When you neglect writing your goal down you allow distractions to take over. It will seem like everything is more important than your dream. Pretty soon you won’t even remember what your goal was. How can you hit a goal that you can’t even recall?

Solution: Write your goal down on the back of a business card or on a index card. Write it down in the present tense. Keep that card with you. Look at it throughout the day. Read it out loud from time to time. In this way you program the target into your subconscious mind.

Pitfall: Making Your Goal Too Big. If you make your goal too big you set yourself up for overwhelm. Once you are in a state of overwhelm your confidence suffers. You will feel like you can’t do it. You’ll also feel like there is no use trying since you can’t possibly hit your goal anyway.

Solution: Break your goal down into manageable segments. Once you hit the goal for one segment then you can move on to the next. With each successful completion of the previous goal you will gain confidence and gather momentum. If will become easier to set and hit your bite-sized goals on the way to hitting the major goal itself.

Pitfall: Not Taking Action. A dream is just a wish when you refuse to take the necessary action. There is no way you can hit your goal without taking action. Talking about doing something is not work. Neither is thinking about doing something. If you don’t do the work you don’t stand a chance of hitting your goal.

Solution: Get moving. Take action. Take massive action towards hitting your goal. Be willing to do the work and then just go about doing it. Once you start it becomes easy to keep going, but you must begin taking the necessary steps. Once you are doing the work according to a sound plan your success is virtually assured.

Avoid these five pitfalls and you will avoid the common mistakes most people make when attempting to set and hit goals.

By Anthony D. Carter

Claim your free access to my special report "Setting And Hitting Your Goals" by going to From Anthony D. Carter a leading expert on Goal Setting.

3 Responses to "Hit Your Goals"

1 | Sharon Wilson

April 14th, 2009 at 1:34 am


Great post. You need to get off the couch and get moving. That’s the only way to make your goals a reality.

2 | sangeeta patel

April 19th, 2009 at 12:21 am


I have coached a client just wanting to get out of being in a rut! and she had commited to start by sorting her flat out and paperwork.
As she is feeling low she is too tired most of the time,and even doing the work which will only take a day and a half seems manageable yet overwhelming!
I feel she really needs to spend some time on the why as unless she tackles this issue and gets very clear about it- her paper work and flat will just keep on cluttering and the task will get harder.
So I fully agree the why is major important!

3 | Cherry Douglas

April 22nd, 2009 at 2:23 pm


Great post and as ever, it all boils down to taking action. As Jonathan Jay said at a Coaching Academy course some years ago @if you don’t do anything different, nothing will change’.

However, I do sometimes baulk at this idea of having to get absolute clarity over what you want. Sometimes the longer term goals will be a bit vague. What matters is that you can be clear about your next step.

I like the notion of Fuzzy Vision that I first came across from Tony Grant. It allows you to have a fuzzy long term aim, that you can adjust as you approach it. It stops you being overly fixated on one thing because as you move forwards, new possibilities come into view and it is great to give yourself permission to adjust your vision in the light of new information.

So for some of my career change clients, if they had to wait to be clear as a bell about their new career, they would never move, because they don’t know what they want. The only way for the new career ideas to emerge is for them to start moving and exploring and then being open to what comes up along the journey.


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