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Episode 44: Goal-Setting Gone Wrong: When Good Intentions Hit Roadblocks

Hello, and welcome! Much of my work as a coach is helping people who are stuck at Point A get to Point B. One of the most common mistakes I see people make when they are setting and achieving goals is not having a strong enough “Why”. Your Why is the reason behind your goal, the driving force that will keep you motivated, even when things get tough. Without clarity about this, it’s easier to give up or lose sight of what you’re working towards. So, what do you do if you’re unsure? You know, you have to start by asking yourself what's important to you. What are your values and your passions? How would achieving that goal align you to those things? What impact is it going to have on your life or the lives of others? Once you’ve identified your Why, keep it front and center. Make it a priority. Write it down, create a vision board, or simply remind yourself every day.. Especially when you’re feeling discouraged or unmotivated, go back to your most basic motivations and remind yourself of the bigger picture.

Another thing that slows down progress is having goals that aren’t specific enough. Vague milestones like “I want to be healthier” or “I want to be happier” are hard to measure and even harder to achieve. Instead, get detailed about what you want to accomplish and how you’ll measure your progress. For example, if your goal is to be healthier, break it down into specific actions you can take like eating an extra serving of vegetables at dinner, drinking 16 more ounces of water daily, or exercising for 30 minutes on weekdays. Track your progress using a diary or app. By being specific about what you want to achieve and how you’ll measure it, you’ll be more likely to stay on track and see results.

Not having a support system can also hamper your growth. Achieving your goals can be challenging, and having people in your corner can make all the difference. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and support your goals. Share your goals with them and ask them for help and encouragement when you need it. If you don’t have a support system, don't worry! There are plenty of online communities, support groups, and accountability partners you can connect with. You could join an Instagram, TikTok, or FB group or find a local group that meets to find people who share your interests and goals. Having a community can provide you with motivation, accountability, and a sense of connection that’s going to keep you going, especially when things get hard.

Another kind of mistake that people make when setting a goal is trying to do too much too soon. It’s easy to get excited about a new goal and dive headfirst into it. But this can lead to burnout or even injury. Instead, start small and build gradually. Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon. You have to start by walking or jogging for a few minutes a day and incrementally increase your time and distance. If your goal is to learn a new language, start with a few basic phrases and build from there. By breaking the process down into manageable steps, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed and will give yourself adequate time and space to develop those skills or change those habits.

And finally, one of the biggest, and most common, roadblocks is self-doubt. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative self-talk or comparisons to others, but this is going to mess up your confidence and hold you back. To overcome self-doubt, we need to practice self-compassion and explore our strengths. Start by acknowledging your accomplishments and the progress you’ve made towards your goal. You didn’t just get here. You followed a path. You’ve had ups, you’ve had downs. Recognize that setbacks and failures are a normal part of the process, and use them as learning opportunities rather than reasons to give up. Surround yourself with positive affirmations, and seek out role models who have already walked a similar path. By having faith in your strengths and building your confidence, you are going to be better equipped to persevere through the inevitable challenges and cross the finish line you’ve been striving for..

So, goal setting? Yeah, it’s a powerful tool for achieving success, but it’s not always easy. To avoid the common pitfalls it’s important to have that strong “Why”, be specific, have a support system, start small, and practice self-compassion. By setting realistic goals, having a clear plan of action, holding yourself accountable, staying motivated, and overcoming fear and self-doubt, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. So get out there, set some goals, and start taking action towards the life you want to create. You got this! Good luck!


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