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Do you set goals? Goal setting is one of the most powerful things you can do to chart the course of your future and increase your success. Many people don’t set goals because they’ve tried it before and been disillusioned.

Perhaps you tried setting a goal and something didn’t work out and you decided goal setting doesn’t work; or maybe you concluded that goal setting works for other people, but not for you. If so you were probably making one or more of the following common mistakes:

Mistake #1 – You didn’t write it down. You probably forgot about it. In any case, you probably didn’t focus on it very much.

Mistake #2 – Your goal was a wish. You didn’t commit to achieving your goal. You didn’t make a plan and follow your plan.

Mistake #3 – You didn’t track the progress towards your goal.

Mistake #4 – You set too many goals at one time. Instead of increasing your focus and clarity, your goals led you to being scattered, unfocused, and overwhelmed.

Mistake #5 – You didn’t set a deadline for your goal and this led to procrastination.

Mistake #6 – You set a long-term goal and didn’t set related short-term goals (milestones) leading to achievement of the larger goal.

Mistake #7 – Your goal was unrealistic. It wasn’t achievable.

Mistake #8 – You didn’t take action on your goal immediately. You didn’t use your initial inspiration and clarity to establish a habit of taking action towards your goal, and therefore you never really got started.

Mistake #9 – Your goal was too vague. It wasn’t measurable. There was no way to know whether you achieved it or not. Therefore, it didn’t provide clarity on where to focus and what actions to take.

Mistake #10 – Your goal wasn’t inspiring. It wasn’t a true reflection of your values and your passion. It wasn’t authentically you. Or maybe your goal was too easy to achieve and therefore not inspiring. Your goal will be inspiring if it’s a bit of a stretch – just the right amount of challenge; and of course, something that reflects YOUR values.

Mistake #11 – You had no accountability. You didn’t tell anyone about your goal and you didn’t ask anyone to hold you accountable. You also didn’t hold yourself accountable.

Now that you know the 11 Most Common Mistakes people make when setting goals, you can easily avoid them. I hope you’re inspired to set some goals!

Successful Goal Setting and Tracking

I’d like to share an example of successful goal setting from my own life. When I started my Life and Business Coaching business in 2003, I set a goal to have 20 clients within 6 months. But, I didn’t stop there. I also set a goal to get 3 to 4 new clients each month and I set up a system to track my progress.

I started a support group of coaches, building their businesses and we checked in by phone on a regular basis, providing a system of support and accountability. I also created a simple one-page tracking sheet that I posted on my wall. I updated the tracking sheet every time I signed up a new client, and it was exciting to watch my progress. It was also very helpful to have a visual reminder of my goal. This helped me to focus and take action on a regular basis. The result? I had 20 clients in 6 months and 23 clients in 7 months. I had a full business and a good income in a shorter time frame than 95% of all coaches.

I encourage you to set up a visual tracking system for the next goal that you set. There are many ways to track a goal visually, so be creative. Trust me, setting up a tracking system for your goals will make you far more successful.

You will need to set up a system for updating your chart on a regular basis. For example, I update my Client Goal Tracking sheet every time I get a new client or a current client completes their work with me. I updated my Net Worth Goal Chart every 3 months and I have set up a reminder email from my Yahoo calendar so I can’t forget. Get the idea?

Good luck achieving your goals and don’t forget to have fun!

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