So You Didn’t Reach Your Goals, Now What?

I have a love hate relationship with goal setting this time of year.

Either I feel really proud of myself for the things I actually accomplished, like hiring Jake the trainer to help me body build, or really crummy that I didn’t reach some goal that I was certain sounded like a really good idea when I sat down to outline my goals a year ago.

How about you?

Goal setting can be powerful

Goal SettingAll of my coaching clients are working on setting their goals. It’s a very powerful and enlightening process and you can do it right along with us from the comfort of your couch. This process is two distinct parts and we start today with part one and then part two in a separate post will follow, ”How to Create Your Best Year Yet.”

Let’s begin.

Pull out the goal list you made last year or if you can’t find it, just take out a piece of paper and make a list of what you remember. Making sure I keep my reputation for being a glass half full kind of gal, I recommend starting off by taking great pride in all that you accomplished this past year.

Celebrate your goals

Some ideas to stop and actually notice you met some of your important goals.

  • Pat yourself on the back!
  • Tell someone you love who will tell you, “Way to go and you totally rock!” I start by telling my husband.
  • Make a list of the good stuff you did and hang it on the refrigerator door or put it in your notes file on your phone under SuperStar or some such header so you don’t forget that you can do things that seemed impossible at one time and can look at it when you are feeling down in the dumps! I actually have a notebook, called “Really Good Stuff.”
  • Do something to celebrate your success; go out for dinner, have a glass of something bubbly to toast yourself, or maybe buy yourself a little reminder of your hard work. I tend to minimize my accomplishments and my coach has to remind me constantly to take a time out to acknowledge myself.

What to do when you fail to meet your goals?

I don’t think anyone I know has ever accomplished every one of their goals every year, so to start with you’re not alone. This year I missed a really big business goal that I really wanted to come to fruition. Here are some thoughts that circle through my mind and maybe yours too, when I remember I fell short.

“Maybe I didn’t do enough.”

“Maybe I didn’t try hard enough.”

“Maybe I didn’t want it badly enough.”

“Maybe I just suck and there was no way it was going to happen to begin with so who was I kidding.”

This downward self-deprecating chatter doesn’t help one bit, so what can we do when we miss one or more of our goals?

You Need a Plan

  1. Take a good look at the goal and ask yourself if it’s still really important to you? Do you still care? Does it still matter? Maybe it was important a year ago, but now, not so much.
  2. If the answer to the first question is ‘no’ it doesn’t matter any more, let it go and forget it. Sometimes we just change our minds or our circumstances change in our lives.
  3. If missing that goal still does matter to you, take a look at what you did towards realizing that specific goal and what would you need to do differently this time around to get a different result. You probably don’t need to be reminded that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. For me, I still want that big business goal and I’m not happy with myself that I didn’t reach it. I have outlined a list of what I could do differently this time and am on my way. Step #1 for me was deciding where I am going to put my focus work wise for this year. This process included revamping my Vision Quest Consulting company website. I’m quite proud of the result and I am reminded that focus is a wonderful thing.

Guideposts Can Be the Key

If you missed a goal and you still want it you need a new plan. Want to increase your chances of getting it? Use one of your current accomplishments as a guidepost. Take an inventory of just exactly how you used your skills, expertise and behaviors to accomplish the goal in which you were wildly successful. Now apply the same principles to the goal(s) in which you fell short.

Here is a personal example. One of my goals last year was to get fit and healthier. What skills, expertise or behaviors helped me to accomplish this goal?

  1. I reached out for help and hired an expert to help me, aka, Jake the Fitness Trainer
  2. I made regular appointments to have work out sessions with Jake
  3. I practiced what Jake the trainer taught me when I was at the gym by myself
  4. I scheduled 4-5 days a week at the gym on my calendar and I was relentless in terms of keeping appointments with myself or with Jake

So how can I reach that business goal that I did not do a good job with in 2018? Using my list above and relating it to work, I could ask for help from an expert, (my coach would be a good choice) and focus on working on this goal with her. I could make regular appointments with myself written and blocked off on my calendar to make sure I have given myself enough time to work on it, and finally, I could make certain that am relentless about keeping these appointments with myself.

The final word on goals you missed.

Missing a goal can ruin our self-confidence and self-esteem. Putting ourselves back on track is the only way to remedy this. Get started. You’ll be glad you did and stay tuned for part two in this goal series, ”Create Your Best Year Yet.”