SMART Goals | By Dennis Hocker | Read time minutes
Success and achieving goals are two topics that have universal appeal. You would think that something that commands the interest of so many people would be understood and used by nearly everyone. However, what I have discovered is that most people make the same mistakes again and again. They never reach their desired outcome. Here are seven more of the common mistakes that most people make in their quest for improvement and achievement.
- No written plan. I can give you the statistics of numerous studies that prove people with written goals have great success than those without written plans. Of course both of these groups greatly outperform those with no goals at all! The written plan keeps you on course and clearly identifies when you have completed one step and are ready for the next.
I recently drove from the north eastern United States down to Florida, a 1000 mile drive. There were only 11 key steps to take in that whole journey. My plan simply listed the steps and allowed me to easily reach my destination. The written plan is your map to get from where you are to where you want to be.
- Failure to focus on a single goal. Multitasking is greatly overrated! The term was probably coined by some overly aggressive Type-A personality. A juggler with six balls in the air must divide his focus on all six balls or one will hit the ground. Goals are not different. If you have multiple goals you are less likely to achieve any of them. Focus on one, complete it, and then move to the next.
- Not living in the present. You can't change what occurred yesterday and you can't predict what will happen tomorrow. Focus on what you can do right now! No more "I wish I had…" or "What if…" games. You can only control what you do in the present, so do something that moves you closer to your primary goal.
- Confusing activity with productivity. This is a huge misconception in business in general as well as goal achievement. Many assume if they are doing something, it is better than doing nothing. The real question is, does the task you are doing move you closer to your goal. Generally, what we find is the activity being perform is simply easier than the goal task that needs to be completed.
- Not fully answering the question, why. Why do you want to lose ten pounds or get a better education? Keep asking yourself the why question until you get to the core reason. Does that core reason really excite you? Is the goal really your idea or someone else's idea. Only goals truly meaningful to you will move you to achievement.
- Expectations of failure. If you don't think you will succeed, you will not. A recent championship football game was tied and went into sudden death overtime. When one team lost the flip of the coin, the star of the team could be heard saying, "oh well - game over." Needless to say the opposing team quickly moved the ball down the field and won the game.
- Failure to fail. Most of us like to play it safe. However, the greatest success stories almost always have a great story of failure as well. Many never set goals simply so they don't fail. If you never try, you will never achieve.
Dr. Hocker, The Coach's Coach, trains and mentors hundreds of coaches each month through a series of live training events and webinars. He has successfully established and developed coaching teams in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, South Africa, Australia, and Canada. He is a Certified Master Mentor, Master Coach, Master Analyst in Axiology, Master Behaviours Coach, Master Values Coach, and a Master Financial Benchmarker. Dr. Hocker has been an advisor to businesses since 1978.
Recommended read: How to Drive Project Success Using SMART Goals by Duncan Haughey.