How to Avoid Pitfalls When Going After Big Goals​

Published by Deanna Yates on

How to Avoid Pitfalls When Going After Big Goals

These sneaky pitfalls can trip you up when you're trying to reach the big goals you set for yourself. Discover how you can avoid them.

It’s Day 5 of my self-imposed challenge to create a video and blog post about the Goal Achieving Workbook. Thank you for those of you who have joined me. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

So far we’ve discussed how to get clear on your goals and dream life, how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals, the 2 secret hacks you need to prioritize your goals, and ninja-like tricks you can steal to reach your goals.

This final day of the challenge, I am excited to talk about the pitfalls you might face on your journey to an awesome life and how to overcome them.

How to Overcome Pitfalls when Achieving Your Goals

Whenever you begin something new, it is best to be optimistic, but to plan for things to not always go according to plan. Here are some things to look out for so that you can increase your rate of success.

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1. Avoid Pitfalls by Knowing How You are Motivated

Gretchen Rubin has studied the four tendencies people have when it comes to their personalities. Whether you are a self-starter, need accountability, rebel against arbitrary goals, or are more laid back determines what motivators will work best when trying to achieve your goals.

If you are someone who needs accountability (like I am) and you try to go it alone you will most likely fail. This is because you are motivated by external factors and pressures. In this instance, it’s best to make sure others know about your goals, either through an accountability group or hiring a coach or trainer. 

I highly recommend taking the Four Tendencies Quiz to discover how you are motivated and start using your personality in your favor.

2. Avoid Pitfalls by Owning Your Time

When you are working to do something big, every moment counts. That means that time management is critical. Those with small children know that if you are working from home with little ones around, your time blocks are quick 15 minutes sprints.

The best thing that has worked for me are time blocks. I specify what activity I will work on and for how long. Then I race to see if I can finish the task before the time is up. I am so much more productive this way and can get more done.

3. Avoid Pitfalls by Creating Habits that Work for You.

We often are able to create habits easily for our children, but find it harder to do for ourselves. However, as discussed earlier this week, habits are one of the secret ninjas to actually achieving your goals.  

The habit cycle includes 3 phases – cue, routine, reward. Let’s use working out as a habit you want to form and map out the three phases as an example.

  • Cue – Layout your gym clothes the night before or mark the gym class on the calendar
  • Routine – The act of putting on the gym clothes and going to the gym.
  • Reward – Pay yourself $5 every time you go to the gym and get a massage or facial at the end of the month.

After your first month, and getting a glorious massage, you will be hooked. That’s a great habit and one that will continue to benefit and reward you as you keep it up.

4. Avoid Pitfalls by Giving Yourself Time to Succeed

Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? And our dream life won’t be either. When we start something new, we want the end result to be here like yesterday.

However, with big goals we need to remind ourselves that it will take time. That is why we need to break these large dreams into smaller, incremental goals. This will make it easier for us to stick to the plan and progress through the finish line.

5. Avoid Pitfalls by Connecting Your Goals to Your Dream Life.

Be sure to link your daily actions, sacrifices, and thoughts to your dream life. If your goal is to save money so you can stay home with your children, then you can use that to motivate you.

Instead of looking looking down at bringing your pb&j sandwich for lunch to work while your co-workers go out for Panera salads, remind yourself of your children and what it will mean when they no longer have to go to daycare.

6. Avoid Pitfalls by Getting Specific About What You REALLY Want

The absolute best way to stay motivated to achieve your goals is to make sure they are goals that really excite you in the first place. The long term gain has to be more exciting than the short term discomfort.

For instance, getting healthy is not good enough, but looking hot for your 20 year high school reunion. Now that’s motivating. Of course it’s not all about looks, but sometimes we need to use what we’ve got to get started. Another good way to do this is to set goals for a specific event like running a race, or planning a hiking vacation.

The purpose is to tune into something bigger than your will power (because it’s easy to get distracted and binge watch the latest show on Netflix). And above all else, make sure your goal is one you want (and not what you think you should want) because it’s YOUR DREAM LIFE we’re after.

Bonus Tip: Create a Stop Doing List

My final tip for today is to create a stop doing list. Maybe it’s something simple like picking up your children’s toys. Or maybe it’s something big like spending less time with an energy-draining friend. I’m not saying to cut negative people completely out of your life, but I am saying that you need to be VERY protective of your own energy.

Whatever it is you need to let go of, it’s time to remind yourself that your dream life is worth the slight discomfort you are going to experience as you say no, stand up for yourself, and make a few changes.

I believe in you! I know you can do it and you will feel amazing when you cut these energy zapping things from your life.

Don’t forget to download your free copy of the Goal Attaining Workbook so you can work though the last 5 days of goal achieving action. Let me know your favorite part in the comments below. 

And if you found this information helpful, I’d be honored if you would save it on Pinterest.

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