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10 Goal Setting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

eft goals self-help tapping Nov 29, 2023

Do you have trouble setting and accomplishing your goals?  See if you are making any of these common mistakes.  Try adjusting your goals with the tips listed here.

#1 Vague Goals

Mistake: The goal is too general or vague.  “I can be more organized.”

Solution: Make it specific. “I can clean out and organize my closet so I can easily locate my things.”


#2 Not Measurable

Mistake: There is no way to know when the goal has been reached.  “I can be healthier.”

Solution: Determine how you will know when you have achieved your goal. What does success look like?  Use metrics that you can track.  “I can lower my A1C number from 6 to 5.” 


#3 Unrealistic Goals

Mistake: The goal is too ambitious or unrealistic. “I can start training today to run a marathon next week.”

Solution: Make it a goal that is attainable, but not too easy. “I can start training today to run a marathon in 6 months.”  When you have your goal statement, give it a score on a scale from 0 to 10 (0=it will never happen, 10=it’s a sure thing).  If your score is very low, your goal may be too challenging.  If your score is very high, the goal may not be challenging enough.  Adjust your goal so that it will push you but not be so overwhelming that you stop working on it.


#4 Not Aligned with Overall Vision

Mistake: The goal does not move you in the direction of your long-term vision. “My vision is to become a yoga instructor.  My goal is to learn to crochet.”

Solution: Make it a goal that will help you achieve your life vision.  Why do you want to reach this goal? “My goal is to enroll in a yoga teaching training program because my vision is to become a yoga instructor.”


#5 No Deadline

Mistake: The goal has no deadline. “I can start a blog.”

Solution: Set a deadline or date range for the goal. “I can start a blog by December 31.”


#6 No Reminders

Mistake: The goal is set but there is no reminder of it. 

Solution: Write your goals down and read them often.  For additional support, create a vision board that you see every day.  Try writing your #1 goal 15 times each day so it stays on your mind.


#7 Goal is Negative

Mistake: The goal is stated negatively.  “I won’t be anxious during the presentation.”

Solution: The goal states what you want rather than what you want to avoid or eliminate.  “I can confidently make this presentation.”


#8 Not Part of Daily Routine or Schedule

Mistake: Daily actions do not support reaching the goal.  For example, the goal is to prepare for a 5k race, but the habit is to work out once a week for 1 hour.

Solution: Establish new habits that can accumulate to reach your goal.  Work out every day for 30 minutes to prepare for the race.


#9 Avoiding Goal because of Obstacles

Mistake: Letting fear or another obstacle get in the way. “I have this goal, but ________ stands in my way.”

Solution: Address the issue that holds you back.  See it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.  “I have this goal, and __________ usually stops me.  This time I am going to __________ to overcome it so I can achieve my goal.”


#10 Written in Future Tense

Mistake: The goal is written in future tense so it is always out of your grasp – I will, I hope, I want.

Solution: Write in the present tense so you can assume it is happening now. Use I am, I can, I feel, I have.


Use this checklist for setting goals:

  • Be specific: Ask Who? What? Where? When?
  • Make it measurable: How will you know when you have achieved your goal?
  • Set something you can attain: Do you have the resources necessary? If not, can you find them?
  • Make it relevant to your long-term vision: Why do you want to accomplish this?
  • Set a deadline: What is the date range or due date for this goal?
  • Write your goals and review them often: Write them daily and use a vision board.
  • State the goal positively: Identify what you want rather than what you want to avoid.
  • Schedule activities to support your goal: What daily or regular action can you take to reach this goal? What is your next step? When will you do it?
  • Address obstacles: What would stop you from reaching this goal and how can you remove those blocks? (How about trying EFT?)
  • State the goal in the present tense: Assume it is a done deal and feel that way.


"Goals. There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them.  And there's no telling what will happen when you act upon them."  - Jim Rohn