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7 Deadly Sins of Goal Setting

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

I've made plenty of mistakes in my life. That can't be denied. Who hasn't? I've made mistakes at work, home, and in my personal relationships. It stinks! I'm sure you have as well. That's why I'm a huge fan of making lists — they allow me to confront my shortcomings head on and make things right.

Overview of running shoes, dumbbells and a skipping rope

The Bible talks about the 7 deadly sins which are the capital vices that prevent man from entering the kingdom of heaven. Similar to these vices, people can consistently make a few errors that may prevent them from achieving desired outcomes.


The Bible talks about the 7 deadly sins which are the capital vices that prevent man from entering the kingdom of heaven. Similar to these vices, people can consistently make a few errors that may prevent them from achieving desired outcomes.


I've compiled a list of tips on what to avoid when setting goals. Watch out for these 7 deadly sins – but don't fret! Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.




What you already know about goal setting ...

So, if you have read any other blog post or article on goal setting, here is what you have heard before:

  1. Make goals measurable.

  2. Give yourself deadlines for your goals.

  3. Put your goals in writing (and make sure they're not too vague). This is actually pretty important because it's been proven that writing things down helps with commitment and actually sticking to it!

The problem with these ideas are that they're so generic. Anybody could tell you the same thing, but we want to do better than that. Let's dive into what NOT to do.



1. Setting Too Many and/or Unrealistic Goals

You might have several things you want to accomplish in a given month or year. But it's important to keep it simple, especially when you're trying out something new. Quality is better than quantity, so choose one goal that will provide the most impact immediately, then set several smaller goals within that larger one. Be sure these smaller goals contribute to the main one.


This means assessing all your ideas, consider which one will provide the most impact to all categories in your life? Go with that goal and try not to overwhelm yourself with too many at once! Otherwise, you'll be more likely to get discouraged if they don't happen right away.


Remember: start small and build up slowly!


Another common mistake that people make when setting goals is to set unrealistic ones. In order to achieve your goals, they need to be specific and achievable. The best way to set realistic goals is by using acronym SMART goals.

  1. Specific - The goal must include specific, actionable steps toward attaining it (Example: I will become a certified yoga instructor)

  2. Measurable - The goal should have an objective measure of success (Example: I will complete my 200-hour yoga teacher training program)

  3. Attainable - You believe you can attain the goal within a reasonable time frame (Example: I want to complete my 200-hour yoga teacher training program by January 1st of next year.)

  4. Relevant/Realistic - The goal is something you care about and want to achieve (Example: I want to help others by becoming a certified yoga instructor)

  5. Time-bound - A specific date or time frame for completing the goal is set (Example: My 200-hour yoga teacher training program will begin on January 1st, 2018.)

TAKEAWAY: Your goals should be "SMART" - specific, attainable, realistic and measurable. The more goals you have, the harder it is to achieve them all. Set only one or two goals at a time, and make sure each one has clearly defined steps and milestones.



2. Setting "Other People's Goals"

Your goals should align with your values. It is a worthy investment in yourself to take time to know yourself well enough to know the values that mean the most to you.


When we set goals that don't align with our core values, we may feel unfulfilled or unhappy while in pursuit of them. That's because we can't actually get behind the goals: there was no passion or drive in them for us on an emotional level!


Sometimes, other people often think they know what is best for us — even if they don't know our own personal circumstances very well at all (especially when they are "family"), their intentions are usually good. We must trust ourselves. Listen closely to your own intuition so that you can discern your inner voice over the voice of others, guiding us toward success instead of relying solely on others' advice (or worse yet — criticism).


TAKEAWAY: Take some time to think about the things in life that are important to you, like family or health. These are the things that drive you to complete tasks and meet your goals.


Living room with a carpet, a table, tv, and a cushion

3. Ignoring Goals That Feed Your Soul


One of the most important aspects of goal setting is not neglecting your joy goals. These are the things that bring you pleasure, such as seeing remarkable landmarks like the Grand Canyon or spending time with family and friends. While it's good to have goals that will get you ahead in your career and provide financial security for retirement, these things won't give you joy in life.


If we set only goals that bring us money or success, then we may end up feeling unsatisfied by our achievements. Therefore, it's important to consider the “joy” or “satisfaction” goals in addition to those that help us achieve success and financial stability through hard work.


There are many ways to find out what brings you joy. Try asking yourself questions like: What do I enjoy doing? What gives me energy? What gives me purpose? And if the answers aren't obvious right away (you don't always know what makes something pleasurable until it happens), keep trying different options until something clicks!


TAKEAWAY: Set goals that excite you and make you feel good about yourself.



4. Underestimating Completion Time


It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of achieving something


that you forget about things like:

  1. Time for preparation, travel, preparing appropriate attire and other little details

  2. The learning curve you will experience when starting a new workout program or skill set


While it’s important to be optimistic about your potential success rate, how much time it will take for you to achieve your goal might be more than what you think. If this happens, then there's a good chance that you'll feel like a failure instead of being proud of yourself for taking on the challenge.


To avoid this pitfall, use effective scheduling strategies such as padding your scheduled workouts with extra time before and after. Also you can try adding an extra week or two onto your goal completion date. These strategies can help prevent last minute stress and allow enough breathing room so that life doesn't become overwhelming!


While it’s important to be optimistic about your potential success rate, how much time it will take for you to achieve your goal might be more than what you think. If this happens, then there's a good chance that you'll feel like a failure instead of being proud of yourself for taking on the challenge. To avoid this pitfall, use effective scheduling strategies such as padding your scheduled workouts with extra time before and after. Also you can add an extra week or two onto your goal completion date. These strategies can help prevent last minute stress and allow enough breathing room so that life doesn't become overwhelming while trying to reach your end goal!


TAKEAWAY: When you’re realistic about how long your goals will take to achieve, you can build a plan that includes time for setbacks.


5. Not Making Your Goals Public


When you’re setting a goal, it can be tempting to keep it a secret. After all, if others aren’t aware of your goals, how will they be able to hold you accountable? How will they know what kind of help they can offer?


But making your goals public is an excellent way to stay motivated and achieve them. It can also help you identify other people who are working toward similar things as you—and make connections with them in real life or online (and maybe even make some new friends).

So how do you go about making your goals public? Here are some ideas:

  1. Post on social media and tag @100days.of.discipline with hashtags like #100daysofdiscipline #goals and #motivation every day for 100 days so that everyone knows what exactly you're working toward.

  2. Put an image on Instagram or Facebook with a caption saying what your plans are for the future (like "I'm taking the challenge to exercise daily for 100 days!") and ask people for advice or support if needed! This is especially helpful if someone else has gone through something similar before—they'll likely have some sage wisdom that could really help out when times get tough! Plus it's nice knowing there's someone else out there who cares about our dreams too... :)

  3. Create a blog where only close friends & family members can read posts and comment.


TAKEAWAY: It’s easier to achieve a goal when you have accountability. Make sure others know about your goals and ask for help along the way.



6. Not Appreciating Failure


Failing at a goal is inevitable. You will fail. You will fall short of your expectations, and you may even feel like giving up altogether. But hold on! Failure is part of the learning process, and it's actually something to be thankful for.


Failure makes us better people—and not just because it helps us to determine our character (like with Abraham Lincoln). It also teaches us about ourselves by showing us what we're capable of under pressure or when faced wit


h certain situations that feel insurmountable. When we're able to do this well enough, we'll find that our successes are truly sweet—so much so that they make up for all those losses along the way!


TAKEAWAY: The more risks you take, the more you learn from life.


7. Not Reviewing Progress

The final and most deadly of all the goal setting sins is--not review your progress. If something doesn't go according to plan, don't be afraid to change your goal. If you have a setback in one area of your life (or multiple areas), it's not time for despair—it's time for action!


You may find that some of your original plans didn't quite pan out as expected. And that's okay; it doesn't mean failure or defeat! Instead, take what happened and use it as an opportunity to learn from this experience so that next time you set goals they will be better informed by reality. This will help ensure future success with meeting those goals more easily than before.


It's also important not to let fear keep us from making changes in our lives because sometimes we fear negative outcomes (i.e., failing) more than positive ones (i.e., succeeding). However, failure is not always bad news: sometimes people see adjusting a goal as failure rather than courageousness on their part—changing a goal isn't failure. It is just an act of honesty with yourself about where things stand now and what needs to change in order to ensure success later down the road!


TAKEAWAY: There’s no point setting a goal if there’s no way of knowing whether or not you’ve achieved it. Build regular checkpoints into each goal so that you can review progress.



In conclusion, there are a lot of different ways to go about setting goals—and some are far more effective than others. As you’ve seen here, some of the most common mistakes people make when setting goals include neglecting goals that bring them joy and overestimating completion time. It’s important to remember that failure is part of the learning process, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempt at goal-setting doesn’t turn out quite right. Avoid these 7 deadly sins and I'm confident you'll see progress!



 

If you would like to see what 100 Days of Discipline is all about, then I encourage you to check out this 7 day free challenge where you get to sample some similar workouts that are included in our paid challenges:




Bye for now,


Elle Honeycutt

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