10 Planning and Goal Setting Mistakes To Avoid in 2022

Everyone aspires to set effective goals, but few excel at it. Fortunately, planning is a skill that can be learnt and improved on no matter your starting point.

The most common way to gain any skill is through personal experience or learning from other people’s experiences and mistakes. We have all set goals only to wake up 365 days later to realise that we have made little progress towards our goals. What happened? What went wrong? 

Whether your goals are financial, professional, health, work-life balance or community, you can set yourself up for success by avoiding common mistakes. 

Here are a few of the most common planning and goal-setting mistakes to avoid this year. 

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1 To-do vs Not-to-list 

Not all goals carry the same importance or bring us the same fulfilment and sense of achievement. Effective planning needs to focus on what you want and articulate what you don’t want – in the same vein, a do-not-do list is as crucial as a to-do list. 

2 Having vague goals 

Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-defined (SMART) goals have been popularised over the years because they work. They give you structure and measurable outcomes, which is very important when you want to solicit the support of others in achieving your goals. SMART goals also help you recognise success making it easier to celebrate progress, no matter how small. Saying you are looking for an introduction to a female founder working in wearable technology makes it easy for others to make that introduction.

3 Goals without systems 

Goals without strategies and systems for achieving them are just lofty dreams. Your goals will give you a sense of direction, but ultimately, your system gets the work done. The magic to achieving goals lies in the system, the schedule you will be keeping to achieve your goal. Running a marathon is a great goal, but what training plan are you following to train for that marathon?

4 Short term thinking 

It is perfectively normal to overestimate what you can achieve in a day and underestimate what you can achieve in a year. Play the long game and think long term. You will start to set goals that stretch you and ultimately push you to extend your comfort zone. Gaining a pay rise by switching jobs or industries gets you paid more, but how does it impact your long term progress?

5 Not starting with the “WHY” 

When you know your “WHY”, you can find your “HOW”. Linking your goals to your values gives you a sense of purpose and fuel for those tough days whose energy and passion are met with resistance and barriers. Your “WHY” will get you through the inevitably dark days. Making money is good, but why do you want more money? Keep asking yourself why until you get to the root of your motivation. 

6 Lack of accountability 

Procrastination and fear will always get the better of us without accountability. I don’t know about you, but the average person will avoid complex and uncomfortable tasks with no accountability. Accountability makes us consistent and keeps us focused on our priorities and goals. That is why people working alongside personal trainers, coaches, and mentors tend to get better results than those who work on their own. 

7 Setting goals too low 

We tend to underestimate what we can achieve. This year why not set yourself big STRETCH goals that will force you to step outside your comfort zone. This is an opportunity to use your goals not only as destinations to be arrived at but tools for helping you grow and master critical life and business skills. What goals would you set if you were not afraid? 

8 Setting too many goals

You don’t need to overwhelm yourself by setting too many goals. Having too many goals will lead to burnout and goals competing for limited time and attention. Prioritise your goals based on the potential impact on all areas of your life and be single-minded in pursuing them. Think quality, not quantity. Which one goal can have a domino effect on your life?

9 Not starting at all 

We all have great intentions, but sometimes life gets busy, and we start to react, putting out fires rather than proactively planning for it. However, beginning with a plan may avoid some fires and ultimately make it easier to put out the fires. Things will go wrong as part of the human experience. Planning helps us make better sense of the chaos and feel more in control. 

10 Not linking goals to daily tasks

It is all about your daily schedule when it comes to achieving goals. What you do day-to-day matters. How you prioritise your time will ultimately lead to your success or failure. 

Which of these mistakes have you made in the past? How did you overcome them? What are you going to do differently this year? We would love to hear from you. 

Get focused for 2022

It is not too late to start working on your plans and goals for the year. You don’t have to start on the 1st of January or on a Monday. Start when you are ready.

Grab your Goal Achiever Planner and give yourself a real chance to make this year your best year yet. It is non-dated, so it is ready whenever you are. The daily planning sheet will help you seamlessly incorporate your big goals into your daily plans. 

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