Many people like to set goals, both big and small, that become more like distant dreams they never achieve. Why is that? It is not for lack of willpower or passion, but typically because of not having a plan and failing to set goals the right way.

Here are some very common mistakes when setting goals, and what you can do instead.

 

Your Goals Aren’t Specific and Detailed

If you just have a few random notes about your goals, but not a very specific goal you are trying to reach, it is going to make it very difficult to know what needs to be done, and even know when you have made progress. For example, if your goal is “to save money”, how do you even know when you have saved enough, where do you cut spending, how do you track your progress? This makes it really difficult. Instead, think of what you are saving money for and how much you need. That is going to help you determine the right steps for saving that amount of money.

 

You Keep Trying to Set Too Many Goals and Get Overwhelmed

Try to set a minimal number of goals, preferably ones that are related to each other. There is no magic number here, but starting with 1-3 major goals is a good place to start. If you try to set 7-10 goals at once, even though that is more what your mind is on, it is really hard to focus on them. This is a common mistake people make when wanting to improve their life, then quickly realize it is overwhelming and face burnout. Then what happens is nothing gets done.

 

You Aren’t Writing Down Tasks or Tracking Your Progress

A big part of setting goals is coming up with the tasks that need to be get done in order to achieve those goals, and then completing the tasks so you know what your progress is. Make sure you have a planner, journal, or printables that let you write down what tasks need to be done in order to achieve each goal. Be as specific as possible here, writing down the name of the task, what you need for that task, when it should be completed, and any other details that are relevant.

 

You Aren’t Being Realistic with the Schedule or Goals

While it is good to be specific with your goals and the tasks, you have to also be realistic. Keep in mind how much time you have, and what you can actually get done. If you find that you keep falling behind, then you might need to revisit your goal and see if it is realistic at this point in your life.