Here are the most common mistakes business owners are making when it comes to setting goals for their business. Get ready for some mindset shifts.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve set so many goals in the past that you’ve lost count, and most of them you haven’t achieved.
Today I’m going to share 10 reasons why goal setting hasn’t worked for you. Hopefully, this realization will help you to stay the course, not give up, and finally achieve your goals.
I’m about to bust some major myths around goal setting, and you’ll probably have many ah-ha moments as you read on. And that’s good, because clearing the clutter from our minds is the first step to setting a new goal for our lives.
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My Name is Kath Kyle. I’m the author of STAMP Goals book and I’m so happy that you’re here.
- I Help Content Creators And Changemakers Manifest Business Success Through Spirituality, Self-belief, And Strategy
- I Help You Master Your Marketing, Manifestation, And Money Mindset
What are your current goals for your business? What would you love to achieve this month, or this year?
Let me know by leaving a comment on my blog, YouTube channel or send me a DM on Instagram @kath_Kyle.
10 Reasons Why Goal Setting Hasn’t Worked For You
Let me know if you recognize any of these mistakes you’ve been making with goal setting. I have made all of them, and it’s all part of the learning experience.
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1. You Gave Up On Your Goals Too Early
This is the number one reason why most goals are not achieved. You simply stopped working towards them and gave up.
The main reason why people give up on their goals is that they thought they failed and lost confidence in their ability to achieve their goals.
How do you feel when you don’t achieve your goals?
Did you get disappointed?
Did you swear that you’ll never set another goal again as there’s no point?
Believe me, I’ve been there. I gave up goal setting for years because I had too many disappointments.
Most of the time I never really took my goals seriously and they went totally out of my mind until the end of the month or the end of the year.
That was until I learned the truth about goal setting and where I’d been going wrong.
I’m going to help you to recognize where you’ve been going wrong with goal setting so you can set more effective goals next time.
And my aim today is to change your mindset around goal setting. You won’t even see it as an issue if you don’t achieve your goals as you’ll still see yourself as successful.
Let’s start by identifying what a goal actually is.
A goal is simply a thought that you had in your mind. Nothing more, nothing less.
A goal is a desire to receive something into your life. It is often a random amount of income that you wish to receive that you just plucked out of thin air.
You were completely in control of your thought when you set that random goal, and I want to help you realize that same level of control over your thoughts regardless of whether you achieve your goal or not.
Changing your thoughts around whether you achieved your random goal by your self-imposed deadline makes all the difference when it comes to carrying on working towards that goal or giving up all together.
Another thing it’s worth pointing out is that when you set a goal, there can only be 2 results:
- You achieved your goal
- You didn’t achieve your goal
It is that one phrase – I didn’t – that drags us into a pit of despair. We fail to get the outcome we wanted, and who likes to fail?
Instead of using the word failure, why not reframe that into a more positive statement, something like:
- “I’m still working towards my goal”
- “My goal hasn’t been realized yet”
- “I’m curious as to whether there were any signs that I’m on the right path or whether I should change course”
- “I’ve learned a lot and now I need to switch my method of reaching my goal”.
- “my goal will happen in divine timing”.
Changing our goal talk, just like shifting our self-talk, leads to subtle alterations of our mindset. Pivoting towards more positive words and phrases helps us to move towards our goals.
Say for example you set a goal to earn $10,000 by the end of the month. Last month you earned $100 and you want to jump from earning $100 to $10,000.
Say you actually earned $300 by the end of the month. You could choose to see that as a total failure because you didn’t hit your goal of $10,000. But let’s look at it again, through a positive lens.
You trebled your earnings!
Sure, you didn’t 100x them, but keep trebling your revenue each month and you’d overshoot your goal by month 4 – earning $17,400, a lot more than your $10,000 target.
So, rather than getting dragged down by the negatives, look up to the positive. In fact, go further – congratulate yourself for trebling your monthly earnings and be excited that this means what you are doing is working and you are still working towards your goal.
Did you know that most businesses follow a similar pattern of growth? When you first start a new business, you usually put a lot of effort in, and hardly see any results at all. Then all of a sudden, something changes and your growth takes off so fast you won’t even believe it.
If you were to plot business growth on a chart, it would look like a hockey stick.
If you could see into the future and you knew that in just a couple of months you’d be hitting that hockey stick of growth, would it motivate you to continue?
Yes, of course, it would. So what you need to do is continue working towards your goals with the same level of enthusiasm and be thankful that the hockey stick growth is inevitable for you (yes, inevitable!)
In my next content piece, I’m going to explain exactly why goal achievement is inevitable for you.
Just remember that just because you didn’t hit your goal by the date you set doesn’t mean you will never achieve your goal. As long as you are constantly making progress, you will hit your goal at exactly the right time, when you are emotionally and energetically ready for it.
Don’t give up, and you WILL achieve your desires.
2. You Were Focused On The Wrong Goals For Business
Have you ever set a particular goal because someone else told you it would lead to success?
I’ve done this so many times I’ve lost count.
Every time I watched a new webinar or took a new business course, I’d get really excited about that person’s results, their business model, and their strategies and tactics.
So I would change the way I was working and I would work really hard on each method.
I always thought, if they can do it, so can I.
I was always disappointed when I either got no results, or I got results for a few months and then things would level out. I would then start the next new business model and my previous results would fade away to nothing very quickly.
I literally did this for years getting so frustrated as to why nothing was working for me despite my hard work.
It took me a long time to realize that we need to be setting goals that are right for us as individuals, and other people will never know what is right for us.
So how do we know what are the right goals to set?
We need to quiet our minds, ask questions, journal about it, find out your deep desires, and listen for the intuition that comes as a result.
Only then will you know what goals are right for you, when you ask questions and listen for the answers.
I will be covering this in a lot more detail later on.
3. You Set Too Many Goals
Have you ever read a book about self-improvement that encourages you to change everything in your life?
They encourage you to set a goal to improve your finances, your work, your relationship with your spouse, your kids, your friends, your spiritual life, your fitness, your food, your health, your charitable giving, and the list goes on.
I’ve been there, and let me tell you that all this does is totally overwhelm you.
The brain works much more effectively when you focus on changing one thing at a time. This is because the brain likes to resist change to keep you safe.
When you try and change too much at any one time it just becomes all too much and you give up on all of it.
So start with just one goal at a time for example setting a growing goal first. I go into detail into my goal-setting system in my book STAMP Goals.
When you’ve made changes that become habits, then you can move on and set new goals for other areas of your life.
Also when you work towards achieving one goal, it makes you feel successful, which is fuel to drive change in other areas of your life.
4. You Didn’t Believe You Were Capable Of Achieving Your Goals
Why is it that some people set goals and easily achieve them and others don’t make any progress towards their goal at all despite the same amount of work and effort?
The answer is that the people who achieve their goals are the ones that believed they could achieve their goals.
This point is absolutely critical.
If you have more doubts about your goals than you have confidence in your goals, then you will not achieve your goals no matter what actions you take.
Most people would agree that if someone keeps telling themselves they won’t achieve something, then they won’t achieve it.
Henry Ford got it spot on when he said
‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t you’re right.
Napoleon Hill was famous for saying:
‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
Does that mean if you have a single doubt about your ability to succeed that you are doomed to failure?
No, not at all, but it would be better to recognize your doubts, and practice letting them go and replacing them with more positive thoughts instead.
The subconscious mind will bring about whatever you tell it. So if you are telling it both success thoughts and failure thoughts it will be convinced by whatever has the most energy.
That means that if you repeat ‘I will achieve my goals’ a thousand times each day, but carry around a constant feeling of dread about your business all day long, the subconscious mind will be convinced more of the feeling of dread than the empty words with no feeling attached to them.
That’s why it’s important to attach a strong feeling to your success beliefs. The more successful, happy and abundant you can feel about your business and your entire life, the more likely you are to succeed.
It is totally normal to have doubts. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. But we want to do whatever we can to have more positive beliefs about our business than negative beliefs or we will struggle to achieve our goals.
I have some fantastic tools that I have shared with you in my STAMP Goals Book that will help you to let go of any doubts and fears in your mind about your business.
5. You Asked For Compensation Before You Made An Offer
Here’s a big mistake I see a lot of people making. It is also advice that is given out by a lot of gurus that I really don’t agree with.
Most business experts will tell you the only thing you need to think about when starting a new business is making money.
I believe that thinking about revenue is vital to all businesses but it is not the only thing we need to concern ourselves with.
Although mindset and beliefs are absolutely critical, when it comes to business, you will never make any revenue by sitting on your couch believing it is going to happen, if that’s all you do.
If you believe very strongly that money is going to come to you but you don’t take any further action, it might come to you as a gift by a friend, or by winning a competition. But never by business revenue.
That is because the whole purpose of a business is to give people something they want, in return for money.
So instead of focusing first on expecting money to pour into your business by doing nothing, you need to first be focusing on what you are going to give.
What value are you going to provide?
How are you going to blow away your customers?
What makes you different?
If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it is going to be difficult for you to earn any decent amount of money in your business.
I don’t want this to discourage you if you are struggling to understand how you can be different from everyone else.
It might be that you do just as good of a job of providing value as the competition, but perhaps you communicate that value in a better or more interesting way.
Perhaps your marketing is better so the customer understands exactly what the benefits are of working with you.
Don’t forget that you yourself are an asset so if you have a business where you have contact with the customer such as coaching or you do a lot of content marketing, then your own personality is always going to be the differentiating factor because people resonate with different people.
If you have low self-esteem, yet you bring your personality into your business with blog posts, videos, social media posts in your own voice or some type of coaching, it is critical that you improve your own confidence before you will make any substantial amounts of money.
However, some people with low confidence can set their prices very low and improve their confidence just by securing one customer. You will find you can easily raise your prices as soon as your confidence jumps to the next level.
You have to start somewhere and you will get more confident with practice.
If you’re not sure of your purpose or your business idea yet, don’t worry, I’m going to be helping you with this later.
6. You Focused On Giving Value Before You Got Your Mindset Right
This is a big mistake that I made for many, many years. I have an enneagram personality type 3, known as The Achiever.
This means that I am ultra-productive and I am very good at getting many tasks done in a very efficient way.
This is a good trait to have as long as you are focused on the right tasks.
For many years, I listened too much to other people and focused on so many different business models, and totally forgot who I was serving, and why. I also forgot to listen to my own inner voice as to what was the best course of action for my business.
So I had some of the right personality traits for creating a successful business.
I was dedicated, consistent, hard-working, optimistic, and open-minded.
But what I was lacking was leadership, confidence to make my own decisions, letting go, and trusting. Also, analytics and measuring were something I didn’t focus very heavily on as I was too busy doing work to figure out what was working and why.
So it is very important to figure out what you are good at and what personality traits you still need to develop to be successful.
Here are some personality traits needed to be a successful entrepreneur. What do you still need to improve?
- Be open-minded
- Stay focused
- Be grateful
- Be resilient
- Be analytical
- Be self-reliant
- Be confident
- Be driven
- Be passionate
- Be goal-oriented
- Be honest
- Be an informed risk taker
- Be caring
- Be a good leader
- Be balanced
- Be healthy
- Be a good problem solver
- Be optimistic
- Be a lifelong learner
- Be adaptable
Focusing on improving yourself as a person is the biggest gift you can give to your business. Once you get stronger as a person, you can take those skills into any business and make a success of anything you set your mind to.
I have a fabulous technique for improving your personality that I share with you in my STAMP Goals book.
7. You Didn’t Make Goal Setting A Habit
How many times have you written a goal down on New Year’s Day or during a course or coaching session and then never looked at it again?
I have done this so many times I’ve lost count. While I was moving house I came across about 30 different journals all with different goals written in them from the last 10 years. Most of them I never looked at once I wrote them down.
You get results based on what you focus on so it stands to reason that if you don’t make goal setting a habit, you won’t be able to achieve your goal.
Looking back at the times when I have achieved my biggest goals, I literally reviewed my goals once or twice every single day for 6 months or more. This is what I did with my first business and my growth just exploded.
During my second business, I also kept my goals top of mind on a daily basis and kept track of how close I was to achieving my goals.
What I suggest you do is to write down your goal and review it twice a day.
I put my goal statement in my bathroom and I made a habit of reading it out loud after I brushed my teeth in the morning and at night.
On my goal statement, I wrote down the date that I was going to make a certain amount of money and what value I was going to provide in order to receive that money. Then I felt the feeling like I’d already achieved it.
Within 6 months of starting my new business, I was getting over 2000 page views per day to my website and within 9 months I was getting around 5000 page views per day to my website despite me stopping working on my website while I was pregnant.
I show you exactly how to create your own perfect goal statement later in my STAMP Goals book.
8. You Didn’t Put Goal Setting First
Have you ever got to the end of a very busy day and wondered exactly what you achieved and why?
That’s the problem with endless to-do lists. It is very easy to add busy work to our to-do lists that has absolutely nothing to do with achieving our goals.
If one of your goals is to make revenue, (and it should be) then you need to focus on making money every single day. I call this MAST. MAST stands for Marketing And Sales Tasks. Unless you are focusing on MAST every single day, you are not putting your revenue based goal first.
I suggest you have more than one to-do list. One of your to-do lists is literally a brain dump. It is everything that you want to and think you should do for your business. Ignore this list most of the time.
The other to-do list is your daily to-do list and it should have no more than 3 main tasks on there and MAST should be one of them.
Of course, you can outsource MAST to someone else, but someone in your business should be doing this daily and you should be planning MAST once a week.
Seeing as you’re in business to make money, revenue-based goals should be one of the main priorities for you at all times.
You might have other big goals too but revenue should always be one of them.
As for the other main tasks, I have a system that helps you to slot the most important tasks into your day. I can’t wait to share that with you later.
9. You Didn’t Have A Manageable Plan For Achieving The Goals
I’m always in two minds about the word realistic. I’m not actually a big fan of the word as I feel like it limits us into thinking too small and that can limit our businesses from growing too big.
What does realistic mean anyway? To me, it means that I am putting a limit on what can be real in my life. I believe that my reality has no limits in terms of realizing the desires of my heart.
Although I feel like we will always achieve our desires eventually, I also believe that we have to take steps towards our desires that feel manageable for us right now.
One of the biggest reasons that people give up on their goals is that they set goals that were too big for them right now. They then got disappointed when they didn’t achieve them straight away.
How many times have you written down a goal to be a six or seven-figure business owner when you were literally earning next to nothing?
I’m not saying it can’t be done. People have proven that anything is literally possible and businesses can indeed reach six or seven figures in their very first year.
But it takes a very confident person to carry forth this achievement. Often that person will have had success with another business or area of their lives and they are very determined.
I myself did create a six-figure business in my very first year by thinking big, so I have proof it works.
But after talking to many other business owners, and seeing my own results slip, I realize that your mindset has to be in exactly the right place for this to happen.
Setting manageable goals means assessing your own level of confidence and meeting yourself where you are. That doesn’t mean you don’t work on improving your confidence, but right now you can set goals that feel achievable but yet push you out of your comfort zone slightly.
When you start a brand new business, just making any money at all is a major victory. So focusing on small wins at the start can give you a huge amount of confidence. You can then use that confidence to set even bigger goals that stretch you to the next level.
This is what I mean by focusing on what is manageable.
When you set a goal to achieve seven figures, have you given any thought as to how you will actually achieve it?
If you set a goal to achieve seven figures in 10 years, fair enough, you have more than enough time to grow into the person who has the ability to earn this amount of money.
But if you set a goal to go from nothing to seven figures in one year, for most people this is unmanageable. This is because it takes a very strong mindset and a lot of experience to run a seven-figure business.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to see how ready you are to set mammoth goals in one year or less.
- How many customers will you need to have?
- How much will you charge them?
- How will you support them all?
- Who will do customer services?
- How will you have time for that amount of customers?
- What if they all demand support at the same time?
- Is your team big enough?
- Is your host large enough for the amount of traffic you’ll get?
- Do you have a pot of money to support experimentation with paid ads?
- How will you build a big-enough audience to sell that amount of products?
- What happens when you have a launch where you don’t hit your goals by the deadline?
- What will you try next?
- How will you be resilient enough during tough times?
If you have sensible answers to all of these questions and don’t feel totally out of your comfort zone then you are ready for these types of big goals.
Otherwise, give yourself some grace. If you are new to the world of business, it takes some time to learn all these skills. You can learn them faster than you think but you do need to learn the skills. Often the best way to learn is through trial and error, but better to learn fast so you can figure out what doesn’t work and keep trying new things until you learn what does work.
When you figure out what works, do more of this over and over and you’ll keep growing.
10. You Tried To Achieve Your Goal Without Any Support
Being an entrepreneur is the ultimate self-development program. You need to develop so many different skills and it can be really tough to keep motivated when things don’t work out as planned.
Having a support system in place is crucial so you have someone who can encourage you to keep going.
Do you have a supportive partner or other family members? A business coach is the best option for support in your business. But if you can’t afford a coach right now, why not try swapping services. You coach someone and they coach you for free, or they coach you and you offer them a different service.
How about joining a membership or a group coaching program as they can be a lot more affordable.
Even finding a supportive Facebook group is better than nothing but having people you actually have a conversation with is so much better.
When I had a coach I was really on fire as I felt like I had made an investment in myself and I would be wasting the money if I didn’t use that time to really work on achieving my goals and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
This was the period of time when I started making videos for the first time. Before that, I hated being on camera, and just having the support of my coach really made it easy for me to experiment with new things.
You can find a free accountability partner in my free community which is available to everyone who has purchased a copy of my book, STAMP Goals.
Now that you have learned how to avoid the most common business goal-setting mistakes, you might be wondering how you can set goals and actually achieve them. This is what my whole STAMP Goals book is all about. It is like a course in a book, so you will be walking through a series of action steps that will lead you to success in your business.
To get hold of my book you can click the link below to read more about it, and get the link to both my kindle and paperback books on Amazon.
Next time I’m going to be sharing why goal achievement is actually inevitable for you so make sure you subscribe to my podcast, Manifest Business Success, my YouTube channel, Kath Kyle and follow me on Instagram @Kath_Kyle so you don’t miss that.
While you’re waiting for your copy of STAMP Goals book to arrive, you can start taking practical action in your business today.
Watch my FREE Business Goal Setting Workshop For Fast Results where I show you exactly how to set 3 essential goals that will get you results within one month. Boost your confidence, feel like a winner, and attract more success to you by achieving your goals every time.
“I really like 3 Essential Goals For Business Success. It has really given me something to think about and is really helping me to re-think my business.” Julie
This free workshop and associated workbook is part of my book bonus bundle for STAMP Goals, and I’m only making this workshop and workbook free for a limited time, so grab that while it is still available.
You are going to be so glad you did.
Goal Setting is a massive passion of mine, and I have many more posts and videos to help you reach your goals so stick around and see what else I can help you with by checking out the links below.
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