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8 Brutal Things You Should Avoid Working with Your Goals

In three weeks, time, we will say goodbye to the current year. Are you ready to achieve your goals next year? Check what you are doing wrong today.

Your goals are like mountains to climb


"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals." - Melody Beattie

Many schools teach you how to set goals. One of the most common methods is to use the SMART tool. However, this might not be enough because there are some important pitfalls to avoid while setting goals to be successful:

8 Things You're Doing Wrong Pursuing Your Goals and How to Fix Them

Let's start doing the test. Answer the questions below, and you will notice instantly how many pitfalls you have not avoided while setting goals:

  • Do you have a lifebuoy goal?

  • Have you written your goal?

  • Are you aware of the obstacles?

  • Is your goal time-oriented (it is not only about the deadline)?

  • Do you know what resources you need to achieve the goal?

  • Do you know your “why”?

  • How many goals do you focus on in one go?

  • Who knows about your goals?

If you have answered “yes” to at least one of the questions, this article is for you and the faster you will apply the tips described here, the better the new year will become for you. Let's start with the most common pitfall:

1. You Won’t Pursue Goals That Are Not Written

Everything which is not written is just a mere dream. Our subconscious mind needs writing as burning the data on the CD. If you write a document, but you do not save it, you lose your work. The goals which are not on paper, or an electronic document are not goals. However, it is better to write goals on paper as it is easier to brink them everywhere even on a little sticky.

Action Exercise

Plan each goal in writing. Buy a diary or a notebook in which you will record your goals and plans for their implementation.

Right now, after reading this article, go to the bookshop to buy a new diary and set a mere goal for tomorrow. Check how it will work within a week.

Further reading about journaling:

2. You Have No Lifebuoy Goal

Lifebuoy goals are like a lifeboat when you are facing a storm in the middle of the ocean. Remember that during pursuing your major goal you will face obstacles and temptations.

Sometimes they can be so high that you will fail. However, if you have a smaller, partial lifebuoy goal, your failure will not be total. Your boat might be a bit damaged but you still have a tool to escape.

And then one failure will not trigger the avalanche of unsuccessful actions, just because you have resigned because of this one failure.

Action Exercise

Review your goals for this year. What smaller goals can you set for each of the big ones? For example, let's say that you swear a lot and decide to stop it altogether. However, it happened that you used the dirty word because of anger.

Then your emergency goal may be “I swear not more than once a week” instead of “I stop swearing.” Giving up bad habits and addictions should be radical but remember that sometimes there might be an incidental failure.

But it is an emergency incident, in the worst case only, not an indulgence though.

life goals beyond the horizon

3. You Won’t Pursue Your Goals That Harm Others

We often give up working on our goals without an awareness of their costs and benefits. The truth is that you can often set the goal without the willingness to pay the price – devoting your time, being motivated and determined to accomplish the goal.

Sometimes the price means resigning from some of your favourite activities, financial costs and even ending some relationships.

On the other hand, the advantages which you will take after accomplishing the goal are your benefits. For example, you will be more attractive losing weight, richer finding a better job or happier – ending an abusive relationship.

However, remember that your goals also have an impact on other people and the environment, so they also need to have as few negative consequences as possible.

If you end a relationship, someone may be hurt. If you change your job and move to another city, some people might miss you. You also have to choose one option from the goals which contradict each other.

For example, getting a job that is time-consuming and far from your home or spending more time with your family, but having less opportunity to find a good job as you are not for disposal.

Action Exercise

Take the goals you have set for 2022 Are you sure you want to work on them? Make the cost-benefit analysis, in writing. If the goal costs you too much, consider making it smaller or postponing work on it until the next year.

Find more information about successfully setting your goals - the article continues below

4. You Won’t Pursue Goals Without Knowing the Obstacles

I can assure you; there WILL be obstacles in the way while trying to achieve your goals. Be prepared for them in advance, this will save you stress and frustration. Assess your resources: time, energy, finance, and people. When you list potential obstacles, it is easier to overcome them because you will know the solution in advance.

Action Exercise

List the barriers to each of your goals. Do it in writing, using a notebook or a diary. Be aware, that 80% of your obstacles will be internal: your beliefs, lack of skills or bad habits. Some obstacles may occur while working on any of your goals while others are specific to one. Overcoming external obstacles should be your priority.

5. Know What to Give in Return for Help

It is evident that you will need help from other people while pursuing your goals. However, people usually expect something in return. Now is the time to list all your skills and the ways you could contribute to the lives of other people.

Action Exercise

List all kinds of help that you need from other people. Then list who can help you and what they will receive in return. Do this exercise for each of your goals, in writing.

Learn how to practise gratitude - the article continues below:

6. You Haven’t Set Deadlines for Your Intangible Goals

Your goals can fall into two categories: tangible and intangible. The first group is measured quickly while the second is not.

If you set a deadline for the goal “I will be more assertive”, the chances are that this goal will not be accomplished. Why? Because it is not very specific and measurable. You need to specify what “more assertive” means.

More than that, some goals require a long-time span to work on, e.g. when you create a new habit. Then, before you achieve the result, set some subgoals to see the progress.

Remember that before you are ready to enter the Olympics, you need to polish your stamina, strength, and suppleness and all these skills will not be improved within one day.

Therefore, regarding intangible goals, it is even more important how often you work on them and how much progress you have made, within a given time span, not by which day.

So, for the goal "more assertive" you can specify it as "at least once a day/week", plus describe the situation (e.g. "when arguing with my partner"). Then you can count the incidents and evaluate your progress.

Action Exercise

Check your goals for the next year and set realistic deadlines for each of them. These deadlines will help you to set sub-goals, i.e., your milestones - for each month and quarter.

7. You Focus on Too Many Goals

Brian Tracy recommends up to 15 goals per year. However, if you are inexperienced in goal setting or you work on a big goal, the chances are that less is better. I would recommend working on six.

Remember that one big goal usually has subgoals. Plus, you make resolutions to each of the goals.

However, if you set six goals per year to pursue, do not forget to balance all the areas of your life. I mean having a goal in each of these areas: health, relationships, career, fun, finance, and creation. And even health can be physical, mental, and spiritual.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, if you prepare for the Olympics you are working on your stamina, suppleness, and muscle strength.

If you are learning a foreign language, you are learning the vocabulary, grammar and use of the language spoken and written. Each of these skills is a separate subgoal.

Action Exercise

Check how many goals and resolutions you have set for this year. If the number is too big, think about what you can do to reduce it. Remember, a maximum of 15 total in your personal and business life is enough.

8. You Tell the Wrong People about Your Goals

You have probably heard that announcing your goals will motivate you more to work on them. However, do it in a smart way. Tell similar people about your goals, i.e. those who also want to develop and grow.

Unfortunately, most people will not understand your vision and more than that; they will discourage you, or even wish you bad luck. In this case, keep your mouth shut.

Action Exercise

Think about who you could tell about your goals, and who inspires you. Also, list all the people, including the members of your family, who have discouraged you in the past. Until you accomplish your goals, avoid telling them about your pursuits.


Meditation can help you to work with your goals - illuminate them and accelerate their pursuit.

Let's meditate together

Connect by telepathy during meditation on Saturdays at 8 pm GMT. I will meditate with you and other people so that our joint energy can create miracles. Send your intention to the Universe. Transform your life and the world.

More about meditation

In a Nutshell

I'd like to hear from you, so share your conclusions with others who will read this blog, as maybe you will help someone avoid mistakes and become a happy person. Thank you and good luck with setting and achieving your goals. With love and light,



Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach that inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.


The content of Awaken Happy Life is published for educational and informative purposes only. It does not substitute medical or any other professional advice. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. The author of Awaken Happy Life is not liable for any consequences of applying any piece of advice published on this website by the reader.


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