Not meeting your goals
Is missing your goals “What keeps you awake at night?”
A goal is defined as the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. You all have them to some degree whether they be in business or in your personal lives.
“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.”
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
The pressure to achieve your goals can be immense. They can be career and even life changing. And your inability to attain them can cause extreme anxiety. To the point that it can be “What Keeps You Awake at Night”.
A missed goal can negatively affect you or your team, even though the odds are there that on occasion a goal will be missed or not turn out to your satisfaction. That is just a fact of life that you must accept.
No one has ever batted 1.000 in achieving all of the goals they set out to.
However, when goals are regularly missed or become extremely difficult to achieve, there is a problem that needs to be corrected as quickly as possible.
Missing goals repeatedly despite working hard to achieve them may be more of a sign that there is a problem in the goal setting process than it is a reflection of you or your team’s ability to get the job done.
In setting goals, you should use a basic five step process, which cover:
- Is the goal specific? – What is the end result that is to be achieved? Is there a minimum outcome that is acceptable or must it have a totally successful outcome? Not all goals are equal. So you must determine what is acceptable and be satisfied when you meet the standard that has been set.
- Is the progress and end result measurable? – You must be able to mark your progress and have a definable line of success for the goal. Otherwise, how do you know whether you are on track or have fallen completely off of the rails?
- Is the goal achievable? – Can the goal be realistically achieved? A goal should be difficult, but not so tough that you fail to complete it despite the best efforts of you and your team.
- Is the goal relevant? – Is the goal relevant to you and your company? If not, why start it in the first place? You only have so much time to spend on things. Dealing with a goal or goals that don’t matter is a waste of that precious commodity; time.
- Is the goal’s achievement time-sensitive? – Is the goal attached to a specific timeframe? There must be a definitive end to each goal or you can spend forever trying to accomplish the unattainable.
- Are you trying to achieve too many goals at one time? – Sometimes you are stretched out beyond your capabilities. This can happen for different reasons, but the end result is the same; failure. When you cannot keep up with the demands, something has to give. Doing a little on each of a lot of things is not productive. Getting goals completed properly is.
Once you have established a proper process for setting goals and putting the appropriate actions in place, that does not mean that you are now done and everything will be fine.
You must now manage the progress of each goal and make sure that you are still on track and that nothing of consequence has changed.
All goals should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that you and your team are staying on course. If not, then an evaluation ought to be made of why not and any necessary corrections be made. That doesn’t mean that you need to change daily, but once it is determined there is a problem some type correction is needed.
It is beneficial to include reviews as part of your team’s weekly meeting. If you don’t meet weekly you should send an email to the team with an update. It is important to have other people holding us accountable for the promises you’ve made to them and to yourselves.
It’s okay to make needed changes. It is better to do that than to stay on the wrong course. By reviewing goals every week, you’ll make corrections when needed and take the steps towards achieving your goal or goals. And don’t put it off. Procrastinating never works and just delays the inevitable and causes us to stay awake at night.
Markus Winkler on Unsplash
Goals can change, priorities shift, or things bog down when they run for too long
It is then time to take action. If you continuously fail to reach a set goal, maybe you’re aiming too high. Setting and trying to achieve goals that aren’t attainable does wear on us all over time.
If such is the case, a goal adjustment may be in order. You may try to break a large goal into mini-goals. Then, when you surpass the goal, you can step up the activity and aim a little higher.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
Failure is feedback telling you that something is not working and you need to change it.
Find out the reason for the failure and treat it as feedback. After that, learn to solve the problem and come back with a better strategy to achieve what is wanted.
Sometimes, when something is not working, you keep thinking about the failure and aren’t able to move forward, making the matter worse.
When this happens, get away from the situation. Do something totally different. Don’t be afraid to get away from the problem or difficulty. You then need to your mind so that you can see the big picture.
Sometimes, the best way to handle not meeting a goal or goals is to ask yourself honest questions that will help us identify the problems that are keeping us from being successful.
When you fail to hit your target by the end of the month, you should ask yourself this question, “Is what I do justifying my results?” When you ask this question, you will start to think about your actions and answer the question. “ Is what I am doing enough to generate the results I want?”
You should intuitively know if you are able to reach your goal.
If after a few days, weeks or months you are not making much progress you then know that something is wrong.
Sometimes you are failing because the goals are too big and the strategies did not justify what you wanted.
You have to do it the right way if you want to get results. This is where most people get it wrong. They think that working hard will guarantee success. Hard work may only get you results faster but it will not guarantee success.
When people are not succeeding the first thing they may try to do is to double their effort. They put in more time and more hard work. That is not the correct answer to solving the problem.
You need the right way to achieve real results.
So, you need to learn the right way. Seek help. Get a mentor or a coach. Ask around and look for better ways to solve things. See what successful people in your niche are doing, and replicate their strategies.
Another good way to deal with non-success is to rekindle your desire. When you are down and feeling frustrated because you did not achieve your goals, reignite the desire to do so.
Keep the energy going and boost your motivation. How is that done? By simply revisiting the goal, the strategy and the plan. Ask. “Why do I want to achieve the goals I have set?” The reasons are the fuel that will keep you going.
Your reasons for moving on must be strong and emotional enough to get us moving. If the purpose for the goal is not strong enough, you will not do whatever it takes to achieve the goal.
Write down why you want to achieve. Make it compelling and emotional. Make it strong and give yourself no excuse to not go forward.
Finally, what should you do when if you fail to reach the goal or goals?
Try rebooting and restarting. Like the software on your phone or computer, you need to update from time to time. And after updates, you need to restart the device. The same goes for business. Every night when you go to bed, you are restarting and rebooting for a new day.
You can also set a new goal or simply extend the time frame to achieve the current goals.
If you are failing to reach your goals, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Don’t let failure define who you are. Learn, improve, and then try again. If you are serious about making it happen, you will have to do it until you make it.
The same thing operates everywhere in life.
If you really want something, you have to keep going for it. Keep trying and keep doing until it is achieved. You must understand that success and failure are part of life. If you fail to reach your goals, it is very normal. And it should not be What Keeps You Awake at Night.