7 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Your Goals

… and the right way to set goals to achieve success.

Being clear about what you want is the first step to achieving your dreams.

It may seem obvious, but unless you’re clear in your own mind about the goals you want to achieve, the Universe can’t deliver what you want and you may end up with something surprisingly different!

Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when you’re setting your goals and how to set goals for unstoppable success.


1.   Your Head Rules Your Heart

Almost from the day you were born you’ve been taught to follow your head not your heart and let logic rule. Setting goals because you think you should or because it is supposed to be the right thing to do, or the best way to make money, or to please someone else is letting your head rule your heart. The result – your heart’s not in it and you won’t have the commitment or persistence to do what’s necessary to achieve your goal.

The answer is to set goals from the heart, in other words really tune in to how you feel about your goal. If you feel excited, enthusiastic, impatient to get started, inspired, then you are in alignment with your goal and will have the sticking power to see it through to completion. Even if you hit obstacles along the way (and you will!) failure is not an option for you.

2.   Size Is Everything

Are your goals too big or too small?

If you set a big goal that, deep down, you don’t believe is achievable, you immediately create resistance to it. We’re back to the heart again! Your heart won’t be in it, procrastination will set in and the Universe will deliver obstacles that will confirm your belief. This is a classic case of conscious desires being contradicted by subconscious beliefs – and guess which one wins. Yes, the subconscious wins every time.

When you set goals that are too small, you’re setting limits on your creative abilities. Belief in your own limitation will stop you from reaching your highest potential and lead to continuing disappointment and an unfulfilled life.


So how do you know what is the right goal?

Sit with it and assess how it feels. Do you feel uncomfortable or anxious when you think about it? Do you have that uncomfortable feeling in your stomach when you think about it? Does it scare you? If so it would be better to work on releasing the fears and subconscious beliefs first and then return to your goal.

You do need to set goals that take you out of your comfort zone, but not to the extent that you’re setting yourself up to fail. If you’ve followed the instructions in point 1 and set your goals from the heart you should feel a deep knowing that you can achieve it, no matter how big it is and however long it takes.

3.   Problems Not Solutions

Setting your goal is almost always the response to a problem – “I hate my job”, “I don’t have enough money”, “my relationship sucks”.

So you set a goal to resolve the problem – get a new job, make more money, find a new partner and so on.

You need to be very mindful that you don’t continue to focus on the problem as your motivation to act. Abraham Hicks distinguishes motivation from inspiration:

Motivation: Upstream. Prodded in awareness of unwanted things that will happen or continue if you don’t do it. Motivation is being turned in opposition to what you want and action is difficult – you have to force yourself to take action and you get tired and worn out.

Inspiration: Downstream. The calling of source and allowing of that outcome. Inspiration is being turned in the direction of what you want and action is easy.

Make sure you focus on the solution – what you want – rather than the problem that stimulated the desire (what you don’t want), otherwise you’ll manifest more of the problem rather than the outcome you want.

State your goals in the positive so that you’re clearly moving towards the solution. Instead of saying “I want to lose 20lbs” say “I want to achieve my ideal weight of 130lbs”.

If you are looking for your ideal partner don’t list the things you don’t want, state what you do want – e.g. a successful, positive, intelligent person with a great sense of humor.

4.   Shiny Object Syndrome

I must confess that this is one of my biggest challenges. With the personality type of a ‘creator’, I have no shortage of ideas and while I’m good at starting things I am not always as good at finishing them, so I can have multiple projects on the go and I have to stay focused to get them finished.

One of the underlying causes of shiny object syndrome is not being fully committed to your goal. A critical factor in goal setting is making sure your goals are in alignment with your purpose because then you will have a deeply held commitment to them. When you know your purpose you will also have a clear benchmark against which to assess whether a new idea or opportunity is worth following or if it is taking you off at a tangent.

Before I discovered my life purpose I would chase all sorts of money-making opportunities but never saw them through to completion because I had no real commitment to them.

Discovering your life purpose is the secret to getting clear about what goals to set and having the commitment to achieving them. The process for discovering your life purpose is included in my Creating the Unstoppable You program as alignment with purpose is an essential factor in manifestation.

5.   Me Too!

If you’re following the crowd and setting goals because other people have similar goals or you think you should, you’ll lack the commitment to follow through and will probably just give up because the desire isn’t strong enough.

Make sure you set goals that you truly desire and believe in. That way, failure will not be an option and you’ll persist even when faced with tough obstacles that push you out of your comfort zone. After all, isn’t that what goals are for, to develop your skills to the next level?

6.   Stuck On How Not Why

Focusing on how to achieve your goal can get you focused on the obstacles – all the reasons why you might not achieve it. Sure, you need to have a plan, but a plan details what you need to have (resources) be (skills) or do (actions) to achieve your goal.

Getting stuck on ‘how’ also limits the possibilities and opportunities that the universe brings in response to your desire to achieve your goal.

When you think about why you want something, you get more clarity, focus and power behind the desire to achieve your goal. You also soften your resistance to it. It’s the glue that makes you stick to your goal even when you come across seemingly unsurmountable challenges. So when you write your goals, as well as writing down what you want to achieve, spend a little time writing down why you want to achieve it – if the reasons don’t feel compelling enough, cross it off your list.

7.   Off Course

If you set your goals from the head not the heart, you may be off course in relation to your life purpose, which your higher self is aware of even if your conscious self is not.

We all come here with a unique purpose and the Universe supports us in the fulfillment of that purpose so if you come up against obstacles or problems, it can either be to develop new skills or it might be the Universe indicating that you’ve gone off course and you’re being nudged back onto the right path.

The Universe and your higher self function like an internal GPS system to keep you on the right path, so when you take a wrong turning it will guide you back on track by putting up road blocks or steering you in the right direction. If you’re off track, you’ll be faced with inner resistance in the form of negative emotions and external resistance in the form of problems that block your path.

When you set your goals from the heart, as I explained in point 1, you are in alignment with your higher self and your purpose. It doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges along the way because we’re here to grow and develop, but the challenges will be catalysts for developing the necessary skills for the sustainable achievement of your goal.

Extracted from Dream Achievers Success Kit available here.

Jan Moore The Success AlchemistJan Moore – The Success Alchemist, is a Spiritual Empowerment and Intuitive Success Coach. She provides practical life and business strategies plus intuitive guidance, sprinkled with spiritual and metaphysical principles so you can create unstoppable success in life and business. Jan also hosts the Cosmic Creating Radio Show every Saturday on Cosmic Reality Radio. Get your FREE copy of her Dream Achievers Success Kit or sample the power of her coaching with a no-cost Unstoppable Success Strategy Session.

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