Around this time of year I get excited about how many people are setting intentions and goals. But then I get bummed out from watching them make mistake after mistake that stops them from reaching their goals.

Check out these stats below from the Statistic Brain Research Institute on New Year’s Resolution Statistics:

  • 45% Percent of Americans whousually make New Year’s Resolutions
  • Only 8%Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution

The good news they shared was that24% of people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. (

So what are the big goal setting mistakes
and how do you keep from making them?

Mistake #1-Not having your vision in sight. This is the biggest mistake. No vision, no clarity, no idea of purpose. Not taking the time to do the upfront work of figuring out what you want out of life in the first place means you’ll get caught up in the hustle and bustle. You’ll be carried along from distraction to distraction. It takes time and effort to stop, be still and really think about what you want in life.  Yes it’s hard looking inside your hopes and dreams, but the payoff of being driven be your purpose is with worth it.

Mistake #2- Not writing your goals down. Unless your goals are written down in black and white (or blue in my case), they don’t exist! They’re just ideas floating around inside your head asking with all the other random thoughts. It’s no wonder so many people who make New Year’s resolutions fail.

Start by doing a brain dump of all the things you want to do, then pick a few that excite you and that are within reach. Write then down and make then SMART do you have a better chance of hitting them.

Mistake #3- Biting off more than you can chew. It’s good to set goals that move you from your comfort zone, but if you set a goal that’s too big or have too many big goals at once, you’ll freak yourself out and fail. Be mindful of how hard your goals are. Pick 2-3 challenging goals and maybe one super stretch goal. It’s hard enough reaching your goals when you don’t have the decks stacked against you. Your goals should be stepping stones to your next level, not a one way ticket to Panicsville!

Mistake #4- You’re not planning things out. Some people who actually write down their goals,  stop there. It’s no wonder they don’t get anything done. If you don’t plan out what you have to do to make your goal happen, you’ll stay stuck!  In order to hit your goal, you have to take the time to break it down into the different steps you’ll need to take to get there.  You can’t just say I want to write a book it I want to lose weight. You have to think about the smaller actions you have to take to get there.

Learn to think in short term tasks like researching the setting or going to the gym 3 days per week. Even better, be very specific about what you’ll do. Say, “I’m going to zumba at 7pm on Wednesday and Barre Fit on Monday at 7 and Bag Attack on Thursday at 11am.”

Mistake #5- Not getting on your own calendar. I’m assuming that you use a calendar–paper or electronic. That’s the first step. Next, please make sure that you’re blocking time out on your calendar to work on your goals. So many people don’t get on their own calendar, meaning they only use their calendars for appointments with other people. It’s a big mistake to not schedule time on your calendar to work on your goals, and even worse when you don’t treat it like a real appointment. Make time for yourself. Sit down and get real about house much time you’ll need to set aside each week to work on your goals. Want to go to the gym more? Put the times of the classes or your workouts on the calendar and block out your travel time too as busy! If you’re using an electronic calendar be sure to set reminders so you don’t have to depend on your memory to go. Using your calendar will go a long way to helping you reach your goals.

Mistake #6- Giving up on yourself too soon. I’ve seen people quit at the first sign of struggle. The first set back makes them throw their hands up. Don’t be like them and quit too soon. Many times the going will get rough right before you hit your big break through. Don’t get discouraged and give up. If you set your goals up in smaller, achievable milestones, the victories will keep you motivated to keep on keeping on. Changing habits is hard but the work is totally worth it if you stick with it!

Mistake #7- Trying to go it alone. There will be times when you need to call in the cavalry. Personal trainers, coaches, accountability partners all make it easier to reach your goals. They are your support team focused on cheering you on, motivating you and guiding you to your next level.  It takes a very strong character and a lot of discipline to try to do it on your own. Even if you’ve got the will power, you have to know what you don’t know. Learn from the experts. Lean on your support team. Buddy up to make sure you hit your goal!

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Nicole Chamblin
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Nicole Chamblin

I’m Nicole Chamblin, a productivity coach and trainer who gives powerful yet loving kicks in the behind to women ready to leave procrastination and frustration in the rear view mirror. I would love to help you get back to the top of your priority list and crush your goals. Call me!
Nicole Chamblin
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