The 7 Deadly Sins of Goal Setting (And How to Avoid Them)

7 Deadly Sins of Goal Setting

Everyone sets goals. But, most people fail to achieve theirs.

Why is that? Have you ever wondered why 95% of New Years Resolutions are forgotten or abandoned within 30 days?

It’s not because those goals lacked passion or purpose. It’s not because they were set carelessly. And it’s not because they weren’t possible.

The reason most goals, including New Years Resolutions, go unrealized is that there was no clear path to achieve the goal.

Obvious, I know. But it’s true. And if you’re struggling to bring you goals to fruition, then this article is for YOU.

Here are the 7 deadly sins of goal setting and achievement, and how to avoid them:

1.) Not blocking out time

Almost everyone in the world sets goals, but most people don’t block out time to actually work towards those goals. 

For example, if it’s your goal to get fit, how much time are you allotting in your schedule for workouts, meal planning, and healthy eating? 

If your answer is “none” “not a lot” or “it varies” then you’re going to struggle (to put it nicely) to reach your goal. 

Here’s why: 

  1. You have to be committed to your goal
  2. Without allotted time you won’t prioritize your goal
  3. You’ll quickly lose focus

In order to reach your goal, regardless of what it is, it needs to be top-of-mind. Unless it’s a main focal point of your life, you will become derailed. 

2.) Not writing goals down

The average person has between 40,000 to 60,000 thoughts every single day. Meaning your brain is constantly spinning around, thinking all kinds of things. And many times during the day you’ll have thoughts like:

“This year I’m going to travel to Greece!”

“One of my goals is to pay off my student loans.”

“I’d like to learn how to play piano.” 

And even though your intentions are good, and your thought is clear — you don’t write it down. So your goal becomes lost in the shuffle with all of your other thoughts. 

Thinking of your goals isn’t enough. You have to write them down too. 

Here’s why:

  1. You transform your goal from a thought into a commitment
  2. You can hang your goal in a high traffic area and reference it daily
  3. When you write it down, it’s easier to remember 

By writing your goal down you can reference it daily AND remember it…which is kind of important if you want to achieve it. 

3.) Not creating a strategy 

When it comes to bringing goals to fruition, you don’t always control the “how”. What I mean by this is even though you may have a perfect plan for how this goal will be realized, many times your plan isn’t exactly how things happen. 

However, you should still create a strategy for how you will achieve your goals.

Here’s why:

  1. It will help you determine the next small step you need to take
  2. It will keep you motivated
  3. It will help you realize when you need to shift directions

Sometimes what we think will work really doesn’t. By creating a strategy to reach your goals you’ll be able to test different strategies to see what brings you results and what doesn’t. 

4.) Not setting a deadline 

When you set a goal, watch out because suddenly and without warning, a million obstacles will pop out of the woodwork. 

  • Johnny breaks his leg (this is your metaphorical kid)
  • Your boss offers you a promotion and needs you to work 20 extra hours a week.
  • Your BFF Kelly gets engaged and expects you to plan her wedding.

A goal without a timeline is just a dream. Click To Tweet

So, you put your goal on the back burner and go to work putting out fires, and tending to life’s unexpected requirements. Everything gets done of course, except your goal.

That’s why you NEED (I repeat, NEED) to set a deadline to achieve your goal.

Here’s why: 

  1. It’s gives you a concrete date to reach your goal
  2. You’ll be able to map out how much you have to do each day to reach your goal
  3. It lights the fire beneath your behind 

Without a deadline, it’s too easy to push your goal off to the never-present future. What this means is although you may instead to do it, you most likely won’t. Instead you’ll assume you have all of the time in the world to take action, which leads to inaction. 

5.) Not having an accountability system

Have you ever had a goal that you were SO excited about, and starting working toward right away? But, after a few days or weeks, the lust wore off and you felt overwhelmed and uncertain about how to continue making progress?

Then after a few slip ups, you ended up throwing the towel in because there was no accountability system in place? This is the story of many would-be-achieved dreams, and why you need to have an accountability system place so you don’t give up when the going gets hard. 

Here’s why:

  1. It will help you stay on track
  2. It will help you monitor your progress
  3. It will keep you moving forward 

Your accountability system can be a person that you meet with regularly (like a coach or partner who is working toward a similar goal) or a written system you use daily to record your daily goals, progress, and next steps you need to take. 

6.) Not believing in yourself 

Your beliefs impact everything about your life from the thoughts you think, to the feelings you feel and the actions you do or don’t take. 

Without a strong belief system in yourself, and your ability to achieve what you want to, your goals will never manifest because you won’t back up your desires with action and persistence. 

Everyone who has achieved greatness in their lives has done so by believing in themselves wholeheartedly, regardless of what anyone else said or thought about them. 

You absolutely HAVE to believe in yourself if you want to reach your goals.

Here’s why:

  1. Your beliefs determine your actions
  2. Your actions determine your progress
  3. Your progress determines your future

Belief is the single most important aspect you need to consider when it comes to reaching your goals. Take some time to think about whether or not you believe in yourself enough to reach your goals. 

7.) Not managing your time

Your time is your most valuable resource. In fact, it’s the only resource you have that you cannot get more of. That’s why you have to be mindful of how you manage your time so you don’t end up wasting it doing things that don’t matter (like scrolling aimlessly on social media or binge watching Netflix) and you spend it wisely. 

Managing your time is crucial to reaching your goals.

Here’s why: 

  1. It will reduce feelings of overwhelm
  2. You can prioritize what needs to be done, and when
  3. You’ll be able to achieve your goals MUCH faster

When you’re a master at managing your time, you’ll be able to work through your takss more efficiently and accelerate your progress!

These are the 7 deadly sins of goal setting and achieving. Which one do you need to work on the most and why? Leave your answer in the comments below! 



The 7 Deadly Sins of Goal Setting (And How to Avoid Them)
7 Deadly Sins of Goal Setting
7 Deadly Sins of Goal Setting
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