When You Don’t Reach Your Goals
I’ve talked before about how important goal setting is for us as online entrepreneurs and bloggers. Most of the adages about goals are really true. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” or “If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time” and so on.
However, that doesn’t mean that setting a goal will automatically get you to where you want to go. What happens if you set a goal for your business and don’t achieve it? Does it mean you should give up this whole blogging and online entrepreneur thing?
Absolutely not! Please don’t give up just because you don’t meet your goal. If everyone did that, most of the blogs you read and love wouldn’t exist today (including mine).
Should you abandon the idea of goal setting and just keep on going without a clear goal?
You probably guessed it, but I don’t think that’s a great idea either. I bet you could a lot further than you would have without a goal at all.
Okay, so what SHOULD you do?
First, understand the difference between a desired outcome and action steps. Most of us call our desired outcome our “goal.” The actual outcome is somewhat outside of our control. It is heavily influenced by our actions but we can’t entirely control it. Whereas our action steps are the things we do get to help us reach the goal. Action steps are entirely within our control.
Here is an example: A goal would be to get 500 new subscribers on your email list by March. While there are lot of things you can do to help that happen, it’s not entirely within your control. Action steps would be: create an opt in freebie, set up a landing page for the opt in freebie, post about freebie on Facebook twice per month, pin freebie weekly, etc. All those actions steps are completely within your control.
Now that you understand this, give yourself massive credit for doing the action steps. That is the hardest part, and that’s where a lot of people get stuck. They just aren’t willing to do the hard work, but you did it. You showed up. You worked hard. Those are the people who will ultimately succeed and typically reach all their goals and more.
Next, realize that this is the point at which you are most vulnerable. You set a goal, worked hard, and didn’t quite meet it. The temptation is to give up. This is where most people might give up, but you’ll get so much further if you just keep going.
It’s okay to be disappointed. Give yourself a moment to be sad about it, and then make a plan going forward. Reflect on how much progress you have made. See if there’s anything you can learn from the experience, and set a new goal.
Did you catch that? Set a new goal and action steps going forward. The worst thing you can do is to get stuck in the disappointment phase indefinitely. I give myself one day AT MOST when I really miss my goal to be upset about it. The next day it’s time to move on.
If you want to delve even deeper into the topic of goal setting for your blog or online business and learn how to set great goals, I highly recommend this free Goal Setting Workbook that my blogging friend Ruth wrote. It’s an 18 page workbook that walks you through the process of setting effective goals. Click here to get yours.
How about you? What do you do when you don’t meet your goals?
Disclosure: Affiliate or referral links are used in this post. Thanks so much for supporting I Heart Planners – I really appreciate it! I only recommend things that I know, love, and would recommend to my best friend.
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Reminds me of the classic childhood story of the little engine that could. “I think I can I think I can I think I can”, and just keep going!
I know I’ve struggled with goal setting lately in wanting to tackle too many things at a time. Our habits are so important!