The 10 Most Common Mistakes Made when Defining Goals

by | Oct 9, 2017 | Business Foundations | 0 comments

Episode 23 Show Notes

In this episode, I share the 10 most common mistakes that people make when defining their goals.  And of course I tell you how to avoid/fix them as well!  I’m also giving you a free checklist that will help you avoid these mistakes when you sit down to define your goals (linked below).

Calling everything a “goal”

A goal isn’t merely a task that you plan to do.  A goal has to be something that is specifically tailored, is quantifiable and has a tangible deadline or mark of completion so you know if it’s been accomplished. For example, saying “I want to read more” isn’t a goal. However, saying “I want to read three books each month for all of 2018” is a goal because I can measure how many books I read at the end of each month and at the end of the year.

Creating goals that don’t align with where you are in your business right now

Don’t get ahead of yourself by trying to reach mile 30 when you haven’t gotten through miles 1, 2, 3 and so on.  Go in order so that each step builds upon the next, which makes moving to the next step so much smoother.  Many people jump so deep into debt or waste their time and resources trying to start big, but your goals need to align with where you are in your business.

Your goals are not narrowly tailored

“I’m going to grow my following,” “My goal is to increase my subscribers,” “My goal is to lose weight”…None of these are goals.   By stating these generic statements, you’re only appeasing yourself by telling yourself your hopes, aspirations, and dreams. When you narrowly define your goals, you’re telling yourself exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goals.

There’s no way to measure the success or the failure of your goal

If your goals don’t have that measurable component, there’s no way of knowing whether you met your goal or not. For example, a goal is not “I’m going to blog more” because you haven’t defined how to measure what “more” is. Contrast that by saying, “My goal is to publish four blogs each week starting January 1st ending on June 1st.”  Now you know if you’ve only blogged three times one week, then you didn’t meet your goal or if you blogged five times, then you met and exceeded your goal.

No end of completion for your goals

Failure to have a deadline for your goal doesn’t allow you to assess whether or not the completion of your goal brought about change in your business.

You can’t connect your goal to the purpose of your business

Every goal you make for your business should relate back to why your business exists.  For example, one of the purposes of the Business, Life & Joy podcast is to educate and encourage and if my goals don’t help me to do either of those, then those goals are pointless. What your business exists to do should be reflected in the goals of the business.

Your goals don’t lead to income or impact in your business

Typically your goals should lead to both income or impact in your business. For instance, there are many more impactful goals than those related to increasing your social media following. Increasing those numbers isn’t necessarily a goal that matters.  Fun fact: the number of followers you have doesn’t correlate with more income. But you could say that you’re going to create more content for your audience, which would create more impact in your business and will probably lead to an increased following.  Don’t create goals for the sake of it. You should be able to look back and see how that goal made an impact and led to more income in your business. Impact and income are essential to us because at the end of the day we are growing businesses, not hobbies.

The goal you set doesn’t meet a need in your business or move your business forward

You want to make sure that accomplishing a goal does something for your business and puts it in a better place than it was when you started the goal. Whether it’s a small step or a huge leap, both are very important as long as it progresses your business forward. If you end in the same place as where you started, then what was all that work for?

Defining a goal without making a plan and implementing tasks to help meet your goal

So many people define their goals without then planning out the tasks that they will need to complete in order to accomplish their goals. If you don’t plan the necessary tasks necessary to accomplish your goal, you’ll be so busy working on what you think needs to be taken care of that you’ll forget your goals and they’ll only sit as words on a sheet of paper.

Not leaving room for new goals and change

Don’t plan so much that you don’t leave room for necessary adjustments for your business to grow, shift, or change. When I planned 2017, I didn’t have plan to launch a podcast, but as the year progressed and I saw a surge in my audience, I knew I had content and information and a voice that I knew someone somewhere needed to hear and I decided at the end of 1st quarter that I would make this podcast happen in 2nd quarter. I had the room to allow my business to shift and grow in other ways that I hadn’t planned for. But if I had a packed 2017  without room to set new goals, I wouldn’t have this podcast now and you wouldn’t be reading these words!



  • Calling everything a goal [00:05:30]

    Creating goals that don’t align with your business [00:07:11]

    Your goals are not narrowly tailored [00:10:20]

    There’s no way to measure the success or the failure of your goal [00:11:24]

    No completion date for your goals [00:12:14]

    You can’t connect your goal to the purpose of your business [00:13:50]

    Your goals don’t lead to income or impact in your business [00:17:39]

    The goal you set doesn’t meet a need in your business or move your business forward [00:20:14]

    Defining a goal without making a plan and implementing tasks to help meet your goal [00:21:30]

    Not leaving room for new goals and change [00:22:42]

Action Steps

  • Download today’s freebie and review it.  As you begin to plan goals for your business, ensure that you can check off each item within the checklist.  To learn my entire goal setting and executing strategy, visit Peace, Pace, Progress here.

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Shunta Grant

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Hi there! I’m Shunta, I work with women who seek success in their businesses, but not at the expense of joy in their lives! I teach them how to build and grow successful businesses that keep customers coming back time and time again. When I’m not helping women run businesses they love, I’m reading a good book, taking a class at the gym or walking the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx with my daughter Zoe. If you believe that both your business and your life can be filled with joy, come hang out with me here on the Business, Life & Joy podcast.

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