Checklist Basics: Goal Setting Mistakes

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With extraordinary number of goal setting techniques, there is a common trend when people underachieve what they really want. Harsh statistics point out there is only 10% of people who are successful in reaching goals and even lesser number of individuals who are 100% happy. Any goal setting tool or technique that you may be using today may or may not work for you. There are millions of people worldwide who move from one technique to another, yet they are not quite satisfied. Whatever goal setting technique or to-do list tool you may be using today, we believe there is always a perfect solution. We took the liberty to show the common mistakes people tend to make and how you can avoid them. Our practical advices will help you use the latest version of To Do Checklist app more productively.


Common Case Scenario of Goal Setting

Imagine John White is reviewing his last goal. In his reflection, John sees that he set goals, he had an enthusiastic start and he was making a progress which made him extremely excited about his future prospects. As things unraveled, John noticed how his enthusiasm started to fade, making him become more and more discouraged. The goal took longer than John anticipated from the beginning, leading him to lose his drive and focus. It led to losing the goal out of sight and major underachievement, which over time tends to accumulate instead of vanishing.

If this story sounds familiar, then it is a time to do something about it. Next time you set a real important-to-you goal in the proper way so it doesn’t fade or gets forgotten.

Note: one of the major mistakes that people tend to make, including John White, is to lose motivation, get discouraged and not complete the goal in set deadline.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention

to what has your attention,

it will take more of our attention than it deserves.”

David Allen

When you are trying to set the reachable goals, you need to start with your imagination going wild. Experts suggest to start dreaming big and fully unleashing your imagination. When you have dreamed enough, you have to set your goal to realistic measurements. By definition realistic goal has a specific deadline. Realistic goals should be based on your existing achievements, particular skills and experience. Take your time to measure how your new realistic goal and how it can relate to other aspects of your life, i.e. have positive impact (health, career, relationship, etc.).

  • Four instance, if your goal is to run a marathon next month that you should have been doing a running training for a month prior to participating in marathon.

When setting a realistic goal, you should use a strategy, selecting one particular application like To Do Checklist to fulfill your goal. When you set your goal make sure it is specific, attainable, relevant, measurable and time-framed.

Losing Focus of Other Areas of Your Life

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal.

The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”

Benjamin Mason

There is a common mistake people make when they make a list of goals for the next year. Imagine a person is committed to increasing his sales by 20%. Then he can apply for promotion and get a higher pay. He reads one leadership book a month, discusses progress with a career coach. The plan sounds like a perfect one, but there is a whole bunch of other life aspects that he is missing. Eventually, the omitted parts of His life will intervene, stopping him from reaching his career goal because they were neglected and forgotten.

Note: many people focus solely on their work goals. They fail to recognize the need to take actions on other activities that bring them joy. Life becomes like and a rat race, but it is far from happiness and well-being. Make sure you set goals that are balanced between different areas of your life. Everyone’s balance is different, find what makes you happy and successful.


Setting Unrealistic Deadlines

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

David Allen.

Have you ever noticed that your to-do list or project takes longer that you’ve anticipated. It is a common trend for many people as making goal completion on time is a tough job. As a result, it can be very discouraging when it takes longer to achieve something that you have initially thought. Failing to set the right timeframe for your goal causes many people to give up.

Note: to manage and achieve your goal on time, use different action programs and apply effective scheduling strategies. Keep in mind that you cannot schedule delays that may interfere with your goal deadline. Take extra time. It will take the pressure off you and you will be able to complete your goal by a certain date.

Failing To Review Your Progress

It takes time to accomplish your goals, but it takes time to estimate and review your progress as well. Many business coaches suggest that it is extremely important to take time and stock everything you have accomplished on regular basis, at least once a month. When setting small sub-goals, you need to celebrate your successes. Analyze what you have done and what you need to do to keep moving forward. If things seem to be slow, it means that you are actually making a progress.

Note: When doing your progress analysis, take your time to update your goals, include what you have learned and done so far. See if your priorities have changed. Maybe there are some goals that need extra time. Some sub-goals can be put aside. Other goals may need additional actions or specific goal activity. Remember, goals are never set in stone. Do not be afraid to change, diversify or amend them to make the most of your progress.

Focusing & Completing Your Realistic Goals

As you can see the common mistakes can be easily avoided if you are going to take into consideration are following tips. We understand that you might have done a hard work that has not made any progress towards your goal. Take a note what exactly went wrong and acknowledge the temporary failure. When setting a goal make sure, it sounds positive instead of negative. For example, not “lose weight” but get healthy. Instead of “stop staying late at work” put in more positive words like “spend more quality time with my family”. Stay away from setting too many goals. Experts claim that not accomplished goals accumulate over time and you may lose some of your confidence and self-worth. Other than that, continue to make progress towards your goals, use To Do Checklist every day to review your progress, and stay tuned for more valid information.

“Your mind is for having ideas,

not holding them.”

David Allen


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