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Not Achieving Your Goals? 5 Common Mistakes

| March 27, 2012

by Jim Bruce

Today’s Tuesday Reading is “Not Achieving Your Goals?  5 Common Mistakes”which appeared in the CBS business blog recently.  Kelly Goldsmith is Assistant Professor of Marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world’s leading leadership thinkers.  He is author or editor os some 30 books on leadership and management. 

Each of us sets goals all the times.  Sometimes the goals are very good goals.  Say, for example, SMART goals:






Sometimes we start work on our goals with good intentions.  But, even with the best of intentions, often we abandon our work on them.  The Goldsmith’s have identified five reasons for this:

1.  The goal is harder to achieve than we expect.  In reality, most meaningful goals take a lot of hard work to ahieve.  Estimate the work required carefully and schedule time for it.

2.  It’s not your goal.  It’s someone else’s – e.g., your manager’s.  If you are going to meet it, you have to make it your own goal.  Be motivated and committed.

3.  You don’t know when you’re there;  when you have reached your goal.  For example, your goal is too general – increase customer satisfaction.  Make goals measurable so you’ll know when they are reached.

4.  Interim “rewards” are modest.  You’ve put in the time but progress is slow.  If the goal is right, keep doing the work to move it forward.

5.  You tried to do it alone.  Share your goals with those around you.  They will encourage you.  And, if you give them permission, they will help you hold yourself accountable.

So, the next time you set a goal, make it SMART and look out for these pitfalls.


Have a great week.  .  .  .     jim