Are Your Goals Holding You Back?

Published on November 8, 2011

It is that time of year when many business owners reflect upon how their current year will end and how their next 12 months will begin. Part of this process involves setting new goals for a new Goal Image

Can you really mess that up? Yes. The fact is, you can actually set yourself up for failure if you approach your goal setting from a flawed position to begin with. The failure to reach your true potential anyway! 

5 Goal Setting Mistakes

1. Thinking in reverse. Setting goals based on what you already know you can do based on past performance. This is essentially surrendering to “safety” and you will never reach your full potential by looking in the rear view mirror.

2. Goals by analyzation. People who love this method use spreadsheets and math to get to the “right” answer. The goal is based on facts and figures, but the real problem is that those figures are based on past circumstances. There is no emotional energy in this goal and because it is so “factual” there is often a “don’t change the goal” mantra that follows. So you might be asking, "Why then did you give us an outline for looking at last year's business?" Great question! So you can make necessary adjustments by assessing  what worked and what didn't. It is not the basis, however, for setting next year's goals!  It is a tool to create a strategy AFTER you set your new goal.

If you aren’t dead in the water already, numbers 3 through 5 will probably get you.

3. Instructions required. The “How am I going to do that?” question often comes up with goal setting. Reality check - You don’t know HOW to do anything until you’ve already done it. Suspend the requirement of knowing how when setting goals.

4. Worthiness of goal. Sadly the lack of personal regard often becomes evident in goal setting. Rather than setting a big hairy audacious goal, people ratchet it down to meet their feelings of inadequacy and deservedness. They refer back to that conversation in junior high school when a parent said, “We aren’t ______ and never will be. It’s just not something we were meant to be.”

5. Belief that setting the goal is actually about achieving the goal. This is a biggy. Goal setting is not about an end game. Let me tell you a little secret - Setting a goal and then going for it is really about becoming the person you are meant to be! As you strive toward any goal, you are constantly getting valuable feedback about yourself and the direction of your life.
Having been in sales for 20 years and also coaching top Realtors across the country, I have decided that there is one additional goal setting trap that people fall into, especially in sales.

Bonus Mistake #6: Competition. Setting a goal to win a contest, achieve an award, gain recognition, or claim bragging rights can also be a win-lose situation. This type of goal is defined by a competitor’s version of success and even more importantly, by their limiting beliefs about what can be achieved. These types of goals are ALL about ego and not about potential or being true to ones self.

Ok, now that we have shattered your paradigm about all the best practices of goal setting, what is left? How do you set a goal if not by looking back, analyzing facts, creating strategy, deciding what you deserve, striving toward a “win,” or aiming for a prize? Sky is the limitUse the muscle that most business people in the Western world make every effort to avoid. Intuition. A more common term for this is your “gut.” Intuitively you already know what you can achieve, but in order to achieve it, you have got to learn to trust your instincts.

Your God-given instincts have proven time and time again to be correct and instead of seeing those instances as evidence that we can in fact rely on them, we listen to all the voices of reason telling us whey we cannot.

Spend a little time in quiet contemplation and reflection. Leave your calculator, your spreadsheet, and your flow charts at the office and take a long walk. Open your mind to the possibility that you already KNOW the answer and go for it. Your potential is huge. The only smallness about you is that which you allow by listening to the seeds of fear and caution that others plant in your mind.

Question: What if I fail? What if I set a big hairy audacious goal and then I don’t achieve it?

Answer: Who cares? What the hell difference does it make? When you stretch toward a big goal, you become someone bigger.

We only learn and grow when we make mistakes or when we fail.

More than likely, you did not learn to ride a bike by getting on it the first time and taking off! You learned by integrating all the little things that you did incorrectly in your previous attempts and when you finally got all the pieces in place, whala, you were half way down the street!

Playing it safe and the need to know the plan in advance will stifle your growth.

You deserve the abundance that is already available... Go get yours!!!!


“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” - Michelangelo



Nikki and Chris are recognized international real estate coaches, trainers, and speakers. Their specialty is guiding real estate agents and brokers toward creating highly profitable businesses and amazingly successful lives.  Clients who hire Nikki and Chris are often seeking assistance in increasing profitability without sacrificing their health, relationships, and core values. To learn more or see additional blogs go to


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