Why Your Goal Setting Doesn't Work and How to Do Better: A Midyear Checkup

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About the Author: Barbara Drazga consults with executives to develop creative solutions to their companies' marketing, strategy and process-based sticking points.
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You can make progress toward a goal if you break the process down into daily, planned steps and commit to them.

You know the drill for success: Set measurable goals with a deadline; make them reasonable enough so that you believe you can achieve them; write them down in the first person; and post them for daily review.

So every January you diligently follow these rules, and start the year with a shiny new list of goals. Then November rolls around and you peruse the list only to realize that you’ve accomplished maybe only 10–20 percent of them, with the end of the year looming.

So, quick, before it’s November again: How are you doing with your goals for this year?

If it already looks like you’re going to end this year with a large percentage of unrealized goals, you may need to look no further than your daily and weekly activities to locate the problem.

First, goal setting should not take place just once a year. You need to be revisiting and refining your goals throughout the weeks and months. I recommend adjusting your annual goals monthly, based on changes in your life and work.

Next, it helps to sort your goals into categories. So have a category for health-related goals, income goals, investment, travel, education, family, spiritual, etc.

The next step is to create (or modify) a “to do” list of things that need to happen to reach each individual goal. Keep a separate notebook with a page for each goal. This gives you immediately actionable items to add to your daily, weekly and monthly calendars.

When you follow this strategy, you’ll find at the end of a calendar year you’ll have not only accomplished your original goal list, but you’ll have added additional goals, and achieved them in the time frame you set.

Goal get ’em!



  1. Ainsley Caffrey says:

    Great article! I will definetely utilize these tips. I think modifying goals monthly is very reasonable and will help me from getting overwhelmed.


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