5 Don’ts and Do’s of Goal Success

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar

5 Don’ts and Do’s of Goal Success

By Andrea Novakowski

“What? You’re kidding, right?”

Sometimes, I still have this instinctive reaction when clients tell me their plans for their business don’t include concrete goals. (I do my best to suppress it!) I’ve learned that it’s important to meet people where they are in their journey to business success. Most clients get there in their own time. Without a defined goal, that can be a long and wandering path.

Want to achieve your goals faster? Through many years of trial and error, I’ve discovered the approach to goal-setting that works best for the majority of my clients.

Take Stan, for example. When we first began working together, he was exhibiting the 5 Don’ts of Goal Success. See if you can recognize them.

The owner of a yoga studio, Stan considered himself more a creative type than a business person. He knew goal-setting worked for some people, but he didn’t like to tie himself down to specifics. He preferred keeping things free-flowing and open.

Each January, Stan and I talked about his hopes for the coming year, but he resisted putting pen to paper, and he never told anyone other than me about what he wanted to accomplish. He figured no one else really cared as much as he did. His business was his responsibility. It was up to him to determine how he wanted it to unfold.

Without articulating his goals, though, Stan didn’t have a chance to create milestones, pre-think what might get in the way of his progress, or identify what success meant for him. His goals never got any further than the discussion stage.

Were you able to spot the Don’ts? Here they are: Not writing down your goals. Not telling anyone else about them. Not creating milestones. Neglecting to anticipate what might go wrong. No accomplishments to celebrate.

This year, Stan shocked me when he reported he’d completed the goals in his Goal-Setting Kit and was ready for 2017 to be different. He was ready to embrace the 5 Do’s of Goal Success:

  1. Write your goals down. Just the act of putting them in writing moves you closer to accomplishment. When you get your list of goals out of your head, it opens up brain power for you to work on ways to accomplish them.
  1. Share your goals with others. It’s amazing how this increases your level of commitment. You’re no longer the only person who will know if you succeed or fail, and this can make all the difference!
  1. Approach your goal in reasonable increments. The best way to do this is by creating a plan made up of small steps. This will reduce the overwhelming pressure of pursuing a big goal. Each step builds a connection from nothing to something. Each step makes it easier to complete the next step and the next and the next. Before you know it, your goal is accomplished!
  1. Identify potential obstacles. Go into your goal with eyes wide open. Recognize the setbacks you might face and plan how you will manage them. Common stumbling blocks include fear, procrastination, and feeling stuck. Along the way, you may need to generate new ideas or manage distractions. Knowing what obstacles you’re likely to encounter and how you’ll respond can help keep the path to your goal clear.
  1. Celebrate! Whether you’ve achieved your goal or completed just one step, it’s important to pause and recognize what you’ve accomplished. Acknowledge milestones as you hit them, and then recommit to the next step.

This year, will you follow the Don’ts or the Do’s for goal success?


This Tip is an excerpt from my eBook, Achieve Your Goals: 10 Best Practices for Getting From Here to There! If you found this list helpful, download the 2017 Goal-Setting Kit and when you unzip it, you’ll find the eBook. Looking forward to celebrating with you!