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Absolute Best 10 point checklist for goal setting greatness!

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Statistics show that less than 10% of people achieve their goals. This 10 point checklist will help you avoid the most common goal setting mistakes and ensure you are in the winning 10 percent!




Statistics show that less than 10% of people achieve their goals. This 10 point checklist will help you avoid the most common goal setting mistakes and ensure you are in the winning 10 percent!

1. Are your goals too ambitious?

At Absolute Best we love a good chunky goal, but one of the main reasons goal setting fails is because the goals are just not realistic. When you start the goal setting process, we want you to let your mind run free, dream big and do not set any limits on your thinking. However, after you have compiled your list you need to narrow it down, eliminating or modifying those goals that are just a little too crazy or too far out of reach.

It is also super important to remember that everyone is different when it comes to what motivates them. Some people like to set a goal at a more achievable level and are motivated when they surpass it; others like to set extremely ambitious targets and are satisfied even if they fall just short. The key is to set the goal high enough that it is going to drive you, yet not so high that you become de-motivated knowing you cannot possibly achieve it.

2. Do you set too many goals?

Less can be more when it comes to setting goals! Setting too many goals can leave you less focused as you have too many things fighting for your attention. When you start your goal setting process, you may find that you have a long list of things you would like to achieve. The problem is that you might just end up with a long list of unfulfilled dreams and wishes.

Our minds actually work better when we are working on only one thing at a time; “less is more” is the motto when goal setting. Look through your list – you might find that there is some double up and some goals have the same outcome. Once you have your final list you need to identify the three most important goals. Look for the goals that will have the greatest impact and start with these. Then go back to the list and pick the next three. By the end of the year, you will have ticked off a large chunk of your long list.

3. Are your goals in writing?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when goal setting is not committing their goals to paper. Now this is more than just writing some notes or a list on a scrap of paper – it should be more formal. There are a number of ways that you can do this. One is to start a goals book – we find that it is best to start a fresh one each year. Use this book throughout the year as a reference, and to make additions and review your progress. If you are tracking a financial goal you could set up a spreadsheet that you can update weekly or monthly. We love pen and paper but there are also a large number of tools available online for entering and tracking your goals. It does not matter what method you use, so long as your goals are recorded somewhere.

4. Do you struggle to stay disciplined?

Like so many things in life, successfully achieving your goals is unlikely to happen without hard work and discipline. Too often we see people who start off well, but they soon lose interest. It takes a great deal of self-discipline to be able to stay on track over a longer period of time. One of the keys to maintaining your discipline and focus is to break larger goals into smaller chunks. Don't forget to celebrate the small victories along the way, this helps to motivate you to keep going.

5. Are your goals someone else’s?

Be wary of setting goals to please someone else or because they think it would be good for you. There is nothing wrong with getting some guidance or advice from others, and sometimes a push in the right direction might be what you need. However, it is important to ensure that you are setting the goal for yourself and not for them. We suggest you review your goals 24 hours after setting them to be sure that what you are striving for is actually what you want.

6. Do you review your progress?

Another common mistake people make is they don’t review their progress towards achieving goals regularly enough. Too often we see people get to the second half of the year and panic because they are way off track. Regularly reviewing your goals, say weekly or at the very least monthly, enables you to quickly make adjustments if you are off track. One month into your timetable you might find that only a small adjustment in effort or action is required to bring you back into line with your target; however, if you get six or nine months into the process, the cumulative effect of the shortfall may be too much to overcome.

7. Do you sometimes give up too soon?

We hate seeing people give up on a goal without realising how close they were to achieving success. As in marathon running, there will be times when you hit the wall. You need to stay mentally strong so you recognise this moment and push through it. The easy option is to start looking for all the reasons why you should give up; however, this is the time when you need to go back to your written goals and recall all the reasons WHY you should keep going. Once you get over this hurdle, you will find things become easier, you regain your motivation and are can give it that last push through to the finish line.

8. Is your “why” strong enough?

Too often people fail at their goal setting because the reason was not strong enough. A good exercise for goal setting is to keep asking yourself why you want to achieve the goal until you get to the real motive. For example:

“Why do you want to start exercising?”

“Because I want to lose weight.”

“Why do you want to lose weight?”

“I want to get healthier.”

“Why do you want to get healthier?”

“Because I am afraid of having a heart attack.”

“Why are you afraid of having a heart attack?”

“My father died of a heart attack when he was only a few years older than I am now.”

By drilling down we arrive at a very powerful “why” that you can refer back to when your motivation wanes. If you do this exercise and the “why” is not powerful enough, then it may be wise to revise the goal. It is proven that the stronger the “why”, the greater your chances of achieving your goal.

9. Do you set negative goals?

Ever wondered why most traditional diets don’t work. It is because they are all about denial – for example, what you can’t eat and what you can’t have. Most successful long-term weight loss programs focus on what you can have, rather than what you can’t. Setting negative goals is a bit like a diet; they focus on stopping things rather than starting things. A good example is the goal to lose weight; this is a negative goal where a more positive spin would be to get healthier. By focusing on the goal of getting healthier, losing some weight is likely to be one of the outcomes.

10. Do you have an action plan?

Remember a goal without a plan is just a wish!

The final mistake that most people make is that they fail to create an action plan for achieving their goal. An action plan will provide the road map to help you to reach your destination. You need to look at each goal individually and write down all the steps that will be required to help you to get there. For example if your goal is to run a marathon this year, you might need to set up a training schedule, hire a personal trainer, buy new running shoes, join a running club, book in for some shorter events and change your diet. Start building a list of what you can or need to do in the next 30 days. For example, if your aim is to run a marathon, the first thing on this list would be to hire a personal trainer and buy running shoes. Try to look at things in a logical order – what do I need to do first and what will have the greatest impact?

Goal setting success is not just about putting a goal out there and hoping that the universe will provide. It takes hard work and discipline. The good thing is that like anything, the more often you set goals and work towards achieving them, the better you will become at it.

Finally, we recommend sharing your goals with someone supportive. This might be a coach, a trainer, work colleague, friend or family member. Sharing your goals automatically motivates you to achieve them. The important thing is to share them with someone you trust and someone you know will give you a little push if you need it along the way.


Thanks for reading, and we wish you every success on your path to goal setting greatness!


Success is giving life your Absolute Best!


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