Do you find yourself struggling to achieve your goals? Perhaps your difficulties lie in the way you’re setting your goals in the first place. Rather than setting yourself up for success, you may be setting yourself up for failure in your first step!

There are four very common “goal setting traps” that you may be falling into. These are dangerous mistakes that can make it very difficult for you to accomplish whatever you’re setting out to achieve.

Find greater success with your goals by avoiding these goal-setting traps:

1. Your goals are too vague. If your goals contain uncertainties, you’ll have difficulty attaining them. Strive to create specific goals. Determine exactly what you want to achieve and attach terms to your goals that are certain and measurable.

* Ensure that your goals are measurable and timely. There should be a specific point when you can tell that you’ve achieved your goal. “Lose weight” is not measurable, but “Lose 10 pounds” is. “Lose 10 lbs in 90 days” is ideal, because it’s clear, concise, measurable, and has a motivation-driving deadline.

2. Your goals aren’t personal enough. You’re much more likely to reach your goals if they’re your own goals, speaking to your own desires, rather than being inspired by others. While you can model your goals on the achievements of others, they should be goals that are meaningful to you in order to drive your success.

3. Your goals are more difficult than you realized. Setting goals that are beyond your reach is simply inviting failure. Instead, set goals that you know are attainable, and break them into smaller, bite-sized stepping stones to enhance your ability for achievement.

* Follow the SMART strategy for goal setting. Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely in order to make it easier for you to achieve them. Your goals don’t have to be far off or hard to reach – you can simply set new goals to replace the old as you reach each smaller goal.

* Goals that are too easy can also be detrimental. If you don’t feel motivated or challenged, you may not perceive that the goal is worth your time or effort. Choose goals and aspirations that drive you to achieve them.

4. You’re keeping your goals a secret. If you keep your goals hidden, you’re more likely to abandon them. Tell everyone you can about your goals and put them out there in the public eye so others can help motivate you to achieve what matters to you most.

* Develop a support team of like-minded individuals to get the help and support you need. When you share your goals with others, they can build you up and help you find the drive that you need to fulfill all that you set out to do.

Although these are simple pitfalls, they can have an enormous impact on your ability to achieve what you want. When you avoid these four common traps to effective goal-setting, not only does it make it easier for you to attain your goals, but it also helps you overcome challenges along the way.

At last, your days of struggling to reach your goals can be a thing of the past while your future shines brightly ahead!

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