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8 Common Goal Setting Traps to Avoid

Getting ready to say good-bye to 2020. I am fairly certain that we all are ready to leave 2020 in our rear-view mirror. We are all looking forward to a better 2021. And with that hope, I believe more of us will be thinking about new year resolutions and goals this year than ever before.

As a Goal Achievement Coach, I have accumulated and created countless tools and techniques which increase our chances of goal setting success. From understanding our own unique goal setting traps, to crafting an achievable goal, to keeping our eye on the prize and taking time to celebrate successes. Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing the tips and techniques that can simply guarantee your successes in 2021 and beyond.

Let’s start with 8 common goal setting traps to avoid and what to do about them:

1. Your goals exist only in your head

Simple fix! Write down your goal on paper with pen. You can later type them into an on-line journal or other electronic means. But it has been proven that pen to paper works a little magic in connecting your subconscious mind to your outcome. And when your subconscious mind is also working towards want you really want then you naturally take the right steps in the right direction. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is your best bet. Join my community forum or email for simple S.M.A.R.T. goal instructions and goal setting worksheet.

2. You don't really believe you can achieve your goals

It has been said that humans can accomplish anything if two things are true. First, they must believe it is worthwhile and second, they must believe they can do it. This is, in part, about confidence and, in part, about setting the right goal for you. Build your confidence by writing down past successes and also by starting out with very achievable goals. Set yourself up for success. Proceed as if success were inevitable.

3. You do not have a strong enough 'Why'

Goals are sometimes given to us, or we create them for someone else. Goals that matter are goals you create for yourself because you have a strong enough desire to see them through. Going seven layers deep in your why will give you more clarity on your why then you ever imagined was there. I will write a blog post on this topic some time soon, but meanwhile – it is an exercise best performed with a partner. We can certainly incorporate that into your free consultation session. Schedule yours at

4. Your goals are vague

This is the purpose for the S. in your S.M.A.R.T. goal – to be specific. You must have a very specific target so that you can monitor your progress, know what is working and what is not. You need to know when you have reached your goal. A standard example of a non-specific goal is ‘I want to loose some weight’. A much better goal is ‘I want to loose 20 pounds by June 30, 2021’. You will know how you are doing in pursuit of your goal as the weeks go by. Critical for keeping your motivation and finding reasons to celebrate along the way.

5. Your goals get lost in your day-to-day distractions

Keeping the focus on what you want and why you want it is critical in goal achievement. You must find a way that works for you – some people find having the goal written and in their wallet works, some find reading it every night before bed works, some find vision boards work well, some use anchors – items around the house or work to remind them of what they are working towards. There are many ways, find a few that will work for you.

6. You are not monitoring your progress

Very simply, what is not tracked does not improve.

7. You have not created daily action steps to support your goal

Daily action steps are sometimes called ‘process goals’ all the things you want to do every day to consistently work towards your goal. Process goals help you re-define success into the easily attainable daily activities. And this gives you reason to celebrate every day, keeping the momentum and resolve high.

8. You have no accountability

Being held accountable is an early key indicator of success. Those who set up an accountability partnership are most likely to succeed. Learn how to choose the right accountability partner and how to sets yourself up for success with my free webinar. Email for the upcoming schedule and information on how to register.


Join my community, introduce yourself and let me know which of these goal setting traps have shown up in your past. I would love to help you design a strategy unique to you.

Linda Short of Elle Short Coaching is a Goal Achievement Coach, certified health and life coach specializing in goal achievement. As a goal achievement coach, I help people struggling with where they are to create their own life story and take action toward their life vision. So that they can get unstuck, find joy in each and every day, and live their best life.

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