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10 Mistakes That Make You Unable To Reach Life Goals

10 Mistakes That Make You Unable To Reach Life Goals

How excited are you for the end of the year to be over and the new year to begin? I’ve heard a wealth of mixed responses. For some, this time of year brings anxiety, for others hope, and for some, a sense of ‘here we go again, new years resolutions” (eye’s rolling). Everyone knows that New Year’s resolutions play a big part in the season’s conversation, and there is a lot of unspoken pressure to”‘change what you know isn’t working.”

Many people use the new year as an opportunity to change a habit they have been wanting to change for years or setting a new exciting goal; either way, whether you are moving away or towards something, reaching your goals is not as easy as it seems, but it doesn’t need to be hard either. In life, as with everything, making mistakes is part of the journey and goal setting is no exception. It is a wise thing to set goals and push yourself out of your comfort zone, but it is also easy to get disillusioned when you don’t see any results.

When you don’t reach your goals, do you know why? Of course, it’s not always easy to identify what we might be doing wrong.

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Here are the top 10 mistakes you’re probably making that make you unable to reach life goals.

1. Pursuing several goals at once

Always and only focus on one or two goals at a time. Pursuing several goals will certainly undermine your results. The reality is: you most likely don’t actually have the time it takes to dedicate yourself to pursuing each goal. Also, your focus is too diluted and far spread, and what often happens is that you end up with no results because you are trying to do too much. Rather focus on one goal, put all your energy and effort into achieving it, and then set a new one. This will build your confidence in goal setting as well.

2. Setting a huge and unachievable goal

Your goal must be exciting and the thought should make your heart beat faster for sure! However, there is a very thin line between setting a goal which cannot be achieved and one that makes you excited. Using the SMART guidelines when goal setting should help you to clarify your exciting goal and make it achievable. Be careful who you listen to when sharing your goals and don’t let others impose their limited thinking on you. Find a balance between what you would love to happen and what you can see happening if you put in the required work.

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3. Not taking any action towards the goal

If you are simply dreaming about the goal and not taking any action, you won’t get anywhere. You must dream about your goal and have a vision but you also need to take massive and continuous action to reach your goal. Just sitting around and putting in a little effort here and there will not get you any results. Every day you need to take action that will help you get closer to your goal‒it is as simple as that.

4. Not putting results before comfort

Everyone knows it isn’t a piece of cake to meet your goals, and it’s because most goals require you to put a lot of effort into them. You often have to go out of your comfort zone and do things you don’t feel like doing with the long term goal in mind. One of the reasons that most people give up is simply because they don’t have the motivation, dedication, persistence and patience to put results before comfort. This is what truly separates the majority of those who achieve their goals and those who don’t‒the former certainly takes disciplined action.

5. Giving up too soon

How long do you try before you give up? Trying is not about doing the same thing over and over and hoping it will work out differently each time. When it seems like things aren’t working out and you want to give in, you might just need to tweak your strategy slightly or do something different‒that is it. Perhaps you feel that you have been trying and trying, yet to see any results and you want to give up. Patience is also required when it comes to setting goals and achieving them. Sometimes we give up just before we have our breakthrough. Don’t throw in the towel when things get tricky; work through it and the results you desire will follow. Read the biographies of the famous and you will see that persistence is an essential ingredient in success.

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6. Playing the victim game

We have all felt like victims before, you know, when things just don’t go right and we feel like it just isn’t fair. Thinking this way too often can be detrimental to your success however, because this way of thinking is simply dis-empowering, and it will make you think that you have no control over the results of your efforts. Commit to staying in the driver’s seat and directing your life. Don’t stay in the passenger seat being driven around by other people and feeling like a helpless victim.

7. Not having clear direction

If you don’t know exactly where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Having a clear direction does not only lead to targeted actions, but it serves as a visual goal, which will give you added motivation. The clearer your goal, the more motivated you are to achieve it. See your goal as a crystal clear image in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn towards it.

8. Always expecting the worst

Henry Ford famously and so truthfully said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” In other words, If you expect the worst, you will most likely get the worst and if you expect the best to happen, you will most likely experience that. Why waste your energy on thinking about things you don’t want to happen and start to think about the things that you do want to happen. What you focus on expands, so think about those things which you want to expand.

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9. Doing what you think you should and not want you want

When you set goals that you don’t really want to achieve, but feel like you should, you won’t be so inspired to take action and you will feel a resistance. Likewise if you set goals because somebody else wants you to, you will find them hard to accomplish. Do what you really want to do, not what you think your family, partner or friends want you to. Doing what you love and really want to do is the best motivator ever.

10. Not dealing with obstacles

Obstacles are bound to come up, but if you give up at the first sign of an obstacle, you will find it difficult to achieve most your goals. When you are goal setting, you should identify your anticipated obstacles and plan ways to overcome them. There will always be obstacles, but the most important part is how you deal with them.

Goal setting doesn’t need to be difficult, to be tedious or fruitless. If you set and achieve goals that really mean a lot to you, you will literally change your world around! You have all the power inside you‒you just need to tap into it.

To your success!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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